Talking bucket lists with Laura and Nicola Nutall.
This week we talk to Laura and Nicola Nutall. Laura is 22 and is living with incurable brain cancer. When she was first diagnosed, in 2018, after being told she may have just 12 months to live, Laura wrote her ‘bucket list’. Top of this list was graduating from university. Over the last 4 years Laura has had 4 major brain surgeries alongside courses of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy. Right now, she doesn’t know what her future holds. But, despite this, amongst all the treatment and the uncertainty, she’s been ticking off an ever-growing bucket list of ambitions. She’s met Michelle Obama. She’s presented the BBC weather. While her diagnosis stops her driving on the roads, off the roads she has driven all kinds of vehicles including a London underground train and even commanded a Royal Navy warship. And perhaps biggest of all, this summer, she graduated from Manchester with a 2:1 in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Together, Nicola and Laura have been speaking publicly about Laura’s diagnosis. This isn’t something that comes naturally to Laura, but she feels passionately, that, using her voice to raise awareness of brain tumour symptoms and advocate for more funding for brain tumour research, is one way she can turn her diagnosis into something that can make a difference for others in the future. Just today, she has been given a special recognition award for the work she has done by the Brain Tumour Charity.
Laura and Nicola have a remarkable ability to find a silver lining to any adversity life throws at them. Despite everything she has and is going through, Laura still says she is lucky.
In this episode we discuss:
· Laura’s bucket list
· Balancing treatment with university
· The implications of a cancer diagnosis on friendships
· Travelling to Germany for treatment
· The challenges and benefits of speaking publicly about cancer
· The highs and lows of twitter for Nicola
· Their ambassadorial role for the Brain Tumour charity
Laura and Nicola epitomise the tag- line of this podcast. They’re ordinary people doing extraordinary things despite cancer and I dare you not to be inspired by them.