Lauren – The LaFontaine Family

relentless detroit lauren lafontaineLauren is a beautiful and bright 13 year old girl with many hopes and dreams. She loves life! She enjoys being with her friends and family and her cat Felix. She is also looking forward to starting High School in the fall and cannot wait to take Drivers Ed.

She is our youngest and has an older brother, Ian, as well as two older sisters, Melanie and Natalie. We are her biggest fans! Here is Lauren’s story…

In April of 2013, Lauren complained of her left lower leg hurting. We went to the doctors and thinking it was simply a pulled muscle. Several weeks passed and she was still having significant pain. We went to the doctor again and asked to have an ultra sound of her leg. This is when it occurred to us that Lauren may have a tumor in her leg.

We went in for an MRI and got a call the next day from the doctor stating that Lauren has a sarcoma. The next day we saw a specialist and she thought it may be “Ewing’s Sarcoma.” Lauren had a bone biopsy the next day and they confirmed that it was indeed, “Ewing’s Sarcoma.”

With that being said, we were also told that she would have to go through several chemotherapy treatments, possible radiation, and physical therapy. The worst news to hear is that your 12 year old daughter has a malignant tumor. It was devastating and numbing for all of us.

This cancer is rare and aggressive. It usually affects children between the ages of 10-20, but even infants have been diagnosed with it. It is a tumor that can be in the soft tissue as well as in the bone; mainly the larger bones in the legs, arms, ribs or hip and pelvic area.

Lauren began her chemotherapy on June 10th of 2013, and finished on March 3rd of 2014; a total of 14 rounds of treatment. She had to go through seven 5-day treatments, along with seven 3-day treatments. Half way through her treatments she had to have surgery.

They removed the tumor, resected her left tibia bone, and replaced it with a cadaver bone followed by reconstructive surgery. This surgery took eight hours total. The pathology report showed that there were some cancer cells still left behind and she would need to go through radiation treatments as well.

More recently, she has completed all 28 of her radiation treatments. She continues to have pain in her legs and hips when she walks, but is doing her best to heal and grow. On Monday she will have her first set of scans to make sure all of the cancer is out of her body.

We are keeping our fingers crossed and our hopes high. We will be there, as a family, to hear the news. We definitely hope for the best.

We take each day one at a time. She is such a brave and strong girl, and we are all doing our best to nurture her back to good health. She will continue her physical therapy and will have scans taken often to make sure the cancer stays away.

Cancer affects so many lives in many forms and seems to be relentless. This is a cruel reality that we have to face, especially when it is your child. We try to see the positives of each situation, but it can be difficult at times. Lauren has shown us how brave and incredible she really is.

Thank you for considering us in such a thoughtful way.

-The LaFontaine Family
Robert, Janet, Natalie, Melanie, Ian, and our beautiful Lauren

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