'not giving up' | 

Longford woman given weeks to live after cancer diagnosis says ‘I’m too young to die’

Laura Gilmore Anderson (35), diagnosed with a rare tumour, says she is ‘not prepared to give up hope’

Laura Gilmore Anderson

Laura and her husband Paul

Laura Gilmore Anderson is determined to explore every avenue in her battle with cancer

Ali BrackenSunday Independent

A woman with a rare form of cancer has told of the “outpouring of love” from friends and strangers alike as she raises funds for potentially life-saving treatment in Mexico.

Laura Gilmore Anderson (35), from Longford, who lives in Scotland with her husband, Paul, was diagnosed with a rare and incurable neuroendocrine tumour (NET) in her pancreas in July 2020.

The news came after almost three years of her suffering different forms of extreme pain.

She has undergone chemotherapy and radiation, which have not had the desired effect. Recently, she was given the news she has just weeks to live.

However, the couple have not given up hope, and she said she is inspired by the love and support she has received.

Laura and her husband Paul

Less than a fortnight ago, she travelled with her husband for treatment in Frankfurt and has been recuperating at home since.

She may soon return to Germany for perfusion embolisation, which blocks the flow of blood to a tumour, to stabilise the liver and pelvis ahead of a potential trip to Mexico for treatment where medics inject immunotherapy directly into malignant growths.

Laura recently posted a video on Facebook that resulted in a GoFundMe appeal in her name raising just under £385,000 (€436,000) by last night. Her goal is £420,000.

“It’s so hard to put into words how I appreciate the love and support from all over the world. I just want to say thank you so much to everyone who has donated, or even just sent positive thoughts. I am blown away by all the love that has been shown,”.

“Mentally I feel very strong. People are so generous and kind and it just means so much to me.

“I’m just taking it one day at a time. When I got the bad news recently that I might not have much time left, I just felt numb. If I didn’t have Paul beside me, I don’t know what I would do. He’s a wonderful man.”

Laura Gilmore Anderson is determined to explore every avenue in her battle with cancer

Paul, in turn, praised his wife’s resolve, saying she is inspirational and “capable of anything”.

“We were planning to go to the Williams Cancer Institute in Mexico in April when things weren’t looking so critical,” Paul said. “We had a consultation with them in January and they were positive they could help with a systematic treatment, where they inject immunotherapy directly into the tumours.

“We had found the place through an ex-patient with a similar diagnosis who is now thriving.

“This was the reason we started to fundraise and organise events as the costs were easily into six figures. Then we got the devastating news that Laura’s condition had worsened a fortnight ago.”

Laura received treatment at the Hope4Cancer Clinic in Cancun in 2021. There she underwent immunotherapy and specific protocols with the hope of stabilising the disease and preventing further progression.

However, the cancer spread last year to Laura’s liver and lymphatic system, and she had to get peptide receptor radionuclide (PRRT) therapy in Glasgow under the care of her NET specialist team.

In December, an emergency CT scan showed extensive growths to lesions on her liver, which had previously been stable.

She was dealt a further blow two weeks ago when experts told her preventive treatments used to stop the spread of the NETs had been unsuccessful.

“When I recorded the video, I was in a blur really,” she said.

There have been numerous fundraisers for Laura on both sides of the Irish Sea, and on March 31 a night of music and a raffle will be held in Murph’s Bar on Ballymahon Road, Longford.

Thanking her supporters, she said: “I think that’s what kept me going — that and Paul. I do feel I am too young to die. I am not prepared to give up hope.”


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