Woman beat cancer - and is now a nurse at the hospital which helped her

Laura Bengree

Laura Bengree

First published in News

A woman who survived a rare cancer as a teenager was so impressed by the care she received that she became a nurse – and now works with staff at the hospital that treated her.

Laura Bengree, 27, is a paediatric community nurse and her job takes her into contact with families of other children who have cancer.

And her role also takes her back into Southampton General Hospital’s Piam Brown ward – where she was cared for her when she went through treatment.

Laura, from Hedge End, was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma aged 14 when a lump on her jaw, which doctors initially thought was a swollen gland, kept growing.

She faced two years of gruelling treatment, although her recovery was not guaranteed because the type of cancer she had was so rare.

But Laura, who is now married to James and has a son, Charlie, aged 3, battled on and she went into remission before being given the all clear in 2008.

Laura said: “At the time it was a very difficult experience having cancer, but at 14 I didn’t understand the risks.

“I was more upset about losing my hair because of the treatment. The staff at Piam Brown ward made the experience a lot better. In fact my experience there helped me decide to take my nurse training. Before that I wanted to be an air stewardess.”

Laura added: “It is wonderful to go back into Piam Brown ward as a nurse knowing that now I am helping others like me.” Laura’s dad, Steve, died of the disease, aged 57, around 18 months ago and her mum, Jayne, 51, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer just before he died.

She is now on a clinical trial at London’s Royal Marsden Hospital. A recent scan indicated she was responding well to the new treatment.

“My entire family want to do what they can to fight cancer. My husband and brother raised over £8,000 for research by cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats and my mum, my four sisters and I did Race for Life recently in Dorchester.”

She added: “I am hoping that sharing my story will inspire others to enter Race for Life at Southampton and raise money for this very good cause”.

Race for Life is taking place at Southampton Common on Sunday, July 8.

• To join Hampshire versus cancer, enter Race for Life 5k or 10k at raceforlife.org or call 0871 641 1111.

Comments (7)

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4:52pm Wed 27 Jun 12

chunky_lover says...

Cool. Let's get everyone avoiding cancer promoting foods and go from there! :-)
Cool. Let's get everyone avoiding cancer promoting foods and go from there! :-) chunky_lover
  • Score: 0

4:52pm Wed 27 Jun 12

richieroo says...

Good luck to her. It's a nice change to read a news story with a happy ending!. :-)
Good luck to her. It's a nice change to read a news story with a happy ending!. :-) richieroo
  • Score: 0

5:04pm Wed 27 Jun 12

Waiting says...

Good to read this story, especially when the headline below reads "girl of 15 charged with theft" two differing life outcomes I think !
Good to read this story, especially when the headline below reads "girl of 15 charged with theft" two differing life outcomes I think ! Waiting
  • Score: 0

5:20pm Wed 27 Jun 12

opera phantom says...

Good on you Laura.
I beat the awful thing as well, some years back. I know just how you feel. Give my warmest regards to your Mum. I wish her well
Good on you Laura. I beat the awful thing as well, some years back. I know just how you feel. Give my warmest regards to your Mum. I wish her well opera phantom
  • Score: 0

6:21pm Wed 27 Jun 12

chunky_lover says...

Remember that prevention is always the best course.
Remember that prevention is always the best course. chunky_lover
  • Score: 0

11:18pm Wed 27 Jun 12

popester says...

Our son was diagnosed with cancer on the 19th, we visited this ward last friday and today.
I cannot commend the staff enough. They are an absolute joy to know. our son had to have a Cannula (line) put into his hand or anywhere they could find a vein. He hates needles and of course being diagnosed recently has made him very anxious. Even though they have a time scale to work through because of MRI scans etc which have been booked. they take their time and put the patient (our son) at ease. The Piam Brown ward team have been excellent, we have been advised that our treatment will now be in london, however our 11 yr old son said he will be sad to leave Piam Brown. That indeed is a testament to the care they give. A big thank-you to all at Piam Brown
Our son was diagnosed with cancer on the 19th, we visited this ward last friday and today. I cannot commend the staff enough. They are an absolute joy to know. our son had to have a Cannula (line) put into his hand or anywhere they could find a vein. He hates needles and of course being diagnosed recently has made him very anxious. Even though they have a time scale to work through because of MRI scans etc which have been booked. they take their time and put the patient (our son) at ease. The Piam Brown ward team have been excellent, we have been advised that our treatment will now be in london, however our 11 yr old son said he will be sad to leave Piam Brown. That indeed is a testament to the care they give. A big thank-you to all at Piam Brown popester
  • Score: 0

7:50am Thu 28 Jun 12

AmandaW says...

This is a heart-warming story. I work for NHS Blood and Transplant in Southampton and as you may have read in the Echo, we need to help build blood stocks in time for the Olympics. Blood products are used to treat patients with cancer so if you are moved by Laura's story, please consider becoming a blood donor by calling 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.blood.co.uk to find your nearest session. I would love Laura or anyone else who has received blood to get in touch with me to tell their story and I am also looking for teams or clubs to get behind Team Give Blood with a photoshoot and message of support to ensure we enrol more donors at this crucial time.
This is a heart-warming story. I work for NHS Blood and Transplant in Southampton and as you may have read in the Echo, we need to help build blood stocks in time for the Olympics. Blood products are used to treat patients with cancer so if you are moved by Laura's story, please consider becoming a blood donor by calling 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.blood.co.uk to find your nearest session. I would love Laura or anyone else who has received blood to get in touch with me to tell their story and I am also looking for teams or clubs to get behind Team Give Blood with a photoshoot and message of support to ensure we enrol more donors at this crucial time. AmandaW
  • Score: 0

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