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Anna G. Larson, Published July 20 2012

Forum's Beautiful Woman for June loses battle with cancer

FARGO – Laura McShane, The Forum’s Beautiful Woman for the month of June, lost her battle with cancer on Friday.

“Her last breaths were very peaceful,” said Laura’s husband, Ross McShane.

McShane and a few close friends were with Laura at their home in her final moments.

The couple’s 5-year-old twins, Dylan and Macy, gave their mother one last kiss before a night of cuddling with their father.

“The kids know she’s an angel now,” he said. “They know they can always talk to Mommy if they want to.”

Laura McShane was diagnosed with intraocular melanoma, a skin cancer of the eye tissue, four years ago. The rare cancer affects only about 1,000 people in the U.S.

The diagnosis came as a shock, but McShane was “a fighter all the way to end,” Ross McShane said.

“If there’s anything Laura would want people to know right now, it’s never give up, always fight,” he said. “The words ‘I can’t’ were not in her vocabulary.”

Her aggressive treatment included removal of her left eye and several rounds of chemotherapy. The cancer was gone for a while, but reappeared in her liver two years later. After consulting with doctors, the McShanes decided to start Laura on hospice care in early June.

Despite her cancer, Ross McShane said Laura always found a way to keep going for her children, planning yearly vacations for the family that were packed with activities and memories.

“The kids will be such amazing people because of what she left behind,” McShane said. “She really did believe that God has a plan for all of us.”

The prayer service is 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at First United Methodist Church, Fargo.

Funeral services are at 2 p.m. Wednesday at First United Methodist Church.

Donations can be made to the American Cancer Society, or a charity of the giver’s choice, in honor of Laura.

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Anna G. Larson at (701) 241-5525