Doing it for Laura

£118,744 of £150,000 goal

Raised by 2,818 people in 5 months
Our beautiful daughter Laura started her first term at Kings College University in London studying International Relations in September, she'd worked so hard to get her 3 grade A's and was just getting used to student life when she started to suffer headaches, nothing serious just persistent and annoying headaches.
She went to the GP and he said to monitor the situation.
Laura joined the University Navy Corps and as part of the process she had a medical and an eye test. During the test the optician recognised abnormalities behind Laura's eyes and referred her to Moorfields Eye Hospital.  
As the diligent student she is, she first went back to college to do a presentation on Iraq and then went on to hospital and was referred to a Neurologist.
The next day she became quite sick so her sister and I travelled down to London, arriving late on Tuesday night. We took one look at Laura and took her in a taxi straight to Homerton Hospital. 

At 3am she went for a CT scan and an hour later, our lives changed forever as Laura was diagnosed with 2 brain tumours.  She had a further MRI scan later that morning and it became apparent that she in fact had at least 6 brain tumours.
So 6 weeks after we had helped her get settled into her new university accommodation we had the heartbreaking task of packing up and bringing her home again. 

Back in the North West, Laura met with a neurologist and it was decided that surgery needed to take place as soon as possible. The largest tumour was starting to cause seizures and pressure was dangerously high within the skull.
Surgery took place at Salford Royal and although she'd had a major seizure that morning, it went well and Laura made a good recovery from the craniotomy.

A week later, we got the pathology results and the worst possible news; Laura was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme, which is the most aggressive Stage 4 brain cancer. 

We were devastated and horrified to find out that the prognosis was so poor with this disease, the most common length of survival following diagnosis is 12 to 15 months, with fewer than 3 to 5% of people surviving longer than five years. Without treatment, survival is typically just three months.

As a family we couldn't believe that our beautiful intelligent girl with so much life ahead of her, was basically facing a death sentence. It's just heart breaking.

So since surgery, Laura has had a gruelling 6 weeks of radiotherapy and oral chemo, she now gets a month off before starting a further 6 months  of chemo (5 day each month).
We're also trying a huge range of supplements and repurposed drugs, anything we can find that has the slightest chance of stalling this disease and giving Laura the chance of a decent life.

In addition, we're also looking at other treatments that are still in the experimental phase, specifically immunotherapy treatments.
DCVax is a groundbreaking new treatment which creates personalised immune therapy made from each patient's own dendritic cells.
Dendritic cells are a type of immune cell that function to help the body's immune system recognise and attack tumour cells.

The results of the initial trial is really positive and is extending the overall survival rate for people like Laura. 
Unfortunately for us, the DCVax treatment has yet to be approved by NICE so we would need to fund the whole treatment for Laura ourselves, the cost of this will be an initial £150,000  and a maintenance cost of about £26,000  per year which is a huge amount of money for any family to try to find.

We don't have a lot of time and we're doing everything we can, our wonderful friends in the running community and from Trawden AC have already made a great start to the campaign and have already raised well over £10,000 towards treatment but if you feel you could help by making a small donation, we would be so very grateful. #doingitforlaura

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Yesterday marks 6 month's since Laura's surgery and although some days are rubbish and she's sick and exhausted, other days are amazing.
In the time since the last update, Laura has spent a day with Greater Manchester Police, practiced her HGV and bus driving with Ben Shaw, spent the day on a farm (and got to drive a tractor!) met Michelle Obama, visited the House of Lords and the House of Commons and had lunch with the Home Secretary (thanks to the Rays of Sunshine charity).
Last month she also had an amazing trip to cross the equator, BA Magic made it possible for Laura to visit South Africa and go on a safari, it was a truly amazing trip.
She continues to astonish us all with her courage and tenacity.
In terms of the fundraising, we are pleased to report that with the off-line donations we have just about reached our target and so we'll soon be closing this page for donations (but will continue to update you all on her progress)
The DCVax treatment process started but it's had to be put on hold for technical (tumour related) reasons.
We are hoping that soon we'll be in a position to start the process again but in the meantime we're continuing to explore further immunotherapy treatments available internationally.
Thank you for all your help and continued support, it really means the world to our family x
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So here we are, 4 months after surgery and 2 months into the 12 cycles of chemotherapy we have scheduled. Life is full of ups and downs for Laura.
We've had lows when she's been so sick that she's barely left her bed in weeks and highs when she's met her heroes and crossed amazing things off her bucket list.

Some of things she's been up to in the past few months include;
Piloting a Royal Navy ship down the Manchester Ship Canal, Flying round the Silverstone circuit with Chris Harris from Top Gear and then driving (and reversing!) a HGV. Visiting the Question Time set in Chester & meeting Fiona Bruce, Having afternoon Tea at The Ritz with Sophie Raworth, Seeing 'All about Eve' in the West End and meeting Gillian Anderson and riding in the cab of a Northern Line tube train. She's been pretty busy and there's lots more to come!

In terms of treatment, the monthly chemo is hitting her pretty hard but the recent scan does suggest that she may be responding to the treatment which is great news. We're having lots of conversations with the DCVax people and hopefully it won't be too long before we can update you with further news in that area.

In terms of fundraising, we continue to be astonished and completely humbled by the kindness and generosity that has been shown to us. We are so very very grateful to you.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, Nicola, Mark, Laura and Gracie #doingitforlaura
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3 months ago today we took Laura to A & E with a headache and vomiting and within hours our world turned upside down. This week she's been given a role as one of the Brain Tumour Charity's Young Ambassadors and last night she started Spanish classes. This girl is up for the fight and if you're interested, Laura's good friend Becca wrote this lovely piece about her.
https://blogtrainofidea.wordpress.com/2019/01/16/doing-it-for-laura/
Thanks so much for your support and for sharing Laura's story far and wide, we really appreciate your generosity. If you want to follow her progress there's a facebook page called Doing It For Laura and we'll post lots of updates there.
The best thing to come out of this horrific situation is the overwhelming kindness of strangers which has touched our hearts more than you can ever imagine. Much love to you from Nicola Mark, Laura and Gracie x
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And we are past half way! You are amazing, it's absolutely fantastic, thank you so much.
We are overwhelmed by the kindness of friends, family and complete strangers who want to help Laura to beat the odds and live a long and happy life.
Every single one of you is an angel.
Thank you so much. All our love Nicola, Mark, Laura and Gracie xxx
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Raised by 2,818 people in 5 months
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