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14th Apr 2018

Clare woman’s attitude to her incurable cervical cancer is so, so inspiring

Jade Hayden

This Clare woman’s attitude to having incurable cervical cancer is so inspiring.

Laura Brennan was diagnosed with cervical cancer for the second time recently.

The 25-year-old said that when she was told she could have between two and five years to live, she “didn’t really have any real emotion.”

“(The doctor) said ‘Laura, do you know what this means?’ And I said ‘I do, doctor.’ And he goes ‘What does it mean?’ and I said ‘It’s no longer curable.’

“And he said ‘How do you feel about that, are you upset?’ and I said ‘Doctor, there’s people who leave their houses every morning in their car and without any warning their life is taken.

“Children are dying of cancer every day. I have cancer here today – what reason do I have to be upset?'”

Laura said after she got a second opinion, she asked whether it was possible to know her life expectancy.

The doctor said that it wasn’t because “everybody’s body is different” but that due to Laura’s good health, she could live another five years.

“I’m not counting down the days, I don’t feel like there’s a ticking bomb.

“Nobody knows what’s going to happen to them on any given day, nobody knows what could come out in the future, what future cancer treatment is going to come out.

“I’m not throwing in the towel. Even though I have incurable cancer, I’m not throwing in the towel and going up to bed bawling my eyes out.

“I’ve a life to live and craic to be had and that’s what I’m going to do.”

An advocate for the HPV vaccine, Laura said that she got behind the campaign because she doesn’t want any more women to be in pain.

She said: “I don’t want any mother or father, sister or brother, friends or family to lose someone from such a horrible illness. Cervical cancer, thanks to the screening programme and thanks to the HPV vaccine is now preventable.”

The 25-year-old also said that she understands why some parents are “scared” of the vaccine, but that educating themselves about the vaccine is necessary.

“It’s natural to be scared of things,” she said. “I’d be scared of things if I didn’t have all the information.

“I’d urge parents to go onto reputable websites like, watch the video, and all the facts are there.”

You can find out more about cervical cancer and HPV vaccine here.