‘Inspirational’ mother loses her battle with rare cancer

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Laura Cafferty, who worked at the Grand Jersey Hotel & Spa, was diagnosed with terminal leiomyosarcoma in 2017, which affects just six in one million women. Tens of thousands of pounds were raised for her to have treatment not available on the NHS and to help her husband, Karl, care for her.

On a Facebook page tracking Mrs Cafferty’s fight, friends announced that she had died at home on Monday morning.

‘Dear friends, it’s with a heavy heart that we have to tell you all that sadly Laura passed away at home this morning. Thank you all for your support and kind messages. Xx,’ the post read.

Friends and family of Mrs Cafferty, mother to Maya, set out to raise £134,000 after doctors found a tumour in her leg in March 2017, when she was 34. In less than six months, £44,000 was raised towards the fund, which was to pay for treatment in specialist centres in Germany, Mexico and the US with the rest going to help her husband, an electrician, to care for her.

Firewalker and inspirational speaker Mark Baker walked over hot coals to raise money for the cause while the Grand Jersey Hotel & Spa organised a charity swim.

Tributes have already begun to pour in online for the Islander, who was originally from Ireland.

One post from Amy Maxaieie on the ‘Laura’s fight with cancer’ Facebook page read: ‘Oh Laura, this is such a shock. You inspired me so much. You fought so hard and with such dignity. I’m so sorry for all your friends and family and your beautiful daughter. Xxxx.’

Gillian Gilchrist wrote: ‘Absolutely heartbreaking, what a brave an wonderful person. You fought hard Laura my thoughts and prayers are with your family xxxxx.’

Trevor Quinn added: ‘Very sorry for your loss Karl and deepest sympathies to you, Maya, the Gallagher family and your relatives; you are all in my prayers at this terrible time. RIP Laura.’

Mrs Cafferty was interviewed on ITV Channel at the start of February to mark World Cancer Day. She visited Mexico twice for treatment and was looking into further treatments in Germany.

She said in the interview: ‘The reason I am fighting so hard is for my little girl. She is two. She needs her mum around. We are a happy little family and we need to stay that way.’

Leiomyosarcoma is a rare type of cancer that affects smooth muscle tissue. Tumours are most common in the abdomen, but can occur anywhere in the body, including the uterus.

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