10.08.2021

Crane driving wish comes true

Laura Nuttall, 21, has terminal brain cancer and thanks to Ainscough Crane Hire she has been able to tick off operating a crane from her ‘bucket list’.
Learning to operate a big crane

Diagnosed with glioblastoma - an aggressive brain tumour for which there is currently no cure or effective treatment - 21 year old Laura Nuttall set about making some of her dreams come true. She was diagnosed with her illness back in 2018, after having suffered with serious headaches soon after starting university. After her diagnosis, she was told that she had around a year to live. Only 25 percent of patients with her type of tumour live for more than 12 months and a mere five percent percent survive beyond five years.

Laura’s treatment since her diagnosis has included a craniotomy to remove the largest tumour, followed by a gruelling course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Her parents then discovered an innovative new immunotherapy treatment currently only available in Germany. With the help of family, friends and strangers via a GoFundMe page, her parents were able to take her to Cologne every month for treatment. Amazingly her immune system responded to treatment.
Laura Nuttall helping raise funds for the Brain Tumour Charity shortly after he craniotomy

With her improving health she was able to go back to university and, two and a half years later, she remains healthy and free of symptoms. However, a routine MRI scan has revealed regrowth on the site of the original tumour with Laura undergoing more surgery at the end of March. If all goes well, she will have two further dendritic cell vaccinations and a course of a checkpoint inhibitor called Pembrolizumab, none of which is available on the UK's publicly funded National Health Service. The treatment will cost around £80,000. As well as raising funds to help pay for it she is raising money as an ambassador for the Brain Tumour Charity.

Knowing that her long term prognosis is questionable, at best, Laura drew up a ‘bucket list’ of things that she wanted to achieve during her lifetime. The list included operating a crane, along with seeing Paul McCartney in concert, meeting Michelle Obama, going on safari and visiting New York and the Heinz baked beans factory in Wigan. Her campaign also inspired actor and comedian Peter Kay to host two live events at the Manchester Apollo, to raise funds for Laura and her charity, the first time Kay has appeared in public since 2017.
Laura at the controls

And as far as her crane driving wish, Wigan based Ainscough Crane Hire was more than happy to oblige and organised a VIP visit to its premises. This visit included operating a 600 tonne Demag CC2800 lattice boom crawler crane, including lifting and slewing a 10 tonne load, and tracking the beast of a machine across the test pad.

On leaving the cab she said: “After I was diagnosed with brain cancer, I had to give up my driving license, so I decided I would try to drive everything and anything I could. I've already driven mainstream things like buses and HGVs, but then I thought I would see if I could operate a crane.”
Crane operators Mark Middleton (L) Andy Walls and Laura Nuttall

Laura is still raising funds for her treatment and the charity, her GoFundMe page is:
www.gofundme.com/f/doing-it-for-laura-2021

She also appeared this week on UK TV show This Morning in the past week, you can see a video clip below.

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