“A reason to fight against cancer would be to stop it claiming yet another innocent victim, wouldn’t it?”
In March 1995, fifteen-year-old Laura was studying for her GCSEs when she became ill and was admitted to hospital. After removal of her left ovary, she was diagnosed as having an immature teratoma, a relatively uncomplicated form of cancer which can often be successfully treated. During her subsequent chemotherapy treatment at St. James's University Hospital, Leeds, further tests showed Laura had four types of cancer, three of them very aggressive, and she became an extremely rare case. Laura's life was filled with love and laughter, and those who knew her during her 14-month illness were amazed at her cheerful courage and dignity - and at her concern and protectiveness for others, who might be troubled because of her illness. In December 1995 Laura had further surgery, during which her right ovary, her womb and part of her bowel were removed, which meant that had she lived she would have been unable to have children. Laura was fortunate in having a very loving and supportive family and friends of all ages. During her illness she also fitted in voluntary work in a local hospice and helped disabled children learn to swim. Despite the obstacles, Laura lived every minute to the full, and crammed some great experiences into what was to be the last year of her life. Laura died in May 1996, just two weeks after her seventeenth birthday.
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