Many of you are familiar with my business partner and my best friend, Lauren Greaves. For those of you who don’t know Lauren well… She is firecracker. Gorgeous. Funniest human I know. A hot mess most days (in a good way), a super loyal friend, a blessed sister, daughter, aunt and all around crazy-awesome human being. I for one, am blessed to have her in my life and I will do whatever I can do to KILL HER CANCER! She is one of those friends who we all pray we find. She is the type of friend who you can rely on and the one who always answers her phone at any hour of the day or night…. The one human in your life who will always deliver you pizza (or wine) at 2AM because that is ALL you need at that very moment to keep your sanity. She is that person to me but also to countless others. She is the best person I know.
Surprisingly, in May 2018, Lauren was diagnosed with cancer. Aggressive Cancer.
Two years ago, by way of self-examination, Lauren noticed a small lump on her breast. As an active 31-year-old, she thought little of it, but decided to do the prudent thing and visit the doctor for a consultation. After a brief examination, she was casually informed that the area of concern was in fact, benign, and there was nothing to worry about. So, Lauren went on living her life as she normally did, that is, until May of 2018…
During what was intended to be a routine check-up, Lauren mentioned to her doctor that she felt like the benign lump had grown since her last visit. Shortly thereafter, she was thrown into a series of scans, tests, pokes and prods in an effort to determine what the growth was and why it had changed so drastically. Anyone who has been even remotely suspected of having cancer can attest to the fact that the following days/ weeks searching for a definitive conclusion can be the most grueling and mentally challenging as the prognosis seemingly changes minute by minute.
All that said, on May 15th, Lauren was diagnosed with Stage 3 Invasive Intraductal Carcinoma
of the right breast. Beyond this, her cancer is “aggressive,” having already manifested itself in her lymph nodes. Should it continue beyond her lymph nodes, the doctors would deem it metastatic, or simply put, a death sentence. However, she is “lucky,” and her diagnosis, albeit Stage 3, is treatable.
While the prognosis is optimistic, Lauren still has a long road ahead of her. Her killing-cancer journey begins with 8 rounds of an aggressive form of Chemotherapy (AC-T) AKA “The Red Devil.” Her treatment started July 12thand will continue bi-weekly until late October. From there, she is allotted a brief two-week “vacation” from the drugs to heal, then a scan to make sure there was in fact a reduction in the size of tumors and then onto prep for her impending Double Mastectomy and Lymph Node Removal. Following those procedures, she will undergo Phase 1 of Reconstruction, immediately followed by 30 rounds of Radiation. After radiation, the second phase of reconstruction commences and if all goes according to plan, Lauren will be on the road to recovery by late spring 2019. In the meantime, her doctors have begun preparing her for full loss of hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, and even possibly fingernails and toenails.
An additional bi-product of the chemotherapy is typically extensive damage to the ovaries and eggs. Since Lauren has not had children of her own (YET), over the past 8 weeks she has been attempting to freeze her eggs in hopes of possibly, one day, having a biological child. Sadly, during the process, she was also diagnosed with a condition called DOR, or Diminished Ovarian Reserves, meaning she doesn’t have many eggs to freeze. She reluctantly delayed her chemo in order to try and squeeze in a second round of IVF, as the first round was less than fruitful. Although insurance covers infertility for men, it does NOT cover infertility for women, even with a Cancer diagnosis (BANANAS! Can you imagine this nonsense?). Each round is between $15,000 - $18,000.
As her Cancer is estrogen-based, Lauren will also be induced into menopause at the age of 33 and remain there for at least 10 years in hopes of deterring the cancer from returning. Menopause is no-joke for a 50+ year old woman but for a robust 33 year old… I can’t express to you the mental anguish. Trust me, this is NOT something any woman wants to face, especially NOT Lauren!
My goal with this Go-Fund-Me page is help Lauren pay off her egg retrievals (which she already owes $32,000) but also help her fund some of the cancer-killing treatments. Although Lauren is employed and Sarah and I will work our tails off to make sure she has a steady income, she will be working less and obviously taking in less income for the next 1-2 years. Additionally, Lauren has less than desirable insurance and I would love to be able to help her pay some of her insurmountable medical bills. Anything you can to help Lauren, ANY AMOUNT BIG OR SMALL
is much appreciated and will not go unnoticed.
Sincerely and with much love and appreciation,
Sabra Kirkpatrick and Sarah Koenig