Harry Potter and board game fan Lauren has been in remission since 2019. She is now 18, loves travel and music and enjoying life!

“On July 3rd 2018 my life changed. After 10 days in hospital, I was diagnosed with stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma. Doctors told me I had a tumour on my adrenal gland and the cancer had spread to my bones and bone marrow. I felt frightened and upset about what this meant. The doctor told me my treatment would last for a whole year. I would not be able to go to school and see my friends, I was so sad I didn’t understand how this could happen."


Lauren’s story 

Lauren was diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma in July 2018. She began chemotherapy within days of her diagnosis. During the first 80 days she had eight cycles of chemotherapy with extremely tough side-effects. She then had a seven-hour surgery to remove the primary tumour. This was followed by high-dose chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant involving 21 days in an isolation room. Lauren completed 14 days of radiotherapy.


During treatment, Lauren recovered from sepsis and endured numerous blood transfusions, general anaesthetics, nose tube insertions, injections, antibiotics to fight infections and medications for pain relief. She also had severe nerve pain in her foot, which resulted in her using a wheelchair. 

Despite the pain, Lauren went through the highs and lows of this tough regime with great humour and positivity. Her parents, Garrett and Mary Clare, along with her sister and two brothers, have supported her every step of the way. With her mobile phone close at hand, she can hear and read first-hand the support from her extended family, friends, neighbours and her community. 

Lauren has spent many hours reading and re-reading her favourite Harry Potter books. She describes herself as a “huge Lego fan” and this has helped her to get through the difficult days. “During my intensive treatment I spent hours building thousands of pieces of Lego and at the same time trying to stop my old cat, Hero from eating them!” she says. 

Lauren’s family launched an appeal with Solving Kids’ Cancer UK to raise £234,000 to potentially give her the best chance of living cancer-free. Your support allowed Lauren to start the bivalent vaccine clinical trial at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York in October 2019.  

Lauren completed the vaccine in 2020, remains clear of disease and enjoys reading, travelling and playing Dungeons & Dragons. Lauren was previously a member of the STARboard advisory team for Make-A-Wish representing Northern Ireland. Her dad, Garrett, continues to support the charity as a member of our Parent Involvement Forum.

Solving Kids' Cancer UK's children's fundraising campaigns 

Lauren's fundraising campaign for access to treatment raised £289,008 before it was closed. Funds raised through a child's fundraising campaign are spent on their treatment and pastoral needs. Any remaining funds, and all funds raised after five years post the end of the child's treatment, are used to support other children and families through Solving Kids' Cancer UK's activities.