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The Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust is the only UK charity funding medical research specifically into cancer affecting teenagers and young adults, where it can frequently strike in dangerous and complex forms.
In March 1995, Laura was a fifteen year old schoolgirl studying for her exams when she became ill and admitted to hospital. After the removal of the left avary, she was diagnosed as having an immature tertoma, 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 a very different scenario. 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 some really genuine friends of all ages, who stood by her throughout her times of pain and indignity. During her illness she also fitted in voluntary work in a local hospice and helped disabled children learn to swim.
Despite all the obstacles put before her, Laura lived every minute to the full, and crammed some great experiences into what was to be the last year of her life.
Laura Crane died in May 1996, just two weeks after her seventeenth birthday.
The Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust supports measures to improve the quality of life for teenage cancer patients during their frequent and debilitating stays in hospitals. Teenagers are an age group onto themselves and require occupational and social activities to help keep up their motivation, which is so desperately needed to fight their illness and cope with the harsh regimes of treatment and the isolation from school, friends and family that it brings.