Gemma Tutty steps up fundraising campaign in aid of former jockey Laura Barry

Thursday, Jan 12 2017

Gemma Tutty is hoping the racing community will rally round in her fundraising efforts to help former weighing-room colleague Laura Barry in her battle with cancer.

Tutty set up a gofundme page, which only went live on Monday evening, with a target of £30,000.

Just over 24 hours later, the figure had reached £23,000 from less than 400 donations, but she believes there are many more racing-minded folk out there who are not aware of her friend's plight.

"It's been going OK but we want the word out a bit better. A lot of people aren't on social media," said Tutty.

"Laura is in really good spirits and all the support she's been getting has given her a massive boost. She's been checking the page and can't believe all the generosity and nice messages.

"We had discussed the possibility of a fund from day one. It was demonstrated brilliantly by the Freddy Tylicki fund how the racing community can get behind one of us in need.

"I believed that if people knew what was going on they would want to do something to help so it was only a matter of time. We were just waiting until we had more information.

"I just picked £30,000 out of thin air. Where do you start? Nothing has been priced up. She's going to need a lot of money so the more we can raise the better.

"I didn't want to name a silly target and get nowhere near it."

Barry has been in Wellington Private Hospital in London for a month and is likely to remain there for at least another month.

A former apprentice with Richard Fahey, Limerick-born Barry started suffering pain in her left leg last year.

She was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer that attacks the nerve ducts. Although that tumour was treated, a second tumour was discovered in November.

The 24-year-old was operated on in December but has been left paralysed from the hip down in her left leg and still needs chemotherapy to try and prevent the cancer from returning.

With no chemotherapy available in the UK, Barry may have to go abroad for treatment.