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Gorleston’s Lauren, 3, loses fight against brain tumour

PUBLISHED: 22:10 08 March 2012

Lauren McGeachen who was diagnosed with pnet cancer. (a rare brain cancer); (L TO R) Grandfather -  Anthony Hunt with Lauren McGeachen and her mother Claire.; Picture: James Bass

Lauren McGeachen who was diagnosed with pnet cancer. (a rare brain cancer); (L TO R) Grandfather - Anthony Hunt with Lauren McGeachen and her mother Claire.; Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

A GORLESTON three year old who loved balloons and was “tremendously happy” has lost her year-long fight against a rare brain tumour.

Lauren McGeachen’s family had hoped for a medical breakthrough to save the tot who was diagnosed following a spell of illness and rushed under a blue light to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, where doctors performed surgery within ten minutes.

Although the prognosis was bleak from the outset Lauren confounded medics by living twice as long as expected and remaining in fairly good health throughout enjoying books, music, her rocking horse and trampoline.

Her heartbroken grandfather, Anthony Hunt, chairman of a charity fund set up in her name, said: “She really did so well. They gave her a very limited span and she doubled it.

“They could not do anything at all for her apart from removing what they could of the tumour. In the end she was consumed by it and she just slipped away.”

Lauren died in the James Paget University Hospital on Tuesday just a few days after her condition suddenly deteriorated.

She was given oxygen to aid her breathing and some pain relief but fell asleep at lunchtime.

Mr Hunt said the family including Lauren’s parents Claire and Glenn McGeachen and her three sisters Hannah, 18, Rhiannon, 15 and Emily 10, of Selwyn Road were touched by the support and fundraising efforts of local people which had paid for specialist equipment and a buggy which had made Lauren’s life easier.

The fund still stood at £3000 which would continue to support good causes like Acorn House at Addenbrooke’s where the family were able to stay while Lauren was having surgery and cancer charity Clic Sargent.

Lauren’s body was back at home this week while plaster cast mementoes were taken of her little hands and feet.

Her cancer was extremely rare with no effective chemotherapy or radiotherapy and initially she was given just a few months to live.

After the surgery she had to wear a “scrum helmet” but coped much better than expected with the disease and did not suffer the steady loss of function doctors predicted.

“She was a super little girl and tremendously happy. We would just like to thank everybody who has helped,” Mr Hunt added speaking with both pride and deep sadness.

The funeral service will take place at Gorleston Crematorium on Friday March 23 at 11.20am.

The family are asking for donations to the Lauren McGeachen Fund instead of flowers and asking people to dress in bright clothing - reflecting the giggly character who was being laid to rest.

A balloon release is also planned at Gorleston beach in tribute to Lauren, which she would have loved.

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