You all have been so faithful to pray for our family over the past year...I wanted to take a moment to request your prayers on behalf of another beautiful young woman who has been battling cancer. Lauren Crook is a 20-year-old student at Ouachita Baptist University. I have become acquainted with her mother, Lisa, through emails during Hannah's illness. She heard about Hannah's battle, and she contacted our family...she has been a great encouragement and support us over the last several months. Recently, Lauren's cancer returned...she has had surgery and is facing a new series of radiation treatments. One thing that is striking about Lauren's story is that, similar to Hannah praying for a storm in her life, Lauren prayed (before she ever got sick) that if it was God's will for Him to suffer for Him, she was willing. I asked her mom to type up a little summary of Lauren's story so you could get to know her a little bit. Lauren has a younger sister, Leah, who also needs your prayers. As I receive email udpates from Lisa, I will pass them along to you....Thank you! Jill
Lauren attended a small private school in Little Rock, where she played volleyball, basketball, track, cheerleading, and softball, in addition to the numerous projects in school and at church she was involved with. It was Lauren’s Senior Year in High School and the basketball team had left for a tournament. Lauren was complaining of her head being stopped up and throat hurting. I carried her to the doctor when they returned and he said she had bronchitis, but he was more worried about the bump on her gums. He thought it was a wisdom tooth, but she had those removed she was 16. So, he thought it might be a fragment from the tooth or bone. This was on a Monday. Wednesday she went to the dentist. He said it was not a dental issue. They sent us to an ENT on a Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. They did a CT scan and the next thing I know we are told to be at Children’s Hospital by 11:00. The Chief ENT at ACH looked at the scan. He came back in and said there was something there and he believed it to be a cancerous tumor. The next several weeks a couple of biopsies were done and it was proven to be Chondra Sarcoma. This is where tissue comes together and forms a cancerous tumor for unknown reasons. On April 10, 2006, she had surgery to remove the tumor, which left a hole in her jaw area. In June of 2006, she had reconstructive surgery to build the bone back and fix the hole. They took bone from her arm and skin. This was all grafted into the jaw. This time we were sent to UAMS. Things continued to get better when she had a base MRI in August. The doctors thought she had scar tissue and did not worry about it. In October of 2006, another MRI was done and another cancerous tumor was found in the sinus area. On October 30, 2006, she had another surgery to remove the tumor. The doctor came out after about 10 hours and told us they could not get it all. They had to cut down into her jawbone and remove her teeth from the middle all the way to the right. The surgery lasted 26 hours!! She spent 2 weeks in the hospital and went through 7 chemos and 27 radiations. From this point she had remained cancer free until this February. This last surgery was done endoscopic through her nose. They removed what they could and are depending on radiation to kill out the rest. This type of cancer is rare and usual does not respond to chemo. We are praying that God will kill out the rest. We serve a mighty God and all things are possible through Him.
During this time she has experienced numerous issues along the way. She developed MS from the trauma placed on her body. Lauren will be 21 this July. Lauren has always had a desire to serve the Lord. She is a student at Ouachita Baptist University and this makes the second time she has had to drop out. She plans to major in Speech Pathology and minor in Christian Ministries. She has such zeal to serve the Lord, and has always been a role model student.
I don’t understand these things, but I know God is in control of it all. His plans are not always ours. God is so good, all the time.
Lisa, Lance, Lauren, and Leah Crook