'Give children the gift of life for Laura – get the HPV vaccine': Laura Brennan's 'message to Santa' nine months after tragic death
Brave Laura Brennan’s fighting spirit has been invoked in a life-saving “message to Santa” nine months after her tragic death at the age of 26.
Throughout her battle with cancer, the Clare woman became a familiar face as she campaigned tirelessly to promote the HPV vaccine.
Her aim was to encourage parents across the country to avail of the free service – which she believed would have saved her life if it had been available to her when she was a teenager.
One of the most powerful parts of her campaign was a video in which she promoted the need for the vaccine.
Extraordinarily courageous and positive throughout her ordeal, Laura is desperately missed by her parents, brothers, wider family and friends.
And now, as they face the first Christmas without her, uncle Nicholas has composed a Christmas message to us all in an imagined letter from Laura to Santa Claus.
In it, he imagines her telling Santa: “The HPV vaccine can and will save lives and save people from being in my position. So if I have to scream and shout about it forever, I will continue to do that.”
Asked what he would say to Laura now, Nicky said: “I have watched your passionate appeal in your HPV vaccine video many times.
“I could never watch it in the company of others because I shed many tears for you, the compassion of your feelings for other young people and for the love you share with your family. And each time I listen, you have a different message for those you love.
“We have seen your courage, strength and love for your mam and dad – Bernie and Larry – your wonderful brothers and the friends who still call in to your home from time to time.
“There are many great people who have come on board to help make your wish come true and bring your cause to a new momentous level.
“There are too many to name and mention individually but may I offer a big thank you to everyone who gave a great deal of time and effort to assist the family during this short but very active time. As you know, I celebrate a special birthday (on Christmas Day) but I hope everyone enjoys wonderful gifts, especially the ones we cannot see.
“Some of these which you, Laura share with us every day – strength, courage, kindness and love to help us make it through this time of the year.
“Hope you are happy and will continue to motivate us to reach the goals you set.”
Nicky, recently honoured for 50 years of volunteering in youth services, added: “The HPV vaccine can save lives – so give the gift of life to your children this Christmas.
“Now all that is left for me to do is to ask you all out there this Christmas to raise your glasses on behalf of Laura and her family to celebrate her life and all she has done for us all to date.”
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