THE devastated mum of a “beautiful” young woman has paid tribute to her “incredible spirit” after she lost her 17-year battle with cancer.

Felicia Cantone, from Southend, inspired thousands of people after battling Ewing Sarcoma - a rare form of cancer that develops in the bones - since the age of six.

Felicia endured endless rounds of chemotherapy and had to have her leg amputated aged ten, but tragically, the 23-year-old has now lost her battle.

Despite her illness, Felicia managed to complete her third year of a business studies course at Greenwich University this year, graduating with a first class degree in business management.

Her mum, Samantha Kaya, said Felicia did “whatever she wanted” and that “nothing would stop her”.


Felicia with mum Samantha

She said: “She was always a very positive person and she just did everything. She never felt sorry for herself, she truly never did.

“Felicia never once said ‘mum, why me’, she used to say ‘why is life such a pain’ but she just got on with it.

“She loved food. I would tell her off if she went to McDonald’s three times in a week.

“She would say ‘mum, I’m living my best life’ - and she really did. She did everything she wanted to do.”

Felicia was fiercely independent and had wanted to travel later in life.


She also wanted to start her own business, having amassed 15,000 followers on Instagram for her work styling eyelashes.

A GoFundMe page was started to get her treatment abroad - which raised more than £22,000. The money will go to other good causes.

Felicia received her results for her degree - which took her five years due to her illness in June. But by June 21, she was told she did not have long left to live.

Ms Kaya continued: “She saved up a lot of money, she wanted to get a flat.

“I think she must have known she didn’t have that long and wanted to get on with it and nothing would stop her.”


Felicia as a child

Felicia will be cremated at the Sutton Road Crematorium in Southend on Monday at 1.20pm. Her family welcome people to joining in solidarity on the streets during the funeral.

The dress code will be pink - Felicia’s favourite colour.


Felicia when joining Belfairs Academy in Leigh


Felicia aged 14 with her Pomeranian Fifi