ON April 23, brave and inspirational Port Macquarie teenager Jake Spurdle succumbed to an 18-month battle with a rare form of bone cancer.
A touching social media post to the Port Macquarie-Hastings community who rallied to make Jake's final dreams a reality, captured the spirit of a young man who faced adversity with wisdom and maturity.
"Played like a true legend, no complaints, no whining...you just got on with the job," the post read on the Play4Jake Facebook page.
"Will miss you buddy...fly high."
The 15-year-old passed away last week, but it wasn't before he ticked off most items on his wish list that included getting behind the controls of a Marine Rescue vessel and a trip up the Hastings River.
He also swam with dolphins, fired an arrow or two at the archery course and saw the Hastings from the air courtesy of a flight with the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.
There were few people the courageous teenager didn't touch with his infectious personality, with Port Macquarie paralympian Ryley Batt leading the chorus of tributes on social media.
"Devastation is an understatement! This legend has taught me so many lessons in life that I will cherish forever... Thank you Jake. My thoughts are with you Nyky and family," Batt posted.
The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service echoed those sentiments.
"Such sad news today for a strong young man. From everyone at Westpac Rescue Helicopter to Jake's family and friends our deepest condolences. It was our sincere pleasure to give Jake his wish of flying in a helicopter a few weeks back. I was lucky to see Jake on Tuesday and present him with a special certificate commemorating his flight over Port Macquarie. RIP Jake, fly high mate," the post read.
In a touching display of solidarity, Spurdle's favourite NRL team - South Sydney - donned black armbands in their 40-30 win over Gold Coast Titans on Friday night.
They then dedicated the victory to him with captain Adam Reynolds scrawling Jake's name on his wrist tape.
A Rabbitohs spokesperson said they were all saddened to hear of Jake's passing.
"He has had a profound effect on our players and our Club," they said.
"We will have representation at his funeral on Wednesday and we will continue to offer our support to his mum, Nyky, and his family.
"He was a very special young man and he certainly showed that South Sydney fighting spirit right to the end."
A public funeral service will be held at St Agnes Catholic Church at 2pm on Wednesday, April 28.
Afterwards, you are invited to join Jake's parents, Nyky and Ted, at Mackillop College Senior campus hall, off Lochinvar Place Port Macquarie between 3.30pm and 5.30pm to celebrate his life.
The family have also asked for Rabbitohs jerseys to be worn, or if you own anything red and green, wear that.
Fly high, Jake.
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