Three years ago, a phone call changed Lauren's families life.
The youngest in her family with two big brother's to contend with, Lauren was six at the time, bubbly and sports mad.
A series of viruses had laid her low, and she was on to her third set of antibiotics when the doctor ran blood tests to see what was going on. That would be the first of many challenges Lauren would face over the next three years. Her first blood test, her first IV access, the first trip to theatre, losing her hair - the list goes on.
Dad Justin took the call and the results weren't good. Lauren had cancer. That was when the whirlwind began. After spending a night in Nelson hospital, Lauren and her Mum Susanne were flown to Christchurch to begin treatment. Justin followed shortly after in the car and stayed with them for as long as he could, before returning home to Nelson to be with Lauren’s brothers. It would be six weeks before Lauren and Susanne returned to Nelson.
To help keep the family connected over that time, Child Cancer Foundation arranged a special trip for Lauren's two brothers to Christchurch. A Family Support Coordinator also visited Justin and the boys at home in Nelson, making sure they were doing ok and putting a plan in place for when Lauren was able to return home.
Susanne recalls it was both the little things and the big things that the Child Cancer Foundation team helped them with.
“Little things like being with us in the crowded hospital day room and stocking the kitchen with food for emergencies. Right through to helping us make contact with the Health School and filling in the gaps in our information. We were also connected with other families in the same situation through the Nelson Parent Connect Group.”
Post-treatment, with clear test results so far, Lauren is gradually getting back into sport and has been enjoying piano lessons thanks to a grant from Child Cancer Foundation. The families life is starting to return to normal, but we are still here to support when they need us.
How you can help
We work hard to reduce the impact of cancer on children and their families, but we need your help. A donation from you will help us continue to support children like Stephanie and their families.
Our support is powered by you.