A SHOREHAM student with a rare condition is marking her milestone year with a £5,000 fundraising campaign.
The whole of Shoreham Academy is behind year-12 student Laura Greenfield’s bid to reach her target for charities Rockinghorse and Promise Dreams.
She was born with vocal chord palsy, which is so rare, she is thought to be the only one in England with the condition, and as she reaches her 18th birthday in September, she wants to thank the charities who have supported her all her life.
Once Laura, who lives on Shoreham Beach, becomes an adult, she will no longer come under the remit of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton.
She wanted to mark this milestone by raising money for Rockinghorse, the hospital’s fundraising arm, as well as Promise Dreams, a national charity which sent her family on holiday to Florida when she was younger.
She said she wanted to give back to the two charities, as they had done so much to help her and her family.
During a whole week of fundraising, the school, in Kingston Lane, held cake sales in the atrium during break every day. There was also a non-uniform day on Friday, May 23, and a sixth-form pyjama day.
The students were able to wear their own clothes on the last day before half term, in exchange for a donation to the charities, and sixth-form students visited every class with collection buckets.
Principal Heidi Brown said: “We are so proud of Laura and the passion she has for wanting to raise as much money as possible for two such worthwhile charities.”
She said all the students had been able to hear Laura’s story in assemblies during the week, so they could understand why she wanted to raise the money.
As well as bilateral vocal cord palsy, Laura faces associated medical difficulties and has been in and out of hospital during her time at the school.
For the first ten years of her life, the only way she could breathe was through a tracheostomy, which gave her an airway through a hole in her neck.
Laura’s mum, Fiona, said: “Despite this and other conditions she has suffered, her stamina and determination to achieve the best she can is remarkable.
“Laura has developed into an absolute star, achieving more than we thought was ever possible for her.
“She gets much more tired than other teenagers her age, as her a restricted upper airway causes her to get out of breath very quickly.”
More than £1,000 was raised during the school’s fundraising week, with more to follow from further events being organised during the summer term.
Sixth-form students will also be donating some of the proceeds from their annual charity sponsored walk, which takes place in July, with the rest going to Cancer Research UK.