September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today, September 30, 2011 as CURE Childhood Cancer honors CURE Kid Laura Roush. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Laura’s fund.
After a 13-month battle with cancer, Laura has left us to be with the Lord on March 3, 2011. She passed away surrounded by her loving family. Our daughter and sister was a blessing to us and her passing leaves a gaping hole in our lives.
Laura was born on September 30, 1993 in Maplewood, Minnesota. Much of Laura’s life was spent in the Linwood/ Forest Lake, MN area. She was a Girl Scout; played soccer, softball and the clarinet; wrote songs and poetry; and participated in drama club. Laura’s boundless enthusiasm, energy, and fun-loving spirit were infectious, as was her smile. Her sense of adventure, assertiveness, and confident spirit helped inspire us to make the move to Atlanta, Georgia in 2009. Laura attended Whitewater Senior High in Fayetteville, GA and was a member of the Class of 2012. She dreamed of a career in microbiology/parasitology (she loved the show “Monsters Inside Me”), getting her driver’s license, going to prom, and eventually heading off to college – but cancer had other plans.
On February 5, 2010, Laura (16 years old at the time) was diagnosed with biopsy-confirmed colorectal cancer, which is extremely rare for her age. Due to its rarity, her case was escalated to the oncology teams at the Children’s Aflac Cancer Clinic and Emory University. A few months after Laura’s diagnosis, we learned that Laura had a rare genetic disorder, Constitutional Mismatch Repair-Deficiency Syndrome, which predisposed her to developing multiple cancers at an early age – heavy stuff for anyone to bear, especially for a 16-year- old girl. With this diagnosis in hand, Laura knew that the cards would be stacked against her and cancer would always be a part of her future. None of us guessed that her future would be so short. Again, cancer had other plans.
Her case was further complicated on December 6, 2010, as she would be diagnosed with her second primary cancer, glioblastoma multiforme (a very aggressive brain cancer). She had a craniotomy and received whole brain radiation therapy. On February 10, 2011, all treatment stopped due to progression. By then, she had amassed 5 “Beads of Courage” strands – just 1 year after she was first diagnosed.
Cancer stole our daughter, her future, and our dreams. No first prom, high school graduation, college send-off, or walking our baby girl down the aisle. All that is gone now and our lives are forever changed. Our loss is complete and we are heartbroken.
Laura never considered herself brave or a hero, and desperately only wanted to be a normal teen. However, she recognized that people were inspired by her battle and its numerous challenges. She agreed to have her story shared to help raise money for the American Cancer Society, CURE Childhood Cancer, and the Aflac Cancer Clinics here in Atlanta. Laura fought hard and was admired by many. As her parents and brother, we were honored to walk beside her.
Donate to Laura’s fund.