Lauren was Caroline's older sister. She was born in 1982, and at the age of seven weeks, was diagnosed with a very rare liver disease that the doctors said would be fatal by the time she reached age two. With immediate surgery, her life might be extended for a few more years. Lauren had the surgery and it was a success, allowing her to live a relatively normal life. But by age 7, her liver was failing and she needed a liver transplant to survive. Lauren underwent a transplant at age 8 and everything went well. She would need to take medications for the rest of her life to prevent rejection of her new liver, but she would be able to live a normal life.
Following her transplant, Lauren grew into a kind and loving teenager and woman. In her mid-twenties, Lauren was diagnosed with lymphoma. It was a shock to learn that the same medications Lauren took to prevent rejection of her liver had caused her lymphoma. Lauren went through a lengthy surgery followed by grueling rounds of chemotherapy. The lymphoma responded favorable at first, but a month after finishing the chemo, the cancer was back and had spread to her liver. Lauren's doctors said that a stem cell transplant was her only hope. They began more chemotherapy to prepare her for the transplant. She came home after the first round of chemo and her doctors were optimistic, but a few days later, Lauren unexpectedly and suddenly died.
We chose the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in memory of Lauren. Approximately every 3 minutes, one person in the US is diagnosed with a blood cancer (lymphoma, leukemia, and myeloma) and approximately every 9 minutes, someone in the US dies from a blood cancer. The Leukemia & Lymphoma society is the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research. Since 1949, they have invested nearly $1.3 billion in groundbreaking research. They work to find cures and ensure patients can access the lifesaving treatments they need. LLS helped advance 34 of the 39 blood cancer treatment options approved by the FDA in 2017 and 2018.