Cancer charity fundraiser and patient Laura Nuttall has died aged 23, her family has confirmed.
Ms Nuttall, from Barrowford in Lancashire, passed away early Monday morning (22 May), with her mother Nicola posting a statement on Twitter to update her followers about the situation. In the tweet, Nicola said: “I’m heartbroken to share the news that we lost our beautiful Laura in the early hours of this morning.
“She was fierce & tenacious to the end & it was truly the honour of my life to be her mum. We are devastated at the thought of life without our girl, she was a force of nature.”
Ms Nuttall was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer, in 2018 after a routine eye test. When she was initially diagnosed, her medical team give the prognosis of 12 months to live.
However, after an operation to remove the largest tumours on her brain, cycles of chemotherapy and innovative treatment abroad, Ms Nuttall survived for five more years. At the beginning of her treatment, she dropped out of university in London.
Ms Nuttall eventually resumed her studies at University of Manchester. She graduated in 2022 with a degree in politics, philosophy and economics.
Her experience of living with the cancer led to various fundraising opportunities including working with The Brain Tumour Charity. In 2021, comedian Peter Kay raised money for her with two sell-out shows in Manchester.
Mark, Ms Nuttall father, added: “Nicola, Gracie and myself are so very proud of her and what she achieved in her short life. Her flame burned so brightly, unfortunately not nearly for long enough.
“She leaves a chasm behind and we now have to find some way of filling that void. But we will and and we’ll continue to support the charities and beliefs which were very important and dear to Laura."
Professor Jackie Carter, from the University of Manchester, said: “She was an incredible and spirited young woman. With her treatment, she defied all the odds after her diagnosis to complete her studies and graduate last summer.”
“I got to know Laura and her amazing family well during her time here, as my own son has incurable brain cancer. I’ll never forget her telling me when we were raising money together at Manchester Pride that she wanted people to know who she was as a person, and see her determination, rather than just being seen as someone with cancer.”
The Brain Tumour Charity said Ms Nuttall was "key" to the success of their young ambassadors group. The charity added: "Her loss is a fierce reminder of why we must move further, faster every day in the battle against brain tumours, so that other families do not have to endure this kind of heartbreak in the future. We are committed to fighting for all those people whose lives are turned upside down by this devastating disease.
"We will continue to do this for everyone affected, and we will continue to do this to honour Laura. She was unique and she was loved by so many.”