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Inverness teenager battling incurable cancer will spend final years fulfilling her “bucket list” thanks to generosity of friends and strangers


By Imogen James


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Maisie Fraser.
Maisie Fraser.

Maisie Fraser (18), who lives in the Hilton area of Inverness, was diagnosed with rare and incurable liver cancer in 2020.

Affecting just one in five million people worldwide, the first sign that something was not right was when Maisie began to experience frequent headaches.

Months of tests and checks came before the devastating diagnosis that she had fibrolamellar carcinoma, which Maisie admitted left her feeling “nothing but fear”.

Since then, Maisie, who attends Inverness Royal Academy, has undergone 12 rounds of chemotherapy.

“One day I can feel on top of the world and the next I can feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders,” she said of how life is for her now.

“Despite the day I am having, I always try and keep a smile on my face, as I believe positivity goes a long way.”

Her loving family has launched a fundraiser to allow Maisie to spend her final years doing things she loves, raising more than £13,000 so far.

Appealing for donations online Maisie’s mother, Cecilia Smith, said: “No 18-year-old should have to live the way Maisie does with the uncertainty of how much time she has left to do the things she has always wanted to do before her condition deteriorates, whether it be weeks, months, or at the very luckiest, a few good years.

“I hope you can find it in your hearts to help one 18-year-old make the most of her time left on this Earth – Maisie should be out living her best life, going to pubs and on holidays with friends – not thinking about if she has the energy or if she has a hospital appointment that day.

“Let’s make the rest of her life the best of her life and help her have as many experiences as possible.”

Struan MacKenzie, Rachael Smith, Harry Fraser, Maisie Fraser, Cecilia Smith, Rhonda Smith, Shaun Smith at a Ladies and Gents day fundraiser held at the Drumossie Hotel earlier this month to tie in with the Grand National.
Struan MacKenzie, Rachael Smith, Harry Fraser, Maisie Fraser, Cecilia Smith, Rhonda Smith, Shaun Smith at a Ladies and Gents day fundraiser held at the Drumossie Hotel earlier this month to tie in with the Grand National.

Top of the list is to eat at one of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants though she also wants to visit Disney World and just spend time with mum Cecilia and siblings Harry (16) and Rachael (28).

She said: “I have always wanted to go to America so that’s the plan this year. Going to Disney World Florida would be at the top of the list of things to do in America.

“Honestly, though, I want to just lead a normal life as possible.

“I would like to eat in as many different restaurants as I can, that being said my dream would be to eat a steak cooked by Gordon Ramsay in one of his restaurants.

“I have trips to London, Paris and Florida pencilled in with family and friends – it is important to me that that was a priority.”

She added: “The response to the crowdfunder has been phenomenal and has surpassed any expectations.

With a taste for adventure Maisie had fun with mum Cecilia, sister Rachael and brother Harry on a family holiday to Turkey in 2018, before her diagnosis.
With a taste for adventure Maisie had fun with mum Cecilia, sister Rachael and brother Harry on a family holiday to Turkey in 2018, before her diagnosis.

“I am genuinely taken aback by the generosity of everyone.

“I have had massive support from family, friends and small local businesses who have set up raffles or donated a percentage of their sales to the crowdfunder.

“Words fail me when I try to express the gratitude and appreciation I have for everyone who has gone out of their way to show me support, whether that be by donating or just sending me a message of encouragement.”

The family would also be delighted to hear from anyone who would like to help them with fundraising or who wants to donate an experience for Maisie.

You can donate to Maisie's bucket list here.


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