STAFF and pupils at Forfar Academy are holding a fund-raising event in memory of Laura Forbes - the 16-year-old pupil who lost her brave battle against cancer earlier this month.
Following Laura’s funeral on Monday, it has emerged the school will repeat the major fund-raiser held last Easter at Murton Nature Reserve on the outskirts of Forfar, which was extremely well supported by the school and local community.
This event was held to help Laura in her fight against the illness which struck her down following a knee injury in a fall in May 2011 whilst the active teenager was taking part in a Duke of Edinburgh expedition.
This subsequently turned out to be the beginning of Laura’s long and courageous fight against cancer.
Mr Euan Gow, principal teacher of pupil care and support at Forfar Academy, explained the Murton event was such a huge success that is has been decided that it should become an annual event, raising money for cancer charities.
He told the “Dispatch and Herald “The event is going ahead again this year on Saturday, March 30, with one of the main charities to benefit being ‘Calum’s Cabin’, a respite cabin on the island of Bute which is maintained solely by charitable donations.
“Laura and her family spent a week there before Christmas and were due to go back there again soon. The school is fully supporting this fund-raising event again this year and look forward to a fun day in Laura’s memory which will hopefully raise money to support Calum’s Cabin and other worthy causes.”
In paying tribute to Laura’s fight against cancer, Mr Gow continued: “Laura bore her illness with such courage and determination, being a perfect example of how to deal with illness and adversity in a committed and positive way.
“We will all miss Laura dreadfully at Forfar Academy and she leaves the school a poorer place with her parting from it, yet a richer place for the happiness and friendship she shared with us during her all too short time here.”
He explained Laura had “touched the lives of so many” at the school and would “always be remembered as a young person of the highest quality in so many ways.”
Mr Gow stated Laura had fought her illness with a “ferocious spirit and keen determination.”
He continued: “In May of 2012, Laura showed this determination by successfully completing Standard Grades in English, biology and maths while in hospital in Aberdeen receiving chemotherapy.
“She continued her academic progress in the face of huge difficulties and ongoing challenges. This year Laura was intending to sit Highers in English, maths and biology, despite not being well enough to attend school. All of this work was carried out at home by Laura with help from tutors from the school.”
Laura was awarded the Frances Duncan Shield at last year’s school prize-giving, an award given to recognise a pupil overcoming personal difficulties to succeed at school. Unfortunately, Laura could not collect the trophy herself, but her Dad, Donald, gave an emotional and touching speech when accepting the award on her behalf.
Laura’s last visit to school was in December of last year when she joined her classmates at the senior dance where she a wonderful evening with her friends in the lead up to Christmas.