Louby's Lifeline

A bright, strong-willed 17 year old, Louby's life suddenly changed on the 16th April 2011. Louby collapsed at work and was taken to York General where she had an MRI scan. The results revealed two Ependymoma tumours in Lou’s brain stem.

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February 2012 was the month that held the most emotions for everyone who knew and loved Laura Robertson Tierney - Louby. Firstly, at the beginning of the month Lou was told that the tumours in her brain had become aggressive and there were no further treatment options, she was given 12 weeks to live.

With bravery and determination Lou focussed on her forthcoming Birthday party. She turned 18 on 7th February and had an amazing 18th Birthday party on 11th February, the excitement continued when she became engaged to her wonderful boyfriend, Jaden Thorpe on Valentine's Day.

Louby's health continued to deteriorate, and mum Emma desperately wanted a beautiful garden for Lou to look out onto as she became weaker. BTRS helped Emma to organise a groundforce day, and the garden was transformed over the weekend of 25th February, and was completed on Tuesday 28th when the curtains were opened and Louby saw her lovely garden for the first time. Her health deteriorated overnight, and so desperately sadly, Louby died in her mum's arms 15.15 on Wednesday 29th February 2012.
Louby was an amazing, beautiful, strong young woman, supported by an incredible group of family and friends who continue to support one another, living through the most difficult and devastating of times.

To date there has been a fantastic amount of fundraising which has contributed to Louby’s Lifeline raising over £17000.00!

On 11/11/11 at 1100 Louby was discharged from hospital!

What an amazing day and time that has followed. We still have a long way to go, with regular physiotherapy and other hospital visits but at least can do this from the comfort of our home in Malton.

Fundraising is going fantastically well with some amazing people organising events for Louby's Lifeline and brain Tumour Research and Support across Yorkshire, we are now well over £5,000. Plans are coming along nicely for Louby's 18th Birthday celebrations in February, with support from Ellie's Fund brain tumour trust.

We have had some great articles and support from the Malton Gazette and Herald too!

This is one long, tough road, but we are getting there!
Louby's Story

A bright, strong-willed 17 year old, studying English Literature, accounting and psychology at Norton college sixth form where she loved to socialise with her friends (a little more than she should do at times!) and always the last one talking when asked to be quiet! After completing a hard year at college she wanted to start all over again and study health and social studies at Scarborough to then go onto university to become a primary school teacher.

She lives with me (mums) and of course our adorable family cat, Coco Chanel.

Bubbly, humorous and always making people laugh - there was never a dull moment in Louby’s life. Even in her sleep I caught her and Amber her best friend, chattering away to each other. There was no stopping them when they were together and no matter what has happened, they are still like that. INSEPERABLE!

On the 10th of October 2010 Lou started going out with her long term friend Jaden who has stuck by her through her illness and been there when she needed him the most.

She also met Cheryl, her other "best friend to be" at Norton college. She managed to keep her in-line in most lessons and Cheryl has been another star when she decided to kick off our fundraising.

Lou has always been very sporty and enjoys trying out new things. She was the first girl to join the Woodleigh school football team. She enjoyed a school skiing trip in April 2010, was part of the tag rugby team and the school hockey captain for three years as well as a keen netball player - there was nothing Louby wouldn’t try!

Outside college, Lou was always on the go - working and her busy social life. She enjoyed her job at the local Italian restaurant where she began learning the lingo as well joining her friends and doing what she did best – socialising.

Suddenly, on the 16th April 2011, our lives changed dramatically. Louby collapsed at work and was taken to York General where she had an MRI scan. The results revealed two Ependymoma tumours in Lou’s brain stem.

Upon diagnosis, Lou was asked to be a living donor for Brain Tumour Research and agreed to donate her tumours.

Louby was then transferred to the Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) Neurosurgical unit for surgery. Following the operation it was decided a second op was needed, her scans were sent around the world and surgeons in Toronto, Canada put forward an operation plan to Leeds Neurosurgeon, Paul Chumas. Paul pulled together a team of five surgeons and led them through the 18 ½ hour operation. Lou came through, but was on a ventilator and had paralysis down the left side of her body, and right side of her face.

In the coming weeks, Lou developed two strains of meningitis and had to have a tracheotomy fitted. Slowly the feeling to her left hand side began to return. Lou then had six weeks to prepare to transfer from the LGI to St James Institute of Oncology for a daily six and a half week course of radiotherapy treating her spinal column and brain.

Lou’s determination has made her fight everyday to continue with her rehabilitation and recovery from surgery whilst coping with radiotherapy treatment. Every day holds a new challenge and every day is a struggle.

The side effects from the therapy have a huge impact, it will be a long road to recovery and the journey is only just beginning.
Louby wanted to do something positive and decided to work with her surgeon's charity, Brain Tumour Research and Support across Yorkshire. We have set up a fund called Louby's Lifeline to fund research and support others who find themselves in a similar situation. We realise that brain tumours happen to anyone, at any age and literally stop you in your tracks. Research is poorly funded with less than 1% of funds raised for research into cancer are devoted to brain cancer.

Louby's friends and family have been amazing, supporting us both, and organising some brilliant fundraising and awareness events. We are both very touched and grateful for their support.

We cannot thank the staff at the LGI and Jimmy's enough; they have all been so wonderful and a true credit to their professions, without them neither of us would be where we are today.

This is a devastating disease that affects every part of you. As a mother watching her child go through this ordeal is agonising. We pray for a treatment to be found that is less punishing and aggressive, that will contain the tumours and let Louby get on with living the life she had, and the one she deserves.

Written by Emma Robertson-Tierney, Louby's Mum

All you have to do is text the Louby's Lifeline code (LOUB01) along with your donation amount to 70070. For example, to donate £10 to Louby's Lifeline, you would send the text "LOUB01 10" to the number "70070".

Please note: Donations can only be in the amount of £1, £2, £3, £4, £5, and £10. This donation amount will then be charged to your phone bill as usual (or deducted from your pay as you go credit). To claim Gift Aid on your donation just follow the instructions in the reply text from JustTextGiving.
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