Hero award for inspirational Burnley student on a mission to raise awareness of brain cancer
A student paediatric nurse from Burnley has won a national contest to find a ‘Quiet Hero’ following her courageous battle with brain cancer and efforts to help others.
After collapsing, and a delayed diagnosis, Claudia Laird (25) had emergency neurosurgery for a brain tumour.
Through sheer determination just six weeks later, she had raised nearly £2,000 for the Astrocytoma Brain Fund and her local hospice, Pendleside, where she was being treated.
The Quiet Hero competition was organised by www.meltedinside.com – an artisan food and drink online marketplace - to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The winner was chosen through a combination of judging and votes on Melted Inside’s social media pages.
Claudia has won a MeltedInside.com gift voucher to the value of £200 and £200 cash. Her mother Lynda who nominated Claudia has won a £100 MeltedInside.com gift voucher as a thank you for her efforts.
Claudia said: “I just want to say thank you so much for the award, I am just so taken back and appreciative for your kindness at MeltedInside.com and for the votes from everyone who voted.
"This means so much to me after such a tough year I’ve endured.
“All I want to do now is raise awareness of what happened to me so that it doesn’t happen to others and they get diagnosed quickly.
"We need more awareness of the symptoms for patients, family and medical staff. I also want to continue raising money for brain cancer research as only one percent of funding goes towards brain cancer research.
"To help with this I am joining The Brain Tumour Charity as an ambassador and will be assisting with new campaigns in the future.”
Claudia returned from travelling in Australia and South Africa just before Covid 19 and started working long shifts for test and trace and was accepted for a children’s nursing degree at Manchester University. She was working in the children’s cancer ward in December when she started getting dizziness, head pain and blurred vision. After going back and forth to her GP and A and E three times, collapsing and not getting a diagnosis she persisted.
Finally, on the 18th January, 2022 a brain scan diagnosed a 5x7 cm brain tumour. Emergency neurosurgery followed and Claudia came home two days later even though she had a cut the length of her head. Claudia managed to get back to university after two weeks.
And six weeks later Claudia had raised £1,400 for the astrocytoma brain fund and £500 for Pendleside Hospice by walking more than 10,000 steps a day.
Claudia was back on the wards in April and has been offered a job in her last ward when she qualifies.
A former pupil at Read Primary and Ribblesdale High schools, Claudia is a psychology graduate of Leeds University. She has praised her parents Baron and Lynda, sister Courtney (27) brother Max who is 22, and 12-year-old sister Poppy for their support.
Lynda said: “Claudia is determined to raise awareness and funding and has made such a difference already with her social media posts helping others and her money raised and the impact she will have helping the local community and health trust could save lives.
" She has been determined and her recovery has been phenomenal due to her focus and bravery.”