On June 25, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LSS) Massachusetts Chapter named Lauren Silver of Brookline the recipient of the 2015 Lucy Against Leukemia Award.
“I first thought it was a mistake,” Silver said. “I knew the importance and the scope of the Lucy Award and thought it had to be a mistake.” Admittedly, she had a laugh over it.
But it was no mistake. Lauren is recognized for having raised an astounding $30,000 for LLS through Team in Training (TNT)—the flagship fundraising arm for LLS—in just five years time. She ran 5 half-marathons with TNT and she’s committed to a fifth full marathon next January at Disney World while also agreeing to raise $10,000 for the cause.
Herself a survivor of acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML), Lauren decided after meeting a fellow survivor at a grocery store that it was time to give back. She joined TNT and began training for the San Diego Half-Marathon, which she completed in 2010.
Since becoming part of the TNT community, Lauren has worked tirelessly to raise money and awareness for blood cancers—and also to get marathon-fit, which she says has changed her life.
“It sounds really cliché, but it changed everything about my day-to-day life,”
she says. “I eat healthier, I go to the gym every day, I’m much more health-conscious and fit and much happier with myself, and I’vet met the most amazing people doing it.”
Fundraising groups like TNT have transformed her outlook on life. She says that sharing her experiences with her illness and convalescence with others has enriched her relationships and given her life purpose, which she is grateful for.
“I was really lucky, which might sound strange to say,” she says. “I was diagnosed when I was five and I’ve been in remission since about six or seven. I don’t really remember most of it. One day I was sitting in Kindergarten and the next I was in the hospital for a very long time.”
Lauren has been cancer-free for many years now, but she still lives with the long-term side effects caused by chemotherapy. Many of these side effects are still unknown.
“About seven years ago I got really sick at work and had to be hospitalized to have my spleen out,” she says. “And a few years ago I was diagnosed with a blood-clotting disorder, so it’s that kind of adventurous stuff (if you will) that I’m dealing with now. But you know, it is what is. I’m alive and that’s enough to be thankful for.”
To learn about blood cancers, how to get involved with causes, and to donate, visit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society online. https://www.lls.org. Lauren needs your help too! To support Lauren and her fundraising efforts, you can visit her personal page.
~ Tanner Stening