TRIBUTES have been to the daughter of former Burton MP Sir Ivan Lawrence, who died last week after fighting cystic fibrosis for her entire life.
Rachel Lawrence suffered a collapsed lung just three hours after becoming engaged in August, and after four weeks of hospital treatment, her family was forced to make the heartbreaking decision to turn off her life support machine.
When she was born, the 45-year-old had not been expected to live beyond childhood, yet she survived well into her adult life, and went on to have a full life as a successful barrister.
Andrew Griffiths, who now serves as the member of parliament for Burton and Uttoxeter, told the Mail he was saddened by news of Miss Lawrence’s death.
He added: “Rachel was an inspirational young woman who battled adversity and never let anything get in her way. She truly was an inspiration to sufferers of cystic fibrosis and proved that, with determination, anything can be achieved.
“She was always so full of life and always had a smile on her face.
“I know that Sir Ivan and Gloria were immensely proud of her.”
Like all cystic fibrosis sufferers, Miss Lawrence had to undergo daily physiotherapy and take a lot of medication. She was also medicated for diabetes.
Yet it did not stop her having fun – especially when she appeared as a contestant on TV show Blind Date in 1999.
Because of all she had overcome, she was named as Cystic Fibrosis Trust Achiever of the Yea in 2006.
Ed Owen, chief executive of the organisation, who knew the family, said: “Rachel was a source of joy and pride to her family and an inspiration to many in our cystic fibrosis community. She was rightly awarded the Achiever of the Year award by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in light of her success.
“We pass on our deepest sympathy to all who knew and loved her. It is the memories of those like Rachel that inspire us at the Cystic Fibrosis Trust to do even more to transform and improve the lives of all those with cystic fibrosis.”