Thursday 20 September 2018

'She was the life and soul of every party' - Friends of blogger (22) who died last year of a rare cancer pay tribute to her

Laura O’Neill lost her battle with synovial sarcoma last September 2017.
Laura O’Neill lost her battle with synovial sarcoma last September 2017.
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

The close friend of a courageous 22-year-old blogger who died last year of a rare cancer has paid tribute to her and is now organising a fundraiser in her name.

Laura O’Neill lost her battle with synovial sarcoma last September 2017, a mere nine months after she was diagnosed.

During her illness the Dublin Institute of Technology student wrote a popular blog cocktailsnchemo.blogspot.ie, logging some aspects of her life during treatment.

She travelled to the Royal Marsden Hospital in London for treatment and her friends are now working to organise a ball in her honour, to raise funds for the Gavin Glynn Foundation.

Jane Keenan, one of Laura's close friends, told Independent.ie that the blogger was an inspiration to everyone who knew her.

“We’d just come back from a three-week trip to Thailand the September before she was diagnosed. We were always really glad we’d done that trip because Laura always said she wanted to travel.”

“She was the life and soul of every party. Everyone knew Laura; she was so popular; she had so many friends. I always used to say that I wouldn’t have half the friends I had without Laura.”

In one of her blog posts, Laura told her followers how she dreamed that she’d travel and go to concerts and festivals when she recovered.

Laura O’Neill lost her battle with synovial sarcoma last September 2017
Laura O’Neill lost her battle with synovial sarcoma last September 2017

She told her followers: “Before I was sick I thought cancer was just cancer, unfortunately I had to learn the hard way that there are thousands of different types of cancer out there. I was diagnosed with a Synovial Sarcoma, one of the rarest forms of soft tissue cancer. Sure why would I want any old plain tumour anyways??”

She added: “Whenever I have down days I think of children that are going through this and I know if they can get through this then so can I.”

Jane, whom Laura described as her “other half” at parties and nights out, said that even when she was sick, she worried about her friends over herself.

“Laura’s diagnosis was quite unclear in the beginning because it’s such a rare disease. I always remember when she texted me to say that she had a tumour, she texted me to ask was I OK? That’s the type of person she was.”

“She was amazing.”

“She had her turban that she’d wear and she always kept her glam going.”

Jane added: “It was actually the week of her 22nd birthday that she found out that her cancer was incurable.”

Laura’s friends are now organising a fundraiser ball which will take place at Clontarf Castle on June 30.

It will be “a night representing everything Laura was, and what she loved,” her friends say.

Tickets for the Laura O’Neill Remembrance Ball go on sale Friday 6th April at 12pm priced at just €70 per person plus booking fee via Eventbrite.

, to help all children, between the ages of three months to 18 years in Ireland with cancer who need support with the costs associated with accessing treatment abroad

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