Laura Nuttall, 'fierce and tenacious' campaigner supported by Peter Kay, dies of brain cancer aged 23

22 May 2023, 13:23

Laura Nuttall has died
Laura Nuttall has died. Picture: The Brain Tumour Charity/Alamy

By Kit Heren

A campaigner who Peter Kay came out of retirement to support has died of brain cancer aged 23.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Laura Nuttall, who ticked off a "bucket list" of ambitions after her cancer diagnosis in 2018, said at the time that she had "chosen to do something about it and stay positive".

She was first given just 12 months to live after the glioblastoma diagnosis, which came in her first year of an international relations degree at University College, London.

She underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy and went back to university in Manchester, graduating with a 2:1 last summer.

Speaking at her graduation, Laura said: 'If someone tells me I can't do something, it makes me even more determined to do it and prove them wrong – my family knows that all too well.

Listen and subscribe to Unprecedented: Inside Downing Street on Global Player

Laura Nuttall (left) with her mum Nicola and dad Mark
Laura Nuttall (left) with her mum Nicola and dad Mark. Picture: Alamy

"So when a doctor told me that I wouldn't be able to go back to university, I thought, 'we'll see about that' and it made me want to do my degree even more. Now here we are."

Laura also worked as an ambassador for the Brain Tumour Charity and had several "bucket list" experiences - including sitting in the driving seat of a train, and meeting the Obamas and Gillian Anderson.

Peter Kay was even coaxed out of retirement to join her family's efforts, hosting a Q&A on glioblastomas.

Paying tribute to the 23-year-old on Twitter after she died, her mother Nicola Nuttall said Laura had been "fierce and tenacious to the end".

Laura Nuttall was an ambassador for the Brain Tumour Charity
Laura Nuttall was an ambassador for the Brain Tumour Charity. Picture: Alamy

"I'm heartbroken to share the news that we lost our beautiful Laura in the early hours of this morning," she said.

She said it had "truly" been the "honour of my life to be her mum".

"We are devastated at the thought of life without our girl," she added.

"She was a force of nature."

Jack Morris, Chair of Trustees at The Brain Tumour Charity, said that the group was "saddened" and "so very sorry" at the news.

Laura took on a bucket list after her diagnosis
Laura took on a bucket list after her diagnosis. Picture: The Brain Tumour Charity

He added: "Since her diagnosis in 2018, Laura was steadfast in her determination to share her story to raise vital awareness of glioblastomas, their devastating impact and the need for greater investment in research.

"We were so honoured to work with her to raise awareness, including as she became one of our incredible Young Ambassadors in 2019, a role in which she touched the hearts and minds of so many, reaching out to offer comfort and hope to others going through similar diagnoses.

"In the face of such an impossibly difficult diagnosis at such a young age, Laura carried herself with so much grit and compassion – so often with a beaming smile.

Laura underwent operations, as well as several rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy
Laura underwent operations, as well as several rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Picture: Handout

"Her determination to live life to the full never failed to inspire everyone she met, whether in going back to university to complete her degree, coaxing Peter Kay out of retirement or achieving her incredible bucket list goals to present a BBC weather forecast, meet Michelle Obama and Dame Deborah James or drive a 650-ton crane.

Read more: Peter Kay moved to tears by standing ovation as he opens first tour in 12 years

Read more: 'Stylist supreme': Tributes pour in to Martin Amis following famed British novelist's death aged 73

"We are so proud of her and everything she achieved, and so honoured to have been able to call her a much-adored friend and ambassador of The Brain Tumour Charity. She was such an inspiration to so many.

"Her loss is a fierce reminder of why we must move further, faster every day in driving progress to defeat brain tumours, so that other families do not have to endure this kind of heartbreak in the future."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Donald Trump has been rushed off stage at a rally in Pennsylvania with blood streaming down his face after gunshots were heard at the event.

One killed and shooter dead after gunman fires at Donald Trump during rally leaving former president bloodied

American XL bully

Police raid suspected XL Bully farm and arrest man as 13 dogs seized inside house with children

Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer has told the England team that they have "made the country proud" before their crunch Euros final against Spain on Sunday.

'Bring it home': Keir Starmer sends message to England team ahead of showpiece Euros final against Spain

spanhoe airfield near corby main runway

Pilot killed in plane crash at former RAF airfield near Corby as police urge witnesses to come forward

A child is dead and five people have been injured after a house fire in East Ham, London.

Child dead after deadly blaze that injured five which gutted east London home and needed 40 firefighters to tackle

Daniel Halliday went missing while playing in the water with his brother on June 30.

Body found in the sea confirmed to be 14-year-old Daniel Halliday who was swept away in River Mersey on June 30

A Scottish council has come under fire for handing almost 2,000 penalties in the first 11 days of its low emission zone

Scottish council under fire after handing out 2,000 fines in first 11 days of new low emission zone

Graziano Di Prima has broken his silence

Strictly Come Dancing pro Graziano Di Prima breaks silence after being 'sacked' following misconduct claims

Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer Graziano Di Prima has been sacked by the BBC

Strictly Come Dancing pro 'sacked' after claims of gross misconduct towards former partner Zara McDermott

Prince William will be at the game on Sunday

‘Just one last push’: Prince William’s message to the England team ahead of Euro 2024 final against Spain

The family of the three women who were killed in a crossbow attack have said they are "devastated"

‘We are devastated’, John Hunt and surviving daughter say, after his wife and two daughters killed in crossbow attack

At least 71 Palestinians have been killed in an Israeli air strike

‘Dozens killed in air strike on Gaza humanitarian zone’ as Israel says it was targeting Hamas leaders

The Princess of Wales is set to attend the Wimbledon Men's final

Princess of Wales to attend Wimbledon men's singles final in second public appearance since cancer diagnosis

Comedian John Bishop has divided fans after announcing he will be changing the time of his gig on Sunday

Wireless Festival and Comedian John Bishop spark controversy after changing set times for England's Euro 2024 final

Joe Biden has insisted he is staying in the race

Democrat donors ‘withhold $90m unless Biden stands down’ as Obama and Pelosi ‘oppose President’s re-election bid’

Two suitcases with human remains inside were found in Bristol

Armed police arrest man, 34, at train station following discovery of human remains in Bristol and west London