Based in Northwich, Cheshire
Incredibly sadly, Laura died on 27th June 2021. It's her family's wish for her mission to continue - as a tribute and legacy for a beautiful young lady.
Hello. I’m Laura, 24, and I was born and raised in Northwich, Cheshire where I live with my mum Dawn and her partner, Steve. I have an older brother, Sam. Apart from being a bit late with the odd milestone as a baby, I was fine health-wise but as I got towards school age I increasingly bumped into things and my eyesight was found to be really poor. Severe optic nerve damage was identified as the problem, but no explanation for its cause. I also walked a little awkwardly which was put down to my sight restrictions.
As I got older, I struggled more and more physically. At the age of twelve I needed to start using a wheelchair occasionally for any extended walking, and gradually more and more. Loads of test were done to try to get to the bottom of my health issues but I remained what my Neurologist said was a ‘lovely mystery’!
Me and my family have always
got on with life around my disabilities.
After leaving education I enjoyed being an intern – with support – doing office and administration work. I loved keeping active and with the help of ‘Wheelies’, a fantastic charity based near us, went on several sailing adventures.
On the third trip in February 2018 to Cape Verdi I suddenly started having major seizures. This led to being in hospital for a whole six months before they were under control with medication, first abroad and then at home.
It was a very difficult and scary time
for us all during which I lost my sight
completely, practically overnight.
It also affected my speech and left me permanently in need of a wheelchair. The seizures took out a lot of strength on my left side, which is frustrating as I’m left-handed.
New blood tests finally established
that I have a form of mitochondrial disease.
It’s caused by a fault with the OPA 1 gene. The diagnosis brought me under the care of the specialist mito team in Oxford.
My passion now is listening to Radio 1. I have a broad taste in music from Rhianna (who I’ve been lucky enough to meet) to the Arctic Monkeys, Ed Sheeran, Gerry Cinnamon … to name just a few.
Thanks for reading my story.
1996 - 2021
I hope to raise
… by having my own ‘mito mission’ and telling my story.
I can help show how this condition has many variants which affect people in many different ways.
It’s wonderful to think
that one day there’ll be treatments.
Right now, it’s just about managing the symptoms.
Any help anyone can give to help us to raise awareness and funds for research with ‘Laura’s Mito Mission’ will be really appreciated.
It feels good to be a part –
of making a difference.
Laura's Mito Mission
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support Laura’s cause.
Whether you support Laura’s mission, any other single mission or My Mito Mission as a whole – it’s all the same great cause.
Spreading the word, following, sharing, as well as donating and raising funds are all really helpful and valued. From running a race to hosting a bake sale, homing a collecting can to giving out Laura’s Mito Mission leaflets – there are so many ways in which you can get involved.
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