The Laura Whellams Fund

Raising funds for Sarcoma UK

Hi, Laura was a 31 year old wife to an amazing husband Chris and mummy to their beautiful 2 year old daughter Ivy. She wanted to share a little background story of her Cancer Journey.

Laura was originally diagnosed in May 2021 with a mixoyd-liposarcoma in her left posterior thigh, after originally finding a lump whilst pregnant. Ivy was only 3.5 months old at the time when she was given the news that she had cancer. Laura underwent 5 weeks of intense radiotherapy and then surgery to have the cancerous lump removed. During the surgery she unfortunately had 2/3rds of her hamstring removed. She then started physio after her 6 week post-op check-up to regain strength and stretch the muscles again; so she could try and get back to teaching dance again.

She was kept on surveillance for the next 10 years - where she would have a chest x-ray every 3months for the first 2 years, between years 2-5 every 6 months, then 5 years+ yearly.

In January 2022 Chris, Ivy and Laura all caught COVID, and not long after she started to get aches and pains in her left shoulder and lower back, and it was getting put down to Long COVID as the pain wasn't isolated (which we now know doesn't mean anything). Laura had her surveillance chest x-ray in late Feb and this came back all clear. After many months of pain and phone appointments with the doctors; she finally got another chest scan done to confirm if it was Long Covid, as it would affect the lungs. In March Laura had this scan, and it showed that there was a couple of nodules on her lungs; she was then sent for a CT scan on her chest and also her abdomen to check the main body areas. These scans confirmed that unfortunately the cancer had returned and it had spread both to her lungs and in sections of her spine.

She was told that this type of cancer is called metatistic and is incurable. Laura did not believe this, and she believed that there is some cure out there for everyone, they just needed to find it! And she was drastically trying to find hers! Only one month after the devastating news, 4 days after her first chemotherapy, Laura became paralysed from the ribs down due to a spinal cord compression caused by one of the lesions on her spine.

Laura underwent multiple rounds of chemotherapy and some radiotherapy too but unfortunately that was stopped when she developed a bleed on her pelvis as there were no further options available for her, as any more could do more harm than good. She was then put on 'end of life care' to manage the pain and allow her to be comfortable.

So, she decided on living her life to the fullest and creating as many special memories as she could with Ivy, Chris and her amazing family. When being put onto end of life, she was given a few short weeks to live, Laura as always wouldnt accept this and almost managed 8 weeks. She passed being cuddled by Chris and surrounded by family.

She has left a huge void in our lives.

Sarcoma UK need to continue to carry out vital research so that people like Laura have a better chance of a 'curable' diagnosis; and more treatments become available for them.

We love you Laura xxxxx

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