Laura Stephenson, 36, was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in 2018 – just 12 months after she gave birth to twins. She hadn’t felt well, but blamed it on her body recovering from the birth
(Image: LANCS LIVE/MEN MEDIA)
A mother-of-three tragically died after dismissing cancer symptoms as postnatal problems after childbirth.
Laura Stephenson was just 36 when she was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in 2018 – just 12 months after giving birth to twins.
Laura, who spent nine years working as a fundraiser for various cancer charities, wasn’t feeling well, but she put it down to her body recovering from the side effects of childbirth. LancsLive reported.
However, she decided to make an appointment to see a doctor and was referred to hospital for scans – but the results revealed the devastating news that she had terminal cancer.
Tragically, Laura passed away on December 28, 2019, just a year after her diagnosis, leaving behind three daughters, all of whom she wanted to “grow up and marry.”
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Laura’s father, Mike Barnes, said: “She wasn’t feeling well but thought her body was readjusting after the birth.
“She ended up seeing a doctor who referred her to the hospital for scans, where she was told she had end-stage colon cancer.
“She called me while she was in the car on the way home to break the news to her mother.
“I was working as a volunteer in Malawi at the time. She told me she wanted to see her girls grow up and get married and when you’re so far away all you can say is, ‘You will’.”
Mike, from Preston, rushed home to be with his daughter and said Laura never let her diagnosis get in the way.
Mike said: “She just went and lived a full life, refusing to let anything stop her from doing anything at all.
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“She had three daughters and insisted on picking them up from school every day.
“Cancer wouldn’t stop her from being a mother, it wouldn’t affect her relationships with those around her, and it wouldn’t stop her from working and helping others.
“I know I’m biased, but she was such an amazing person. Everyone who met her fell in love with her.
“Stage 4 colon cancer has an eight percent survival rate, and I was hoping with everything I had that she would be one of the eight percent.”
Laura kept a blog documenting her cancer experience and Mike decided to compile it into a book called Nobody Said It Would Be Easy.
In an excerpt from her book, Laura writes: “We have the freedom to choose how we approach something. Getting that freedom is something I wouldn’t trade for anything.
“I will choose faith over fear, hope over worry, and faith over doubt every time.”
Mike said his daughter’s words felt like he was keeping her memory alive.
He added: “My whole family is pretty open about Laura and we’re very open about everything.
“Talking about how beautiful she was brings her memory back.
“Her eldest daughter, who is now eight, has commented that she cannot remember her mother’s voice.
“Having something tangible to hold gives her and her sisters the words of their mom, even if it’s in writing.”
After running a half marathon with Laura in 2012, Mike decided to run the London Marathon in October to raise money for Bowel Cancer UK in memory of his daughter.
He said: “Everyone says ‘I couldn’t do that’ when I tell them what I do. I’m not even sure I can do that!”
Laura’s book can be ordered Amazon now from £4.99, with all proceeds going to Bowel Cancer UK.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/mum-three-dies-aged-36-26734079 Mother of three dies aged 36 after dismissing deadly illnesses as postnatal problems