Lauren has been a Type 1 diabetic since she was two. Recently, she spent three months at UCSF prior to delivering premature twins via C-Section. “I found out I am a BRCA1 carrier last year. A BRCA gene mutation significantly raises a woman’s risk of breast and ovarian cancers. Angelina Jolie made it known widely when she was diagnosed and had the preventative surgeries [in 2013].”
“I found out I had it and planned on having the double mastectomy by 40, but the cancer showed up before then. BRCA cancers tend to be aggressive, fast spreading, and hard to treat. If anyone’s mom got breast or ovarian cancer before the age of 45, tell them to please get tested for the BRCA mutation.”
A teacher, Lauren was looking forward to getting back to her classroom until the unexpected happened. “Nothing has gone as planned for a very long time,” Lauren shares.
“Nobody wants to ask for money, but I’m an elementary school teacher. I don’t have anything stashed away,” Lauren tells me, holding her six-month-old daughter, Clementine. She is sitting on a couch next to her husband, Daniel, who is holding Clementine’s twin brother, Charlie.
What has the fundraising experience brought to your life? I ask them. “People have come out of the woodwork. People we don’t even know. People hear our story [and] everybody’s chipped in, and it’s one less thing to worry about when you’re going through aggressive breast cancer and you have two little babies. Without the kindness and generosity of others, I don’t know where we’d be. It’s overwhelming. People are amazing.”
Clementine and Charlie spent the first few months of their lives in the hospital. “Poor kids have moved every two months since they were born,” says Daniel, reflecting on the move that the family of four had to make when Lauren received a diagnosis of Stage 3 breast cancer, just a few months following the birth of their twins.
Charlie and Clementine are smiling as Lauren tells me, “I want to watch these two grow up. We just met them, and we kind of like them.”
Lauren and Daniel share that their family friend, Dixie Hall, started the fundraiser on their behalf. When they say her name, their faces light up. Daniel calls her “a remarkable woman.”
Dixie Hall is a former special education teacher who has fostered more than 125 babies. She has taken in babies born with drug addictions, babies born with HIV, and she has continued to save babies even after saying she was done. Dixie Hall has dedicated her life to providing love and care to so many, and by starting a YouCaring fundraiser for her friends, Daniel and Lauren, she has now helped two more babies, Charlie and Clementine.
To learn more and donate to Lauren, Daniel, Clementine, and Charlie, visit their fundraiser.