Student with terminal brain condition graduates from university

A student with a terminal condition has shown incredible strength and triumphed over adversity by graduating from her degree at The University of Manchester.

Laura Nuttall is a student from Barrowford in Lancashire who discovered she had Glioblastoma Multiforme – an aggressive and incurable form of brain cancer – after a routine eye test in 2018. 

She was later found to have eight tumours, and was told she only had around 12 months to live – this led to her leaving university in London to concentrate on treatment and ticking items off her bucket list. She bravely endured a craniotomy to remove the largest tumour, and then started a gruelling programme of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

However, the family then discovered that an innovative new treatment was available in Germany, and with the help of donations from friends, family and an online fundraiser, Laura was able to start the immunotherapy. She had to travel to Cologne every six weeks for this, but she responded so well that she was able to restart her studies – this time at The University of Manchester, in order to be closer to home.

Despite travelling for the gruelling treatment – which was made even more difficult by restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic – on top of undergoing more surgery in March and December, working as an ambassador for The Brain Tumour Charity and helping out in her community, she somehow continued to excel in her studies. As a result, she has now been able to celebrate her graduation from her Politics, Philosophy and Economics degree with Mum Nicola, sister Grace and Dad Mark.

Laura plans to carry on raising money for brain charities, and to raise awareness of brain conditions – she has recently joined the board of Our Brain Bank, a charity working to turn Glioblastoma from terminal to treatable.

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