Laura was diagnosed with leukaemia when she was 11 years old. She immediately began a two year and two month course of chemotherapy. Laura is now going into her final year of university and wants to give back to the charities that supported her, including CLIC Sargent.
Laura said: "At the age of 11 I was diagnosed with leukaemia. I still remember the moment so clearly; more than a dozen doctors, nurses and healthcare workers crowded into our side room off of Pickney ward, St George’s Hospital.
"My consultant tried to break the news as gently as possible, but nothing could be done to soften the blow of a cancer diagnosis. It was the scariest day of my life.
"I didn’t think that I would get to see my 12th birthday. I remember being told that I had to immediately begin a two year and two month course of chemotherapy. From that point onwards, everything changed - the battle began.
"There were good days and bad days (and believe me, there were bad days!), but one thing that helped me through was the support of my family and friends. They helped me see through each day and keep going on as normally as possible. However, one thing that struck me was the amount of support available from various children’s charities.
"CLIC Sargent was one of the main charities that liaised with my family. Not only did they organise fun activities for myself and other children like me, but they provided additional support to my parents in regards to work and financial stresses.
"They didn’t just help see me through my treatment - they gave me some extraordinary days that I will never forget. Who could forget being chauffeur driven to Topshop for a £500 spending spree with a team of personal assistants?!
"It seems unreal that it has been over nine years since my treatment ended. To this day, I have had one goal in mind - to give back. Thanks to the support I received from my school and sixth form, I am now on track to complete my medical degree in the upcoming year (at St. George’s of all places!) with the aim to become a Paediatric Oncologist to help other children like myself. But its not enough to stop there. I also want to give back to those amazing charities who helped me through those two years and two months.
"I wasn’t a very active child, and after spending a considerable length of time feeling pretty rotten and inactive, I gained weight quite rapidly. I remember watching the London Marathon on TV and saying to my parents 'I will run that one day', but I don’t think they were convinced.
"And to be honest, I don’t blame them! But what better motivation than to run in aid of charities such as CLIC Sargent. It took some time (and a lot of sweat, cramping muscles and determination!) but I have finally followed through on my pledge to run for charities.
"So far, I have completed the Royal Parks Half Marathon 2016, and Great North Run 2017 for CLIC Sargent, plus additional runs for other charities - including the London Marathon 2016!! And believe me, I am just getting started!"
Laura will be lining up at the start line of the Royal Parks Half Marathon in Windsor on 8 October. If, like Laura, you would like to join team CLIC Sargent then sign up to a run near you. To find out more please contact our Sports and Challenges team on 0845 602 4770 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.