JAK Trueman’s incredible fundraising exploits in the weeks before his death at the age of just 15 in February have left a legacy that will never be forgotten.
Just the other week, his mother, Allison Barr, opened Jak’s Den – a centre in Livingston where teenagers battling cancer can go for support.
I think it would have been so easy just to have not put anything up and just let it go this year, but for Jak we are going to continue to celebrate Christmas in as many similar ways as we possibly can.Allison Barr
And tomorrow she, like Peter Ashton’s parents, must face her first Christmas without her precious son.
Sitting in the soothing Lilac Room at Jak’s Den, she told the Evening News that she was planning a day of happiness and positivity.
Allison, 45, said: “It’s heartbreaking but I’m trying to stay as positive as I can.
“Christmas is a really special time of the year for us as a family – and Jak absolutely loved it.
“The Christmas tree was always up in our house from the first day in December, with all the decorations, and I promised him before he died that I would continue to do that in his honour.
“I think it would have been so easy just to have not put anything up and just let it go this year, but for Jak we are going to continue to celebrate Christmas in as many similar ways as we possibly can.”
Jak’s sister, Aimie, 18, said she thought the start of 2016 would be harder for the family to cope with than Christmas Day tomorrow.
She said: “I think New Year will actually be worse than Christmas, because it’s the first New Year we’ve had that Jak won’t be in.
“Christmas is just a day, but there is no way you can get out of going into a new year.”
Aimie has suffered a roller-coaster year as she tries to keep raising crucial funds to help others just like Jak while at the same time mourning her brother’s death.
“You find there are times when you don’t even want to get out of bed,” she said.
“But then you find there’s days you want to get out and shout and do loads of fundraising. Then there are other days when you just don’t want to see anyone.”