A teaching assistant at a Colne primary school covered more than 35 miles as part of the Running for Laura event to raise invaluable funds for experimental immunotherapy treatment for a 19-year-old Barrowford girl with terminal brain cancer.
The event, organised by Sacred Heart RC Primary School in Colne, saw hundreds of runners take to the school's running track throughout the school day on Friday February 1st, with staff, students, and parents alike clocking up the miles to fundraise for Laura Nuttall's cause.
After a dedicated team of parents spearheaded by Craig Bradshaw managed to clear the track of snow on the morning of the event, teaching assistant Angela O'Hara racked up an astonishing 35 miles over the course of her six hours, 18 minutes on the track having been inspired to do her part to help Laura, who was at university last year when a regulation eye test revealed she had a series of brain tumours.
"I’m struggling to be able to find the words to sum up Sacred Heart’s #DoingItForLaura sponsored running day," said Angela, who had only ever run a half-marathon before her charity effort. "I’m just beyond amazed and astounded at the support. Everyone selflessly and happily supported each other and every step was worth it for the donations we are raising for treatment for Laura."
Just 18 when she started suffering from headaches, Laura initially chalked her illness down to the fresher's flu but was soon referred to hospital and underwent surgery to remove the largest of the numerous tumours she had. Tragically, it was revealed the other tumours were incurable Glioblastoma (GBM), an aggressive, stage four cancer with the lowest survival rate of any human cancer.
Included in those running was Laura's mother, Nicola (48) - a member of Trawden Athletic Club and whom Angela called an "inspirational warrior of a mother," - and a young girl who had overcome mobility and heart problems and a prognosis from doctors that she would never walk.
"The kind generosity of [everyone involved] has been beyond what anyone could have ever expected," said Angela, who was joined by students giving up their own time at lunch and on breaks to fundraise and keep her company. "I lost it completely when our amazing pupils supported me on my final lap, running across the track to guide me in.
"There are no words and thank you certainly doesn’t seem quite enough," she added. "I couldn’t be prouder to work at Sacred Heart RC Primary School."
Laura's GoFundMe page can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/ngdq37-doing-it-for-laurahttps://www.gofundme.com/ngdq37-doing-it-for-laura