No one survives life’s toughest challenges alone. Sometimes we have our family, friends and medical professionals by our side to help us. And sometimes, the most important thing we can do is learn from other stories of survival. When we meet people who have not only experienced something similar but actually came through it better and stronger, it provides hope and inspiration. We invite you to Share Your Story of “Surviving & Thriving.” Your words could be just the thing someone needs to keep moving forward. Share the gift of hope.
As told by Colleen Larsen:
My little girl Lauren was diagnosed with autism when she was three years old. She did not speak at all. Four weeks later she was diagnosed with acute lymphocratic leukemia. The first six months of intense chemo were done when she could not even speak. She spent two and a half years on chemo and after six months of treatment did speak!
Lauren had to undergo leg surgery and then had to wear braces on both legs for six months. Boy was that challenging. She got through it though and has been flatfooted ever since, which for a child that would just have to go through that, it would seem big enough never mind all that Lauren went through up to that point! This picture is when she was waiting to have her leg surgery.
Lauren was declared cancer free on October 11th and is surviving and thriving. In these photos we were celebrating Lauren being free of leukemia after a seven year battle while we battle with my Mom who lives in NY battling stage four breast cancer. My mom and dad have been two of Lauren’s biggest supporters.
Lauren now has a bright future ahead and wants to become a singer and actress. In fact, she has already performed with the Brevard Children’s Chorus at the King Center, and check out this solo performance at her school: