Lauren has had a long journey with leukemia. She was diagnosed at age 3 and endured 2 ½ years of treatment. Just a few months after she completed treatment, her cancer came back. In the last year, Lauren has endured total body radiation, aggressive chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and a bone marrow transplant (her brave 7-year-old sister, Leah, was her donor!).
Unfortunately, after all of that there was still leukemia present. Lauren was treated with a was running out of options for treatment. Thanks to a newly approved treatment option, Lauren underwent chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy (CAR-T). This is a fairly new immunotherapy that has been showing promising results in the last few years. The CAR-T cells are created by collecting Lauren’s own T cells and sending them to a manufacturing facility. At the facility, the T cells are modified by adding a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) gene. Once the CAR gene is added, Lauren’s new CAR-T cells were returned to the hospital and infused back into her body. In her body, these CAR-T cells work to recognize and attack her leukemia cells.
“We are so grateful that this option was available to Lauren and we are hopeful it will keep her in remission,” said Lauren’s mom, Shawna. “We are so thankful for every single day that Lauren is feeling well and cancer-free. Lauren is so excited to go trick-or-treating in our neighborhood this year. Last year we were inpatient in the hospital. Every day that we are all home and under the same roof is a gift. Lauren’s immune system is still in recovery mode due to everything she has had to go through these last 3 ½ years, but through it all she has kept us all smiling and laughing. She is the bravest most courageous little 6-year-old I know. Lauren is my hero!”