"we found out it was something worse."
A student teacher died aged just 21 after a lump on her shoulder turned out to be a rare cancer.
Jenna Patel became concerned after spotting the lump while carrying out work experience at a primary school.
Paying tribute, her brother Liam described her as “bubbly” and said she was “always smiling”.
He said: “Jenna was always making sure everyone else was alright before herself.
“There was not a time of the day when she was not smiling. We were really close and did everything together.”
Liam said his sister had dreamed of becoming a teacher.
After completing her studies at Turton High School, Jenna began a teaching degree at Edge Hill University.
But during her second year, she noticed a lump at the top of her shoulder.
Liam explained: “She came home one day and called me over.
“She said I have a little lump on my shoulder, and I told her it does not look so bad but to get it checked out.
“She went to the doctor and they said ‘it’s nothing to worry about, we think it’s a cyst’.
“It carried on growing so she went back. After a few more tests, we found out it was something worse.”
In July 2021, Jenna was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma, a rare cancer which can cause tumours in the bones or surrounding soft-tissues.
The news came just months after her father Manish went into remission following a battle with brain cancer.
Despite the news, Liam and Jenna remained positive.
Liam said: “She just wanted to crack on and get it sorted.
“That was just Jenna. All she wanted to do was make sure everyone around her was happy.”
Jenna received chemotherapy and took part in a clinical trial, however, the treatment eventually stopped working and the cancer spread to her lungs.
Just two weeks before her death, doctors told Jenna and her family that there was nothing more they could do.
Jenna passed away on May 13, 2022. She was due to graduate this month.
Liam said: “It was horrible.
“Even though she had been told that, she was still smiling. One thing I have always been inspired by was her mentality.”
Mother Priti said: “Jenna was our beautiful daughter and always smiling and laughing.
“It was so sad that she couldn’t finish her last year at university because she dreamed of being a teacher since the age of eight.
“Even when she got cancer, the first thing she said was ‘I am so glad it’s me and not you or my brother, or dad. ‘I can do this because I am much stronger than you two’.
“She said she couldn’t cope if we had to go through that.
“When they explained the treatment plan and the chemo she would undergo, she just smiled.
“There was never a day where she was miserable, crying or upset, she could always manage a smile.”
Jenna’s family have set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds to support Ewing’s Sarcoma Research Trust. Over £6,700 has been raised so far.
Liam added: “It’s nice to see how many people cared about her.
“She had so many great friends and they have all been helping out with the fundraiser. It’s been hard but it’s nice to talk about all the memories we have of Jenna.”