By: Sharon Aron Baron
Coral Springs resident Lauren Bendesky, who’s fighting stage IV neuroblastoma was named one of five St. Baldrick’s Foundation ambassadors for 2014.
Every year, the Foundation selects five Ambassadors to represent the thousands of kids touched by childhood cancer from many different geographic areas, age groups, disease types and more.
Bendesky, 16, an honor student at Coral Glades High School, loves to shop, dance, and play the viola. She has always had a passion for travel and for giving back to her community, and she spent the summer before her freshman year of high school touring Europe and volunteering at a local church summer camp.
The following summer was quite different. Lauren was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma in June 2012 when she was 14 years old.
While most girls her age were concerned with boys, hair, and the latest fashion, Lauren’s cancer diagnosis made her realize what really matters. “Life has become more precious,” Lauren says. “I appreciate my family more and value our time together.”
Lauren spent more than half of the last year in the hospital, but she was determined to stay on track with her studies, taking online classes and completing the coursework from her hospital bed.
Now a junior in high school, Lauren has finished treatment and is looking ahead to a bright future. She plans to study biology in college and go on to medical school to become a pediatric oncologist, where she will devote her career both to the treatment of kids with cancer and to the research to find cures.
Find out more about her or donate to St. Baldrick’s Foundation