I have survived cancer and had Callum and it just shows that nice things can happen.
A YOUNG mum who survived cancer as a toddler has defied doctors who said she might not be able to have a baby of her own.
Laura Darby, 21, from Redcar, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia as a three-year-old and doctors told her parents she might never have children because of the effects of chemotherapy.
But seven months ago, nursery nurse Laura gave birth to her son, Callum Darby.
Now she and her mum Jane, 49, are urging people to enter teams for Cancer Research UK's first Relay for Life in Redcar, where she will be taking part in the lap of honour, which marks the start of the 24-hour event.
"It was a joy to have Callum," said Laura. "I work with children and I have always wanted to have my own as well.
"We were told that I might not be able to have them so it was a nice surprise to get pregnant.
"I love having Callum and being a mum. I love being able to provide for someone and care for someone and having my own baby.
"I have survived cancer and had Callum and it just shows that nice things can happen in the end."
As a child, Laura was in hospital for weeks at a time and her older brother, Lewis, had to be looked after by Jane's mother-in-law. Her father, Andrew, a lorry driver, changed jobs so he could be off during the day to help care for Laura. During her three-year treatment she received chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Jane, a married mum of three, said: "I wasn't shocked when the doctor told me Laura had leukaemia. I'd known something was very wrong so in a way it was a relief to know there was a diagnosis and that Laura would get treatment.
"When Laura was little, we were told that she might not be able to have children because of the effects of the chemotherapy.
"Now she has a beautiful son and we are together as a family.
"It's thanks to people raising money for research that Laura was able to survive this disease."
Relay for Life, which takes place at Redcar Rugby Club on September 15, aims to bring communities together to celebrate those who have survived cancer, remember those who have died from the disease and raise money for the charity.
Participants will form teams of eight, 10 or 12, taking turns to run or walk around the track.
For more information about the event visit www.cancerresearchuk.org/relay or contact Sharyn Clarkson on 01642 487 230.
Laura Darby, pictured right with baby Callum and mum Jane. Below, Laura gives Callum a cuddle Pictures by TOM BANKS