TRIBUTES have been paid to an inspirational Cwmbran teenager and “perfect daughter” who died on Saturday aged 18 after battling a rare form of cancer.

Emily Clark had beaten cancer for the second time after a bone marrow transplant and had recently marked one year being cancer free.

But sadly yesterday she died due to breathing difficulties and problems with her lungs. Her mum and stepdad were with her when she died.

Mum Donna Dunn told the Argus “She was just the messiest, unorganised but perfect daughter you could imagine.

“We are in shock. We have got three other children who are obviously grieving and in shock and are not really knowing what they want to do. How do you explain this to a six-year-old?

“We have been up in her bedroom this morning and all the children found something of hers they want to keep.”

Ms Dunn said Emily had been in hospital for about a month.

She said: “She’s been in with problems to do with her breathing because she had lots of fluid in her lungs.

“But she was coping well. In the last week she had 14 complications and she got rid of 5. We all thought she was making progress.

“At 3.45am yesterday morning they rang to say she was a little bit distressed. I was with her within five minutes.

“Her siblings came in very early to see her, aged six, 11 and 17. They came in and had two minutes with her.

“The doctor had a chat the night before. He said they were beginning to run out of options but they were trying to do everything they could.

“Me and Andrew, her stepdad, were with her right through until the end”.

South Wales Argus: Emily Clark

Emily, of Llantarnam, was a keen blogger and set up her Remission Possible blog to support other teenagers in a similar position. She also inspired hundreds to be bone marrow donors.

The student was hoping to study for a degree in microbiology and had already been accepted for a place at Reading University.

She had also received a letter to say she had been given a university place at Leicester, but she did not open the letter before she died.

Ms Dunn said Emily and Dr Keith Wilson, her consultant, worked together like a team and helped Emily with her dream to become a microbiologist.

She said: “Dr Wilson the consultant came in a couple of times a week to review her help. The pair of them would have conversations I wouldn’t have a clue what they were talking about.

“She was very much part of the process.”

Ms Dunn said the tributes have been “amazing”.

She said: “Some tributes have obviously come from people we know and we have seen things from the school and local businesses.

"But also from people much further away. People who I have never met and Emily had never met.”

The family said they are now planning to do a fundraising ball after Emily had started arrangements to organise one last week.

Ms Dunn said: “Last week one morning I rang the hospital to see how she was. The nurse said, you better bring a notepad as Emily’s decided she wanted to plan a ball.

“She had been looking at hotels in Cardiff and Newport and Cwmbran and she really wanted to plan a ball. She started emailing hotels about what type of packages.

“She had lots of plans. The bone marrow transplant team had a dream of having a purpose built bone marrow transplant unit. She’d very much bought into their wish to have a specialist unit.

“I think that would be a good legacy for Emily.”

Ms Dunn said she also wanted to thank Newport charity Dreams and Wishes who made sure the family had a proper Christmas last year.

She also thanked the Griffithstown Harriers who helped organise a Santa run for Emily.

In a New Year's post Emily said 2015 had been a hard year, spending more than 300 days in hospital, adding: "A year cancer free is a long time in the world of Burkitts lymphoma and I am so, so happy to be at this point."

Emily inspired an Argus-backed appeal in 2014 to find her a bone marrow match and encourage others to sign the Anthony Nolan register.

West End actress Caroline Sheen, the cousin of Hollywood star Michael Sheen, said ‘the world has lost an amazing spirit’.

Miss Sheen met Emily in 2014 and was so moved by her that she performed at a fundraising concert at the Congress Theatre in Cwmbran in aid of the charity Bloodwise.

She said: “The news yesterday was devastating.”

“My heart goes out to her amazing family. Her incredible tenacity and fight is such a tribute to them. The world has lost an amazing spirit.”

“When my Dad and I met Emily she struck such a chord with both of us.”

“She spoke to a room full of Newport's celebrities and businesses about the Teenage Cancer Trust. She spoke with no notes. Completely off the cuff. With confidence, charisma and passion. What an incredible girl.”

“We decided there and then that we wanted to do something to raise funds for a charity of her choice. She decided she wanted the proceeds to go to Bloodwise.

"Last weekend, the concert went ahead. We knew Emily was very poorly, but her grandparents came along as did her sister Holly who helped me out backstage.

"The concert was at the Congress and we sold out. We raised £4260. I'm pleased that Emily at least knew how much we raised and that so many people turned out in support of her.”

Former mayor of Newport, Cllr Matthew Evans, said he first met Emily when he visited the Teenage Cancer Trust in Cardiff, which he later chose as one of his mayoral charities.

Cllr Evans said she spoke at a charity dinner at the Celtic Manor in October 2014, when Emily was in remission.

He said: "She was so inspirational, she felt like a professional 40-year-old. There were over 300 people there and the whole place was welled up with tears.

"She was always incredibly positive and upbeat.

"Enormous sympatyhy for Donna and the family. It's so heartbreaking and so cruel, cancer."

South Wales Argus: Staff at We Fight Any Claim with Emily Clark

Emily with some of the people she inspired to join the bone marrow register

Ann O’Leary, register development manager at Anthony Nolan, said at the time it was "truly amazing" to see the impact that Emily’s appeal had. 

“The community have got behind her, it was very touching to see so many kits heading to South Wales," she added.

Did you know Emily? Leave your tributes below or call 01633 777226.