My heart is heavy - my former coworker's beautiful young niece passed away on Friday and I've just heard the news this morning. My coworker, Leia, was at her grandfather's funeral when she got the news that her niece lost her two year battle with a brain tumor. It's such a difficult time for my coworker and my heart is just breaking for her.
Here is the link to Lauren's blog if you're interested in her story. She passed away 2 years and 1 day after her diagnosis. In the time she fought, her family also lost a baby, Brooke, at 39 weeks gestation. Lauren named Brooke as well as the baby her family was blessed with last year, Finlay. Lauren was also big sister to Marissa. Leia kept me up to date on the family's triumphs and trials over the course of Lauren's treatment. Lauren was truly a fighter, having bounced back quite a few times. Living 2 years with a tumor her size was a miracle in itself. I knew she hadn't been doing well, and her prognosis was poor, but things took a turn in the last couple of weeks. Fortunately, her parents were able to bring her home so that she could pass surrounded by family. They are comforted knowing that she is now singing, dancing, and doing other things little girls should do, as well as taking care of her baby sister.
I'm not a prayerful person, but if you are, please send thoughts and prayers to Lauren's family. They're amazingly strong and loving people, but they need the warmth of thoughts and prayers at this time. Leia's told me that the outpouring of support of strangers has been overwhelming. Even though I never met her, I'm saddened by the loss of such an incredible little girl.
If you'd like to donate to the Children's Hospital Los Angeles, where Lauren received treatment, you can do so by going here. You can also donate to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital and further cancer research by donating here