Peter Kay came out of retirement to raise money for her treatment - her death has been met with another touching gesture

Laura managed to graduate despite going through gruelling treatment during her studies -Credit:PA
Laura managed to graduate despite going through gruelling treatment during her studies -Credit:PA

After a routine eye test in 2018, Laura Nuttall was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme - an aggressive and incurable form of brain cancer - when she was only 18.

Laura was told she only had 12 months to live, she 'looked the disease in the eye with her infamous steely gaze', according to mum Nicola. Laura went on to complete a 'bucket list' of goals, including meeting Michelle Obama, commanding a Royal Navy ship, presenting a BBC weather forecast and raising thousands for cancer charities.

When accepting an award in 2021, Laura said: “What sort of legacy will I leave if I just focus on myself and not others? The day I was diagnosed with brain cancer, I just thought I've got two options... I could say all right, that's fine, I'm going to sit here and die - or am I going to do something about it and stay positive? And that is what I chose to do."

Back in 2021, comedian Peter Kay came out of retirement to raise money for her treatment, hosting two live Q&As in her honour. And when Laura tragically died in May of last year at just 23-years-old, the Bolton-born funnyman also pledged a portion of ticket sales would go to a charity in her memory during his sell-out Manchester residences last year.

Now, there is another remarkable gesture starting in memory of Laura, following her death that has touched many lives.

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The University of Manchester’s School of Social Sciences has announced it has launched a new scholarship in memory of 'our inspiring Politics, Philosophy and Economics graduate Laura Nuttall, who sadly passed away exactly a year ago after a long battle against cancer'. Sharing the news of the new scholarship, the university remembered some of Laura's finest achievements as she continued studying while undergoing gruelling treatment.

The university said: "Laura was given 12 months to live, but after undergoing gruelling treatments including innovative immunotherapy in Germany she was able to restart her studies at Manchester. Despite travelling back and forth to Germany, undergoing more surgery, working as an ambassador for The Brain Tumour Charity and helping out in her community, she showed incredible strength and managed to excel in her studies.

"As a result, she graduated last summer with enormously proud mum Nicola, sister Grace and dad Mark by her side."

'In keeping with Laura’s dedication to helping others, and with the collaboration and support of Laura’s family', the school will award an eligible student from a less privileged background with a physical condition, long term illness or learning difference with a scholarship of £3000 per year for every year of their degree.

All students who meet the criteria will be considered, but a preference will be given to students who are care leavers. The student who is selected to receive the bursary will be informed of this during their first semester of study.

“It is truly a privilege to be able to honour Laura’s memory in this way, and the scholarship will go a long way to help future social sciences students achieve their ambitions,” said Claire Fox, Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for The University of Manchester’s School of Social Sciences. “It is a fitting tribute to Laura - who worked so hard to raise awareness and funds for brain cancer charities – as well as her family who are continuing this work. I am very grateful for the support of Laura’s family in developing this scholarship.”

“Laura’s life - and her selfless dedication to improving the lives of others - were an inspiration to the many staff and students who knew her,” said Professor Claire Alexander, Head of The University of Manchester’s School of Social Sciences. “We are proud to be part of continuing Laura’s legacy through this new scholarship, and we thank Laura’s family for partnering with us in this new venture in Laura’s name.”

The scholarship was introduced at an event on campus where Laura’s mum Nicola also launched the publication of ‘The Stars Will Still Be There’, her heartbreaking account of helping her daughter to make the most of her remaining time, while dealing with her own pain.
To find out more about Laura’s legacy and her family’s ongoing work, visit ‘The Be More Laura Foundation’ website.