Forfar Academy pupils have organised a major fund-raising day which takes place this Sunday as a message of support for their class-mate, Laura Forbes, who is battling cancer.
The fourth years have been inspired by the teenager’s determination to continue to study for three Standard Grade exams, whilst under-going treatment at the Aberdeen Royal Children’s Hospital.
They are determined to show that, although Laura is not with them in the classroom, she is never far from their thoughts and that she is still part of the school community.
Laura, a clever, healthy, active and popular girl with a wide range of interests and activities, was diagnosed with bone cancer in her knee last September.
At that time she was a swimmer, was involved in many school trips and was a member of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.
Laura underwent chemotherapy and surgery before Christmas, following which she was informed that her chemotherapy had to continue for a further 30 weeks in order to allow her the best chance of beating this disease.
Laura’s positive outlook - she has chosen her subjects for fifth year - prompted her friends to organise ‘Laura’s Big Fun Event’ which will be held this Sunday at the Murton Nature Reserve from 10 am to 4 pm.
Euan Gow of Forfar Academy said: “Laura and her family have many friends within school, and throughout the wider community in Forfar. The school friends were anxious to do something to help Laura, and a variety of fund-raising activities were proposed. Her younger brother, Daniel, a pupil at Whitehills Primary School, suggested that he do a sponsored walk around Forfar Loch with some of his friends. This has grown into ‘Laura’s Big Fun Event.’
“Murton and Forfar Academy have very close links and they offered us the use of their nature trail for the sponsored walk. The trail is one mile long, and participants can walk round as many times as they wish. Murton have also opened their café for us, donating profits from the day. Murton’s farm, which is usually open to the pubic at a £3 charge, is also being opened free of charge.”
As well as the usual attraction of the farm; animals, assault course, trampolines, mini-tractor driving, giant jenga etc, Laura’s friends have organised lots of other activities which will take place at Murton during the day. A falconry display, ferret racing, cake and candy stall, duck racing, face painting, jewellery, tombola etc. will all be available on the day, run by pupils from Forfar Academy.
Mr Gow continued: “As the event has taken shape, lots of other people have volunteered to become involved. Mother Goose Playgroup in Lunanhead, which Daniel attended, are providing the face painting. A teacher at Forfar Academy has organised a 10km race at Murton just prior to the sponsored walk. There are up to 200 people expected to be taking part in this, with the £5 entry fee going towards Laura and her family. Tannadice Trophies have donated a cup for the winner
“Forfar Falcons, the swimming club in Forfar, have been distributing sponsor forms at their weekly sessions and hope to support this event.
“Sponsor forms have been distributed in Forfar Academy and Whitehills Primary. They are also available in Forfar Library. At the moment, there are around 250 people who have signed up for this walk, including many staff and pupils from each school. However, we are expecting the final number of participants to be even higher. We are also expecting a large number of visitors on the day to take part in the fun events.”
All money raised will go towards Laura’s on-going treatment and for her progress in the future.
Mr Gow concluded: “Laura has been visited in Aberdeen by friends from school and these visits have really helped to raise her spirits. At first she was a little unsure about this Big Fun Event, being a naturally shy and reserved girl, but is now fully behind the idea. Laura is hoping to be well enough to attend on the day.”
Laura’s Big Fun Event is taking place at Murton Nature Reserve this Sunday from 10 am until 4pm.
Murton is situated two miles outside Forfar on the Arbroath Road. If you would like to support this cause and attend the event, please consider car-sharing where possible as parking, while extensive, may become an issue on the day.
Sponsor forms are still available from Forfar Academy and Forfar Library, but if you cannot attend on Sunday and would like to make a donation, this can be done by contacting Euan Gow at Forfar Academy.