Willow blog

Lara’s Special Legacy

September 9, 2015

It’s Remember a Charity Week and we wanted to share one very special lady’s story. Read more about Lara’s legacy:

When Lara’s friend was diagnosed with breast cancer, she encouraged her friends to get themselves checked. It was the result of this screening that uncovered Lara’s breast cancer which, with no symptoms at all, was already at an advanced stage. She was 38.

A fiercely independent young woman, Lara lived a very full life, travelling and working in South and Central America. Two years after returning to London came the diagnosis. She was thrown in to a life of aggressive treatment – surgeries, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The hospital routine was relentless. She continued to work for six months until her symptoms took over and made it impossible. The cancer had now spread to her bones. Alternative therapies alongside the conventional treatment, Lara tried countless alternative therapies. This gave her a much needed break from the invasive treatment and endless appointments.

Lara also experienced her own Willow Special Day – an overnight stay, theatre and a meal in London with her good friend Hannah, also living with breast cancer.

“The distraction from illness and a chance to laugh was enormously therapeutic, bringing some joy to an otherwise very difficult time. Lara and I talked a lot about that day. It now has a special poignancy for me because it helps me remember Lara being happy and enjoying herself.” Hannah. 

As Lara’s condition deteriorated, she made plans for the end of her life. Ever organised and independent, Lara arranged her funeral and even a party at her flat after she’d died. 

Lara sadly passed away aged 40, two years after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Testament to the positive impact of her Special Day, Lara left a donation to Willow in her Will. Lara’s father Roy, told us about his daughter’s illness, her strength of character and her wishes. Her family knew how much the charities who supported her during her illness had meant to Lara. 

Thanks to Lara’s legacy, Special Days will continue to touch the lives of those who need it most.

Every year 14,000 young adults are diagnosed with a serious illness. With your help Willow aims to be able to offer a Special Day for each and every one of them.

Find out more