Celebrations after big ‘C’

Laura Slack, of Raikes Parade in Blackpool, who will combine a celebration night for her all-clear from cervical cancer with a fundraising evening for the Macmillan cancer charity, which supported her throughout her treatment.'Ashleigh, one of Laura's six sisters who all helped her through the illness,  adjusts her sister's Macmillan sash.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'24-11-2013
Laura Slack, of Raikes Parade in Blackpool, who will combine a celebration night for her all-clear from cervical cancer with a fundraising evening for the Macmillan cancer charity, which supported her throughout her treatment.'Ashleigh, one of Laura's six sisters who all helped her through the illness, adjusts her sister's Macmillan sash. PIC BY ROB LOCK'24-11-2013
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When Laura Slack went for her first ever smear test in July at the age of 25, she never expected the news she was given next.

Laura, currently studying for a nursing degree, was given a devastating diagnosis after the routine appointment.

She had cervical cancer.

The condition had been picked up early, doctors were able to successfully operate and in September she was given the all-clear.

It was a massive shock for the central Blackpool resident, especially with her being so young.

And she was so impressed with the care and help she received from the Macmillan nurses, she is now determined to raise money for them.

Laura has organised a big party, with her family and friends on Friday, to celebrate the success of her treatment and to help the charity.

She said: “It was a massive shock when I was given the news.

“It was my first smear test and at my age, you don’t expect that.

“It was just under a grade two cancer and it was caught at an early stage.

“Luckily, the surgery was successful and it was a type of surgery where I can still have children.

“I just thought of friends of mine who have had breast cancer, family members who have had other forms of cancer at a further stage than mine was and I thought: ‘If they can get through it, then so can I.’

“I was so impressed with the Macmillan nurses. They were amazing.

“The support they give is first-class.

“They inspired me to want to specialise in that side when I qualify as a nurse.

“The party at the Crystal Bar on Friday is to celebrate me getting the all-clear, to thank everyone who has been there for me – my sisters have been fantastic support – but also to raise funds for a good cause.

“We have got some great raffle prizes.

“There will be live music, it’s about having fun and helping Macmillan. Everyone has been so supportive and really generous.”

Laura also hopes her event and sharing her story will help raise awareness of cervical cancer.

More than 3,000 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed each year in the UK. It most commonly affects women aged 30 to 45 and is rare in under 25s.

Laura said: “It really does show how important attending your appointment is when you are called for a smear.

“I knew about them because my mum has never shied away from the subject.

“Now all my friends make sure they attend when invited.

“I think cervical cancer isn’t a subject people generally talk about, but it’s so important women and girls are aware.

“People generally do associate it with Jade Goody and mention her as soon as you talk about it. And she did raise awareness by talking publicly about it, but I think that’s fizzled out now.

“The earlier anything is picked up, the better.”

To support Laura, click www.justgiving.com/laura-slack