Khalil Gibran once said “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” Her strength shines through her eyes every time she talks to you. When you first meet her it seems like she has had a wonderful carefree life filled with trips to the mall, vacations to dozens of foreign countries, and everything she could ever want. You wouldn’t know what she has been through just from seeing her smiling face, but if you gaze into her eyes long enough you can see the pain that was once present. Lauren Christian- the strongest person I know has been through the kind of trials that tug on ones soul. Lauren is someone who can smile through trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. She has been the biggest role model for me in my life and I will always look up to her for the strength that she carries with her always.
August 6th 2009 was a day Lauren would never forget. She was a freshman at a new school and had just been selected to play on her high schools volleyball team. She was overjoyed, she felt on top of the world and nothing could bring her down. Or so she thought. But that feeling of excitement was soon quickly changed into terror and heartbreak. Just as Lauren returned home from winning her first game, her mom was there waiting to pick her up. Lauren’s beaming smile soon disappeared upon glancing at her mother. The look on her face was one that will forever be engraved in her mind. It was a look of absolute sadness and fear.
“I just received a phone call. Mckenna has cancer. She is at Texas Children’s Hospital right now. And starting the first round of chemo therapy.”
Lauren was frozen. She stared straight ahead. How could she comprehend this information that her mom just told her. Mckenna was Lauren’s best friend. Both of them had done everything together and each of them had the same beautiful golden blonde hair that flowed down their backs. They had known each other their whole lives and were basically the same person even though they had different names. Mckenna had always been there for Lauren when she had gone through rough times at school and Lauren could not believe that something that she never would have thought would happen to her best friend was now happening.
After hearing the shocking news she immediately made her way to the hospital with her mom, stopping at the store to grab a few goodies to cheer up Mckenna. When Lauren and her mom arrived at the hospital with the goodies they walked through the hospital halls to McKenna’s room. When Lauren opened the door to the room she was over come with surprise Mckenna had chopped off her long, golden locks. Mckenna loved her hair; it was something she took pride in. Lauren knew she had done this so when the side effects of chemo kicked in and she began to loose her hair it would not be quite so dramatic. As Lauren looked at her friend, lying there helpless in the hospital bed hooked up to all kinds of machines. All Lauren wanted to do was run up to her friend and cry big tears. She was scared too; she did not know what was going to happen. But Lauren knew she had to be strong for her best friend. So she gave Mckenna a big smile and let her know everything was going to be ok.
Looking back on the summer before school started Lauren remembers the symptoms that Mckenna had before she found out she had cancer. One day when they were drinking Jamba Juice Lauren said that Mckennas teeth were very tender. Later on as the month progressed Mckenna felt so much pain in her joints that it was as if she had arthritis even though she was only 14 years old. It wasn’t until Mckenna finally could not even move without severe pain that her mom decided to take her to the hospital so that the doctors could perform tests to see what was wrong. That is when tests came back positive that Mckenna had Leukemia. During this difficult time that Laurens best friend was going