St Ives teacher supporting terminally ill mum at Cambridge run

St Ivo School Teacher Miss Laura-Jean Brocklehurst with her Year 10 students.

St Ivo School Teacher Miss Laura-Jean Brocklehurst with her Year 10 students. - Credit: Archant

A TEAM of pupils, staff and parents are joining the fight against cancer to support a young teacher whose mother is terminally ill.

When Laura-Jean Brocklehurst told her form group at St Ivo School about her mum’s battle with breast cancer they wanted to do something to help.

So on Sunday, July 21, the Year 10s, who are all about 15, are joining their tutor for the Cambridge Race for Life in aid of Cancer Research UK.

“My form are never quiet but when they found out they were silent,” said Miss Brocklehurst.

“Even at a young age they’re well-informed and some have been through similar experiences and they wanted to help in some way.”

Miss Brocklehurst, who is 24, has been a design technology teacher at St Ivo for just over a year, her first teaching job after graduating from Sheffield Hallam University.

Originally from Manchester, her father, Lewis, died from cancer of the larynx when she was just 12 and she developed a special relationship with her mum, Cath.

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“Dad will always be my super- hero and he stayed so strong while he was ill, but mum is my best friend,” she said.

“We are so close. She supported me through uni and helped me go to Camp America, all on her own.”

Agonisingly, the disease struck again when Cath, who is 54, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010.

She was subsequently given the all clear but, earlier this year, what she thought was an under-active thyroid turned out to be an inoperable secondary cancer which had moved to her throat.

The diagnosis led to Cath moving from Manchester to live with her daughter in St Ives and, when necessary, Miss Brocklehurst, who is an only child, will become her carer, while remaining at St Ivo.

“I have what I call my St Ivo family,” she said. “Other members of staff have been strong when I couldn’t be at times. The school has been really positive and said I can have as much time as I need. I’ll work as long as I can until she’s very, very sick. Any day she’s around is a gift.”

Meanwhile, Miss Brocklehurst took part in a swimathon in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care at One Leisure in St Ives on Sunday (April 28).

A former national swimmer, she did 200 lengths of the 25m pool, a total of 5,000m, raising £600.