Have you been diagnosed with a brain tumour? Order your free information pack.

For Laura – Guest post by Hannah Kinsell

In this guest post, Hannah reflects on the friendship she shared with Laura Nuttall.

A selfie taken by Hannah Kinsell featuring Laura Nuttall
Laura with YAM friends

Hannah Kinsell is one of our Young Ambassadors. She recently published a beautiful post about her late friend, Laura Nuttall. And, she has given us permission to share it here.

Hannah suffered a brain haemorrhage at age 15, which led to the discovery of a grade 4 glioma brain tumour. This, as Hannah puts it, “is not the best way to find out.”

But, she went through the treatment, having two brain operations, radiotherapy and two different types of chemotherapy. After all this, we’re happy to share that she is in remission.

After her treatment, Hannah wanted to do some good for the brain tumour community. So, she was encouraged by her sister to become a Young Ambassador, with her sister having been one previously.

This role helped Hannah meet and support people who are affected by brain tumours. One of these people was her friend, Laura.

Hannah remembers Laura Nuttall in her own words  

My friend is dead.

I kept thinking about how I should have kept in touch more, that me and my friend should have gone to see her when we said we should. The fact is that in truth I only met her a couple of times and yet there is something about sharing a terminal illness with someone that makes you feel like you’ve known them for longer.

And yet, that was the beauty of Laura. You could talk to her and she would make you feel like you already knew her.

I don’t know how to grieve because I feel like I don’t deserve the luxury of mourning her. That is reserved for her family, and her friends that knew her best. I should have wrote, I should have called, I should have taken the train to Manchester to see her. But this is not about my regrets, this is about Laura.

There is always a ripple effect in the community when one of ours is taken away, but she is more like a tsunami. She was one of OUR Young Ambassadors. She was one of OUR friends. That is a hole that can never be filled.

I know, though, that Laura wouldn’t like it if I sat here feeling sad or sorry for myself. What I will remember, what I will always remember, is the massive impact she had on The Brain Tumour Charity, and on us.

Her determination, her resilience, her constant campaigning. I will always remember her brilliant wit, her wonderful humour. Hindsight is a bitch because when we were hanging out in her Premier Inn room before dinner, I should have told her how brilliant she was.

There is always a time to mourn, but there is also a time to celebrate. I could never say she had a full life, because she was taken away from us too soon, but she damn well tried with the years she had. All the incredible things she did, I hope she was proud of herself, because we are of her.

When I attend the Brain Tumour Charity masquerade ball tonight [26 May], she will be so missed. But we will dance for her, we will laugh, we will cry, we will live. Because, as always, we will be #DoingItForLaura.

Group shot of The Brain Tumour Charity's Young Ambassadors, including Laura Nuttall