Lauren RaneyTrustee Emeritus (7/28/1977-12/16/2016)

    I’m a wife, a mother of three, an English teacher, and a cancer patient. I am a lifelong resident of Southern Ocean County. After high school I attended Rowan University where I received a BA in Communications and met the love of my life. In 2002 Billy and I got married and quickly started a family. We decided to move to Manahawkin in 2003 to raise our children, Emily and Will. I was a stay at home mom while earning my teaching degree. In 2010 I landed my dream job: teaching 9th grade English at our local district, Southern Regional High School. Life was busy and life was good. Last October I received the surprise of a lifetime, I was pregnant with our third child. However, our joy was soon overshadowed by mysterious health issues that left doctors perplexed. I felt like I was dying, and in fact, I was. In February, a visit to the University of Pennsylvania and a drastic surgery removing massive tumors and my ovaries, all while pregnant, left me fearing for my life as well as the life of my unborn child. We both made it through surgery but I was left with a grim diagnosis: stage 4 gastric cancer. April of 2015, I successfully delivered our baby girl, Samantha. She was delivered 6 weeks early in order for me to begin chemotherapy. She spent 2 and half weeks in the NICU. It’s almost a year later, and I am still receiving chemotherapy. My life and my family now must live and breathe cancer. Throughout this journey we have learned the importance of support, be it from loved ones or community members. David and David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation provided my entire family with support and did so, without us even asking. David not only helped me in my time of need, but he made me realize that I, too, can be a support system for others in my situation.

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