Laura Barry GoFundMe Donations Reach £32,000
Limerick Jockey, 24-year-old Laura Barry, Raheen, who is currently living in the UK, was diagnosed with a tumour in March of last year and has since been left partially paralysed after surgery for this aggressive and rare form of cancer.
An online fundraiser set up by one of Laura Barry’s close friends, Gemma Tutty, has raised the equivalent of almost £32,000 in just a matter of days. The money raised will go towards Laura’s non-medical living expenses so that Laura can lead as normal a life as possible.
“We became friends when Laura was riding as an apprentice for Richard Fahey in Northern England” Gemma Tutty said.
Gemma went on to speak about how the money will be used and why she felt it was necessary to set up the online campaign “The Injured Jockeys Fund have been phenomenal, and have been there for Laura since day one. They have paid all of her medical expenses so far, so the money raised is for everything else that she will need in the future in order to lead as normal a life as possible,”
“Due to the paralysis of her left leg from the hip down following surgery, she will need a wet room, chair lift and specially adapted car for example,” she added.
Laura Barry has had a very successful career in riding. Laura rode for Ireland in the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Murbarak World Apprentice Series, and previously won the Prolinx Ladies Silver Championship for the highest strike rate in a season.
The former Jockey had been struggling with leg pain and it wasn’t until the pain had become unbearable two years after her retirement in 2016 that she discovered she had a tumour after a private MRI scan in Limerick followed by a CT scan in a Galway clinic.
Laura spoke about the pain she had been living with stating “You don’t think much of these sort of things until they are causing so much pain that you can’t stand it and you have to go to the doctor”
On August 25, the tumour at the base of Laura’s spinal chord was treated at Tallaght Hospital, Dublin. Following rehab, Laura Barry returned to the UK and was preparing to go back to work however the pain returned and another tumour was discovered in November 2016. Laura received treatment from a leading UK orthopaedic surgeon who removed the nerve entirely, but she will still have to endure chemotherapy to treat the tumour bed and prevent her cancer from returning.
Laura’s good friend and colleague, Gemma Tutty launched the GoFundMe page where Brian Hughes, jockey, opened donations with £1,000 kicking off a stream of donations. By the evening of January 10 the donations reached over £18000. Richard Fahey, one of the UKs best-known horse trainers who Laura Barry had been an apprentice to, kindly donated £5,000.
Gemma commented on the kindness of the donations saying “I am delighted by the amount raised so far, and very proud to be part of such a caring, generous sport and community. I want to thank everyone that has donated so far, their donations and messages of support are appreciated massively”
To make a donation to Laura’s GoFundMe click here
For more on racing in Limerick click here