LOVING tributes were paid to North Yorkshire CJD victim Holly Mills, as the friends and family said their final goodbyes.

The 26-year-old’s funeral was held yesterday at the parish church of All Saints in Thornton-le-Dale yesterday, following her death 11 days ago.

Her father Peter Mills said CJD was a “man made disease" which had come about "simply to achieve profit", but he said he and his wife Linda had vowed to help research it.

In a moving tribute, he said Holly had embraced life to the full and was a caring person who radiated love.

He said he and Linda had enjoyed being Holly's enablers over the years she had suffered from the disease, helping her to attend friends' weddings and other events.

"We want to ensure that Holly's legacy lives on," said Mr Mills. He praised the doctors and scientists who had worked hard to help Holly, adding: "They were truly remarkable. But her life will go now go on in other people's," he added.

Holly's elder brother, Matthew, described her being great fun and having a great personality. He and his brother, Robert recalled childhood pranks, with Robert saying: "She was a fantastic sister and a great friend."

Canon Mike Vincer who conducted the hour-long service, told the congregation said that at 18 when the start of her illness coincided with the taking of her A-levels, Holly had written about the love she had for her family in one of her papers, the significance of which only became known later when the disease developed.

He said Holly had gone through "an awesome and painful journey" but the difficult years had seen her sustained by the love of her parents.

She had seen an advertisement for donor card carriers and expressed a wish to have one. As a result, research would be continued into what Canon Vincer described as "this awful illness" thanks to Holly. "I can't think of a greater thanks," he said.

He said Holly's parents had committed themselves to helping continue the research, which would be aa lasting testament of her life.

At the end of the service a collection was made for the Degenerative Encephalopathy Research Group.

In a tribute to Holly, her family said her many interests were sports, singing, acting "being happy and carefree" and at the age of nine was presented with a bravery award by the then Prime Minister, John Major, for saving a family in a house fire.

She attended Pocklington School where she made many friends. In 2003 she gained a place at Leicester University to study midwifery but was not able to fulfil it.

The family said: "We hope that Holly will be remembered for her warmth kindness and bravery and while the years and seasons pass us all by, we will remember Holly forever more, with love and affection."

The choir of Pocklington School sang two hymns at the service, and beforehand, several of Holly's favourites songs were played. After the service, Holly's was taken by horse-drawn carriage to Thornton-le-Dale cemetery for the burial.