A terminally-ill North Devon cancer nurse said words cannot express her gratitude after thousands of people donated £85,000 towards a treatment which could buy her more time with her family.
The appeal to fund the Bevacizumab treatment for Laura Harris sky-rocketed this week after receiving national attention, going from some £8,000 to more than £85,000 in a matter of days.
Laura, who works at the Seamoor Unit at North Devon District Hospital, was hoping to raise £20,000 for the first round of the treatment, which is not available to her on the NHS.
But thanks to the generosity of thousands of strangers, she now has enough for around two years worth of treatment.
Laura, 42, who lives with her husband Paul and two children Noah, 16, and Molly, 13, started her first round of Bevacizumab on Monday.
The treatment, also know as Avastin, essentially helps to ‘starve’ cancer cells which stops it from growing.
Laura said: “I’m completely blown away; I can’t seem to come up with anything to say that seems enough.
“If I’m alive in six months, it’s because of the people that donated to me – how am I suppose to find the words to say thank you for that?
“These people have literally given me a chance at life and a chance to spend more time with my family.”
Laura, who grew up in Baltimore, US, says she hopes the treatment will give her a chance to visit her family in the States one last time.
She said she is taking each step at a time, and if the new treatment does not work, any leftover funds will be donated to cancer charities and other people crowdfunding for their own treatment.
Laura added: “People have been overly generous and offered money towards making memories, but I feel a great duty to the people who have donated that the money is used in the way it was intended.”
In a bid to support Laura, her friends and colleagues will be taking to the Tarka Trail on Friday to walk, run and cycle.
They are calling on anyone to join them to raise awareness and more funds towards Laura’s treatment.
You can donate towards Laura’s treatment on her GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/laura-treatment-fund.