Measure of a life is quality not its length
FEW of us manage to make an impact as significant or as commendable as Jon Paul Oxley.
This was a young man who faced huge challenges of his own - he battled cystic fibrosis which left him in need of gruelling treatment and oxygen therapy.
Jon Paul died waiting for an organ donor that never came. Today his mum Jill has called on all of us to sign the donor register to help others live in the event of our death - a call supported by The Herald.
John Paul could have been excused for focusing on his own problems but, instead, he devoted his short, marvellous life to the welfare of others.
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He raised thousands of pounds for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and for other charities including Post Pals which helps chronically ill young people.
His selflessness was recognised during his lifetime - he was named a Herald Young Hero in 2010 and received a Lifetime Achievement accolade at the Pride of Plymouth Awards in 2009. And all of this by the age of 21.
Jon Paul's death should give us all reason to pause and ask ourselves how we compare to the high standard he set. Of the many lasting gifts he left with this community, surely one of the most valuable is the lesson that the measure of a life is not its length but its quality.