Friday 15 November 2019

'Baby Maya is only nine months' - Friends rally to raise funds for mum (34) told she has two years to live

Laura Cafferty and her husband Karl with their daughter Maya (nine months)
Laura Cafferty and her husband Karl with their daughter Maya (nine months)

Patricia Murphy

Friends of a Mayo woman who was told she has two years to live after welcoming her first baby are raising funds to support alternative treatment in an effort to save her life.

Laura Cafferty (34) was diagnosed a rare form of cancer in March, five months after welcoming her first baby with her husband Karl in October.

Laura Cafferty with her daughter Maya (nine months).
Laura Cafferty with her daughter Maya (nine months).

Laura, from Kilmovee in Co. Mayo, had been undergoing intensive chemotherapy to battle leiomyosarcoma, a cancer of the body's connective tissues in Southampton, UK as the couple are currently based in Jersey.

Earlier this month, the new mum and her husband, from Charlestown, were given the devastating news that Laura's body had not responded to the treatment and that the cancer had spread to her pelvis and back.

Speaking to Independent.ie, Laura's sister-in-law Aimee Cafferty said there are no further treatments available for Laura on the NHS and doctors said she "would be lucky" to live for another two years.

However, Laura's family and friends are now fundraising to explore alternative treatments, including immunotherapy, which may offer hope to the mum.

"Laura and my brother Karl have been together for over 12 years, such a long time and they have been through so much together," Aimee said.

"A few years ago when they were living in Charlestown, Laura was diagnosed with MS, and although it was devastating, she never let it get the better of her. She always lives life to the full. They went to Toronto together for as few years before she was offered a position in Jersey Island.

Laura Cafferty and her husband Karl on their wedding day in 2015
Laura Cafferty and her husband Karl on their wedding day in 2015

"When she was pregnant with Maya she began to have a bit of trouble with her leg, but Laura put it down to her MS. After she had the baby, the symptoms began to get progressively worse.

"She underwent tests in January and February of this year, and in March they discovered a cancerous tumour in her leg. Laura was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma, which is an aggressive cancer of the connective tissues. Laura has in in her bones which is extremely rare," she said.

Laura's diagnosis has been exceptionally difficult for the couple being so far from home and Karl continues to work full-time and care for baby Maya (nine months). Aimee said the funds will also be used to support Laura's ongoing medical expenses.

Aimee said: "Two weeks ago Laura was told that the chemo hadn't worked and that the cancer has spread. Doctors said she has two years to live if she is lucky."

"Unfortunately there is no other treatment available on the NHS. It's devastating for our family.

"She has been looking into alternative treatments, including immunotherapy, possibly in Germany but they're very expensive, which is why we've set up this GoFundMe page. We just want to have a fund for future medical treatment."

Speaking of her sister-in-law, Aimee said she has never met anyone with such a "warm heart".

"Laura has such a warm heart and she has such a huge network of friends, more than anyone I know. We just want to give her the best chance to fight this cancer for her little daughter.

"If the tables were turned, she would be out campaigning to help anyone in the same situation," she said.

To support Laura's campaign visit: www.gofundme.com

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