“I just want to take my son to his first day at school”
* URGENT HELP NEEDED TO FUND TREATMENT TO HELP LAURA ACHIEVE THIS *
It was an ordinary Thursday in November 2014 and a newly pregnant Laura was browsing in Tesco Warrington following a midwife appointment when she decided to nip into the opticians for a routine eye test, little did anyone know what was about to unfold and how this would impact on Laura and her family’s life.
During the routine eye test the optician discovered something wasn’t quite right and sent Laura straight to hospital, following a series of tests and scans over the next 24 hours Laura was diagnosed with Ocular Uveal Melanoma (Cancer of the eye), Laura and her family were left in total shock as she was feeling perfectly healthy and only 34 years old. Two days later Laura went to Liverpool St Paul’s Hospital for urgent surgery to remove the tumour, save her eye, implant a radiotherapy plaque and hopefully save her sight.
The operation was high risk due to Laura being pregnant but all went well and the team of doctors and consultants were happy they had removed all of the tumour and Laura could go home to begin her recovery. Two days later Laura went back to hospital for a second operation to remove the radiotherapy plaque and for scans to be carried out on baby Dylan to check he had survived the two operations, thankfully all was found to be okay and Laura was allowed home.
8 weeks later in January 2015 Laura went in to Warrington hospital for her 20 week scan to be carried out. During the scan the nurse spotted that something wasn’t looking quite right and informed Laura she would have to go to Liverpool a week later for a further appointment. Whilst at this appointment to everyone’s shock and disbelief it was explained that Dylan’s heart had not developed correctly and he would require life saving open heart surgery a week or two after he was born if he survived the rest of the pregnancy. Later that week Laura received the Tumour analyses back and this showed that the Tumour was considered advanced and even though they had removed it all, it was highly likely cancer would return, no one could quite believe what was happening.
On the 9th June 2015 Dylan was born and remained in Alder Hey hospital for two weeks so the nurses could monitor him and make sure he was feeding to build up strength for his operation. Two weeks after being born Dylan underwent the operation on his heart and following a number of complications, a period in intensive care and a further two months in hospital much to everyone’s relief Dylan had come through the operation and could finally go home to start his family life with Mum (Laura), Dad (Keith) and his Sister Faye.
For the next two years Laura had regular monitoring scans every six months to check there were no signs that the cancer had returned. In August 2017 while away on a family holiday Laura received a phone call to say that something had shown up on her Liver during her latest scan and would need further investigation. An operation was arranged for September 2017 and that’s when everyone’s worst fears were realised, the conclusion from the operation was that the Cancer had returned in the Liver and the doctors were unable to remove the tumours through surgery or radiotherapy.
Since that operation Laura has done everything possible to give herself the best chance at any treatment that has been offered. This has included taking part in clinical trials and suffering some horrendous and dangerous side effects from the treatment and leading to several periods in hospital but nothing YET has worked in her favour.
The only treatment left that will help Laura, has an excellent success rate and was offered to her through another clinical trial. Unfortunately due to very strict rules set out in clinical trials Laura was removed from the trial in September 2018 because a blood test result had come back outside of what was accepted. This was very difficult news to deal with as all other health tests including scans of her liver, heart scans and numerous other tests had shown that Laura was well enough to undergo the treatment yet she had been denied the opportunity.
The only way that Laura can now receive this extremely specialised treatment is to pay for it privately at a cost of £40,000 per treatment, which Laura needs 4 cycles of.
During an appointment in early October 2017 after Laura had received the news that they could not remove the Cancer she explained to her consultant that she had set a number of goals for the future, the first one being to take Dylan to school on his first day in September 2019, the consultant responded by saying it’s good to have goals but that may be too ambitious, this was only the first goal Laura had in mind so this left Laura totally devastated.
As a family we are doing everything we can to raise funds for this treatment but have simply exhausted all options currently available, we have been able to raise £80,000 to fund the first two treatment cycles which has meant remortgaging property and using life savings.
Laura has fought with sheer determination to get to where she is now and our family will continue to do everything we can to support her but the reality is if we can’t raise the funds required for the future treatment, Laura simply can’t have it.
Laura is a 37 year old Mum and her focus now is not to see her kids go to University, College or even High School but to simply get to Dylan’s first day at school in September 2019 and with her husband Keith walk their son and daughter through the school gates together as a family. After everything Laura has dealt with and fought against over the last three and a half years she deserves the chance to achieve this, any help and support we can get will be eternally appreciated beyond any words we could ever say.
Laura’s family xx
I am overseeing all fundraising activities on Laura's behalf and any money donated through the Gofundme page will be withdrawn by me personally and passed on to Laura to fund her treatment, thanks again.
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