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Fundraising tribute to an inspiring volunteer from Larkfield

By Alan Smith

The memory of an inspiring 31-year-old is being kept alive with a charity ball in her name.

Despite being diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2014, selfless health worker Laura Clarke spent her remaining time giving advice and support to other cancer patients as a volunteer with Breast Cancer Kent, as well as arranging a dinner and dance which secured £5,000 for the organisation.

The cardiac physiologist, who worked at Maidstone Hospital and lived in Swallow Road, Larkfield, tragically lost her battle with breast cancer in October of that year.

Laura Clarke died from breast cancer
Laura Clarke died from breast cancer

Since then, the trustees have kept the event going in her name, and from humble beginnings the ball has become the main fundraiser for the organisation. Last year it earned £19,000 to help other women living with the disease.

This year Laura’s Ball will run at the Fairfax Hall at Leeds Castle, from 7pm on Saturday, October 7, and will be raising money for an initiative to help patients who have finished their treatment recover better, through the right nutrition, exercise and therapies.

There will be food, live music and magic, followed by an auction and raffle.

The committee members of Breast Cancer Kent said: “This is the biggest tribute we can pay to Laura.”

The charity is based at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells hospitals but also provides equipment and resources for the Kent Oncology Centre to benefit patients across the county.

Recently that has included the purchase of Digital Breast Tomosynthesis at Maidstone Hospital, which generates 3D mammograms allowing smaller tumours to be detected, especially in women with dense breast tissue, often in the younger age group.

At a cost of £150,000 per machine, the NHS was unable to afford the equipment. The charity has also funded the installation of specialist technology which protects the heart during radiotherapy.

Tables cost £600 for eight guests, with tickets from Helen Teare on helen@teare.eu. For more about the charity, visit breastcancerkent.org.uk

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