Friday 18 October 2019

Laura Brennan documentary moves viewers to tears and prompts outpouring of gratitude with #ThankYouLaura

The late Laura Brennan
The late Laura Brennan
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

The documentary charting the final chapter in the life of Laura Brennan moved viewers to tears and prompted a mass outpouring of gratitude from viewers on social media.

Laura Brennan: This is Me first aired on the RTÉ Player earlier this year but was broadcast again on RTE One on Monday night.

Laura Brennan
Laura Brennan

Laura had been diagnosed with end stage cervical cancer and passed away on March 20th this year at the age 26, but not before dedicating much of her time to highlighting the importance of the HPV vaccine in saving lives.

The Clare woman had been diagnosed with Stage 2B cancer in early December 2016 and was treated with a combination of radiation and chemotherapy.  At that point the progrnosis was good and she was declared cancer-free on June 15 2017.

She bought a house, and a dog (Bailey) and lived life to the full.  However, just three months later the cancer was back.  This time it was incurable.

Laura was determined that every parent in Ireland who was about to make the decision whether their daughter was to be vaccinated against HPV, would hear her story first.

She worked tirelessly as an advocate for the HPV vaccine and filmed a video for the HSE outlining its importance.

The vaccination rate in Ireland had fallen to 51%, thanks to ill-founded negative publicity around the vaccine.

Once Laura’s cancer returned, she began work with the HSE as the patient voice, to try and reverse this downward trend and prevent girls facing a similar fate to hers. And it seems that people are listening - the most recent figures reveal that the uptake of the vaccine has risen to 70%.

Laura's story in This is Me prompted huge reaction on social media with the hashtag #ThankYouLaura trending on Twitter as friends, experts, and strangers marvelled at her work and her amazing legacy.

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