Gorleston family rallies to help Lauren’s cancer battle
EVERY day is precious for little Lauren McGeachen's family and they are doing everything they can to give the brave three-year-old the best possible chance.
The youngster from Gorleston is fighting a rare brain tumour which doctors have said is terminal unless a medical breakthrough is found by specialists.
But Lauren's family are determined to stay positive, and to give her the best possible chance they have set up a special fund to help pay for any treatment that may become available and any specialist help she may need.
They say they have been touched by the kindness of people who have already helped them, and a further fundraiser is being held this weekend in Caister.
Lauren's grandfather Anthony Hunt, chairman of the fund, said: 'Lauren is a cracking little girl. She is a real fighter. '
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Lauren first became ill just before Christmas last year. She was twice diagnosed with gastroenteritis but when she was rushed to the James Paget Hospital in February, doctors found she had a brain tumour. She was transferred to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge where within 10 minutes of arriving she underwent a five-hour operation to remove most of the tumour.
Further tests revealed Lauren had PNET (primitive neuroectodermal tumour) cancer, an extremely rare condition for which Lauren's family were told there was no effective chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
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Mr Hunt, 61, who lives in Edinburgh Avenue, Gorleston, with his wife Heather, 59, said: 'All we can do is hope.
'Addenbrooke's have said there is nothing they can do at the moment, but we just hope and pray there will be some medical breakthrough.'
He said Lauren, who has to wear a special 'scrum helmet' because doctors had to remove part of her skull during the operation, is a little fighter.
'They told us she had a life expectancy of six months but that was back in February and she is still with us now,' he said. 'We have set up the fund hoping that in the not too distant future there will be some kind of breakthrough that can help Lauren.'
He spoke with pride of how Lauren is able to eat by herself and walk despite doctors previously saying they were unsure whether she would, and he spoke of how pleased the whole family – including Lauren's parents Claire and Glen McGeachen and her sisters Emily, 10, Rhiannon, 14, and Hannah, 17 – were to celebrate Lauren's third birthday in July.
'Luckily she does not really know anything about what is happening. She is just a fun little girl who likes to play.'
To donate to the Lauren McGeachen Fund, a registered charity, email Mr Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Mr Hunt on 07973 746575.
A charity fishing event, organised with the help of Eastern Anglers, is being held this Sunday to raise funds for Lauren. The draw for the match is at the Centurion Pub in Caister from 8am. The match, until 3pm, is at Second Avenue Beach, Caister. Afterwards angler John Wilson will present the prizes at the Centurion. To register call Karl Barnard on 07979 684642.