Family give back to place 'brave and determined' Laura spent her final moments

24th September 2021

The family of a caring and determined teenager who was dedicated to helping others are giving back to the place they spent their heartbreaking final moments together.

The family of a caring and determined teenager who was dedicated to helping others are giving back to the place they spent their heartbreaking final moments together.

Laura Powell and her family’s lives were turned upside down in 2014 when they were given the devastating news that she had a malignant brain tumour. Over the next five years, courageous Laura inspired countless others with her YouTube videos about living with cancer as well as raising funds for various charities.

But in 2019, the family received the news they’d feared the most, discovering her tumour had returned and there was nothing doctors could do. Laura was just 14 years old when she passed away.

The family spent their final days together at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, and now Laura’s grandma Carol Connelly has donated 1,000 beautiful ‘Bluebell & Bee’ greetings cards in her memory to help the charity raise funds. The cards are on sale in Bluebell Wood’s online shop here https://www.bluebellwood.org/shop/bluebell-and-bee-note-cards

Laura’s mum Annette Powell, from Doncaster, says the family will always be grateful for the time they spent together at Bluebell Wood.

“Laura was such a determined girl and she really cared about people a lot,” she said.

“Despite everything she went through, she always tried to make the best of things and help others.

“Being at Bluebell Wood at the end gave us the chance to spend quality time together that we wouldn’t have otherwise had. We didn’t have to worry about anything else – our meals were cooked for us, family could visit and the nurses helped looked after Laura. Everything was taken care of for us.

“After years of also being carers, that time at Bluebell Wood meant we could just be mum and dad.”

Laura’s dad Mark Powell said that while he was initially hesitant to take Laura to Bluebell Wood, he would recommend it to anyone in similar circumstances.

“Bluebell Wood was invaluable to us. Everyone is so friendly, warm and welcoming and nothing was ever too much trouble.

“It made such a massive difference at that stage of her life. There was always lots for Laura’s brother and sister to do and everything was just taken care of for us.

“All we wanted to do was spend as much time as possible together and Bluebell Wood gave us that opportunity.”

Within weeks of being diagnosed with a brain tumour when she was just nine years old, Laura began fundraising for a variety of charities. A gruelling 16-month course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy followed her diagnosis, with Laura eventually stable enough to return to school and excel in many subjects.

Even after her tumour returned in 2019, Laura still found the strength and courage to support others by starting her own YouTube vlog ‘Big C Little Warrior’ where she shared tips and advice to help other cancer patients. Her legacy lives on and Big C Little Warrior is now a charity offering gift bags and support to people affected by cancer in Sheffield and Doncaster.

As part of their fundraising efforts, Big C Little Warrior produce and sell a range of greetings cards – and 1,000 cards with a stunning bluebell design have been donated to the hospice. Each pack sold will help the charity be there for families like Laura’s.

Madeline Oldale, Head of Communications at Bluebell Wood, said: “It’s clear that Laura was a truly remarkable young woman who touched many lives and inspired countless others with her kindness and compassion. It was our privilege to be able to give Laura and her family that precious time at together the end of her life.

“We’d like to say a heartfelt thank you for their kind words and generosity which will help us be there for other local families facing the unimaginable devastation of losing a child.”

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