Wakefield veterinary nurse's dream to complete bucket list after terminal cancer diagnosis
Brave Laura Turnbull knows she is dying from cancer. She also knows she’s not going to go quietly.
The 32-year-old veterinary nurse has drawn up an ambitious bucket list of activities she wants to fulfil first.
These include trekking to Mount Everest’s base camp, running a marathon, working with penguins and doing up a camper van to travel through France and Italy with her dog.
Laura’s inspirational spirit and indomitable determination has encouraged colleagues at Paragon Veterinary Referrals, in Wakefield, to launch a GoFundMe account to help her make it all happen.
Laura, whose motto is ‘enjoy every moment’, said: “The support from everyone at Paragon has been fantastic and the GoFundMe account has already raised more than £5,000.
“Hopefully next March I can climb to Everest base camp and I definitely want to run a marathon.
“I had booked to do the Liverpool rock and roll marathon last May but it was cancelled due to coronavirus and deferred to next May, so hopefully I can do it then!
“I want to do up a camper van and travel to France and Italy with my dog and I really want to take my mum and sister on a nice holiday to Italy as they have suffered just as much, if not more than me, these past five years.
“I'd also love to see Bon Jovi live, watch a show on Broadway and take a ride in a hot air balloon.”
Laura was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and has since undergone a mastectomy, breast reconstruction and chemotherapy.
In March last year, she was given the heart-breaking news that the cancer had spread to her vertebrae and ribs, yet still Laura remains positive and focused on the future.
“My oncologist asked me if I wanted to know how long, but I said no because I do believe I have longer than they say," Laura said.
“The medics usually give a generic two to five years with secondary breast cancer but, as mine is only in my bones, I believe I have a lot longer.
"Of course I don't want to die, but we all will at some point, so at least I have time to accept it, right?
“And I’m still hopeful there will be new trials and new treatments to keep me going.
“I certainly don’t want this to be what defines me, however for the past five and a half years it has been a massive part of my life - so it is here, it is part of who I am now, and it hasn't all been bad!
“I have grown massively as a person and it has brought so many amazing people into my life and highlighted the good ones I already had. They are truly amazing and I am so lucky.
“My motto is the Hindi saying Har pal me zindangi, which loosely translated means enjoy every moment.
“I certainly try to appreciate everything and I am grateful for what I have.”
If you would like to help Laura achieve her dreams, visit her GoFundMe page.