Lauren

Choosing hope

*Pink roses were Lauren's favourite flowers. Name of patient has been changed.

We expected bad news for Lauren but the diagnosis was shocking.

She was told at her first visit you only have 6 to 10 weeks left. Everyone started crying once the news started to sink in. Lauren was calm and accepting. She took the news so well with concern for all her family.

Her doctor suggested she go home and enjoy the rest of her time with her loved ones. Lauren asked if there was anything else for her to do.

There was.

Her doctor told her about a newly-discovered genetic connection with her rare type of cancer and asked her if she would donate a blood sample for research.

She agreed. She liked the possibility of helping others by donating her blood for research. This seemed to make her feel so much better after hearing such devastating news. She even offered to donate more blood if they wanted it.

Lauren’s doctor was pleased to have the samples and they were both pleased to be participating in something that could benefit others with her disease.

Lauren was such a brave person during her short illness. And took pride in the fact that her donation might mean others with her disease might have a better chance at living longer.

Her visit to PMH gave her hope.

Hope not hope for Lauren herself, but hope for others who may benefit from this new research that also included her donated blood samples.

It was courageous for her doctor to mention the research at such a difficult time. Many would say that this is not the best time to be asking for samples from a patient.

Lauren would not agree.

She knew it took great courage for the doctor to ask her for the samples and it gave her so much hope to say yes.

This was submitted to UHN's Courage Lives Here story contest by Gayle Jenkins, Clinical Study Coordinator, Princess Margaret.