Ultimate Women Do It Together!

Local friends nominated for Cosmopolitan awards

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Ultimate friends Emma Freeborn and Laura Holgate


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There is little in life as precious to a girl than her best friend which Emma Freeborn and Laura Holgate know all too well.

After meeting ten years ago, Emma asked Laura to be a bridesmaid when she got engaged in 2005. They were busy with wedding preparations when Emma was diagnosed with breast cancer, with secondary cancer in her lymph nodes. Suddenly, the friends’ chat turned from boys and make up to blood-counts and chemo.

Keeping their relationship fun, they never cried in front of each other. Instead, they spent Emma’s chemo days planning the wedding, and when Laura couldn’t visit she sent her a present every day.

After persuading 48 friends to run the Race for Life (raising over £10,000 for Cancer Research UK), Emma was told her Primary Care Trust couldn’t give her cancer drug Herceptin. Embarking on a campaign to receive it, Emma continued fighting even after she won – appearing on BBC News 24 and in The Observer. Laura, who works for ITN, used her contacts to help Emma, and gave her advice dealing with the media.

Hundreds of women are now benefiting from Herceptin. After receiving the all-clear, Emma married her fiancé, with Laura a proud bridesmaid, but on returning from honeymoon, doctors found cancer in Emma’s spine. Despite this, the pair continued fundraising. Together, they’ve walked the Great Wall of China and organised a charity ball, raising over £20,000 in a year.

The two friends have now been nominated as Ultimate Friends in Cosmopolitan’s Ultimate Women of the Year Awards. Currently in its third year, the awards celebrate inspirational women (and men) who deserve recognition; from those who have shown strength and courage, to those who have followed their dreams and in true Cosmopolitan style, are always the ‘best they can be’.

The winners will be recognised for their achievements at a star-studded awards ceremony on 5th November at Banqueting House, London. The Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women of the Year Awards also celebrate the best celebrity talent from the worlds of film, TV and music.

October 2, 2008