FRIENDS rallied round a teenage cancer sufferer last week by holding a concert in her honour to raise money for the hospital where she is being treated.
Pupils at Sir William Borlase’s School sixth form organised ‘Humour in My Tumour’ - a night of performances to help 17-year-old Lauren Shute, who is suffering from Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Friday’s show at the Borlase theatre attracted over 220 people, with over £2000 generated for the Teenage Cancer Unit at John Radcliffe’s Children's Hospital in Oxford.
Lauren’s best friend Laurie Herbert, who masterminded the concert, was determined to help raise money after hearing about the lack of facilities for teenagers on the ward.
She said: "Lauren always talks about her trips to hospital and the space available for whilst she is there.
"After being told multiple times that there were not enough chairs, or a big enough table, I thought I'd take the opportunity and ask Sir William Borlase's if they would let me use the theatre to put on a concert to raise money to develop the space.
"Lauren loved the idea and thought it would be a great way to spread awareness about cancer in teenagers."
Performances included opera singing, ballroom dancing from Borlase staff and the school gospel choir.
There was also a gig from popular Borlase sixth form band 2D Glasses, who got the crowd onto their feet and dancing in the aisles.
Lauren’s mum Julie praised the efforts of Lauren’s classmates for making the event happen.
She said: "It was such a celebration of talent from these amazing teenagers to help their friend and other young teenager cancer sufferers.
"It was just unbelievable what they did for her and luckily Lauren was well enough to go.
"Teenagers get such a bad rap, and to take it upon themselves to organise lovely concert, it was very emotional."
Lauren, who is too unwell to attend school but is studying towards her A Levels, has chosen to chart her battle against lymphatic cancer by recording a video blog which she posts on YouTube.
She dedicates the ‘Humour in my Tumour’ blog to anyone going through chemotherapy or anyone with loved ones receiving the treatment, adding that "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade".
Peter Holding, head teacher at Borlase, paid tribute to Lauren’s bravery and the work of her friends in supporting the year 12 pupil.
He said: "It was a fabulous event, the place was absolutely packed and their performances from members of the sixth form and from staff.
"It was a real community event and a real tribute to our community spirit and the strength of Lauren and how she has chosen to confront this very difficult reality."