The tireless HPV vaccine advocate passed away on Wednesday aged 26.
Tributes have been paid to HPV vaccine campaigner Laura Brennan, who passed away at University Hospital Limerick, Dooradoyle on Wednesday at the age of 26.
In 2017 Ms Brennan contacted the HSE following her terminal cervical cancer diagnosis to offer her help in promoting the HPV vaccine, which she was too old to receive when it was first introduced to Irish schools.
Since then, the uptake of the vaccine increased from 51% that year, to 70% today.
In March 2019, over 22,000 girls got the HPV vaccine to protect them from cervical cancer.
It was with great sadness we learned of the passing of Laura Brennan. We were honoured to have this incredible young woman share her story and message on the show last year. #ThankYouLaura pic.twitter.com/QfYrMbOIz6— The Late Late Show (@RTELateLateShow) March 20, 2019
The Brennan’s family confirmed Laura's death in University Hospital Limerick yesterday.
“Laura was a light in the life of everyone who knew her; a wonderful daughter, sister and friend. We are lost without her,” said the Brennan family in a statement.
“We are all incredibly proud of the work she did in the last 18 months to help protect other young women like herself from the cancer that has taken her life today.
“Laura used her voice, her generosity and her energy to help parents to make informed choices and protect their daughters from cervical cancer."
Minister for Health Simon Harris also paid tribute to the Clare-native, saying that: "Laura was an incredible young woman and a powerful campaigner.
"The State owes her a debt of gratitude.
"As a person, she was kind, funny and full of life. Her enthusiasm was infectious. Every time I met Laura or spoke with her, I was inspired by her."
"Amazing doesn’t do justice to her or her courage. I want to extend my deepest condolences to her family and friends".
Clare County Council has announced it will open a book of condolences following Laura’s passing.
Anne O’Connor, interim HSE director general, said the HSE feels “immense gratitude and admiration for her and her family”.
“Laura has defined courage and generosity as she supported our work to ensure girls get the HPV vaccine, and are protected from this terrible cancer,” said Ms O’Connor.
“Laura came forward when she was first diagnosed with terminal cancer and our mission became hers. We know that Laura has made a difference, and will have saved lives through her great effort and her tremendous generosity of spirit.”
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