Lauren Selden is my niece. She and my youngest son, Jacob, are more like twins than cousins. They have grown up together and love each other very much. Right after Lauren turned 12 she was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma - a deadly childhood cancer. The hospital in Hawaii referred Lauren's case to specialists in Seattle because the cancer was an advanced, aggressive type. The family could not imagine amputating Lauren's leg as she was an active rollerderby girl, Lauren was referred to Dr. Chappie at Seattle Children's Hospital in Seattle, WA. Dr. Chappie took on Lauren's case. Lauren went through nine surgeries, a year of intensive chemotherapy and many infections before she was released.
Here are a couple of links about Lauren. The first is a video (she is at time stamp 0:37 in tank and black glasses with "Fighter" sign) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihGCj5mfCk8 The second is how Lauren used poetry to help her through this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIpyhMEET1w
My son, Jacob, was there for Lauren the whole time. He made her laugh, forced her to eat, held her hand and even slept in her bed with her when she was scared. He even shaved his head so she'd feel more "normal" being bald.
Fast forward two years - Lauren has been working tirelessly in physical therapy. She had to have another surgery to destroy the growth plate in her healthy leg because the growth plate in her cancer leg had died. As a result, Lauren's cancer leg is shorter than the other leg. Lauren wanted to be strong enough to walk at Disney World without crutches or a wheelchair. She decided that she would make her Wish - to spend her 15th birthday with her family at Disney World.
Well.... due to some communications issues with the wish coordinator, Lauren found out LAST WEEK that she must make her wish and complete it before the end of August. If she doesn't then she loses her wish.
Right now, we aren't sure if Jacob will be able to join Lauren at Disney World. We know for certain that the rest of my family will not be able to go.
I want Jacob to go to Disney World with Lauren. She deserves to have the wish she wants. That's why I need you - my family cannot afford to go to Disney World to be with Lauren. We can't even afford to just have Jacob go. That's why I am trying to raise money - to allow Jacob and Lauren to experience all that Disney World has to offer two young teens.
Thank you so much for your positive thoughts, prayers, etc.
Attached are pictures of Lauren and Jacob growing up.
Disneyland circa 2006
Vacation circa 2008
During treatment - 2011
A outing during treatment 2012
Back in Seattle for more surgery 2013
At the Redwood National Forest - July 2014
- Alma Luz Villanueva
- Keely Pickering
- Donna Howard
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