Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lauren. A plea for help!

Update, 12/09/09, 2:01 PM: Lauren's Mom passed away earlier today. Please keep this family in your thoughts. If you can help me find a home for Lauren's fur babies, I would greatly appreciate it.

Many of you have seen me posting on Facebook (follow me) and on my blog about Lauren. You've probably figured out that Lauren is another CF patient, just like me. But Lauren has always been more than "just another patient," and over the past year we have become fast friends. In the past few months, she jumped ranks to "World's Best Unofficial Little Sister."

So, how'd we end up here? I first got to know Lauren when she moved to Alabama from New Orleans. She was on the transplant list at Tulane but was transferred to the University of Alabama at Birmingham after Hurricane Katrina.

My first impression of Lauren was that of a pint-sized, loud-mouthed firecracker. She's currently a red head and I can tell you that she comes by the temperament that red heads are famous for honestly.

I found myself rather jealous of Lauren's creative bent. As a kid, I was well known for my obsession with crayons, colored pencils, and markers (just ask my father). This girl put me to shame! I've never seen so many art supplies in my life. She proceeded to decorate everything imaginable on the Pulmonary unit - making name tags for the nurses and respiratory therapists, organizing and decorating our "menu book," etc.

I decided to get over my jealousy, and I'm glad that I did. We might be a decade apart in years, but we were both amazed by the number of similarities that we shared. From birthdays (we were both born on the 21st of the month), family relationships, a morbid sense of humor, and a love of faeries, it was a bit eerie how often we found ourselves on the same page of the same book.

It's been a running joke between La and I that I'm the "grown up" and she's the "baby sis" in our friendship. I have to constantly remind her that the only reason she gets away with calling me grown up is because I have a mortgage. To be completely honest, Lauren has been through more things than any grown up should ever have to face and always comes up fighting.

Watching Lauren fight with every ounce of strength in her and then come out with a flippant remark at the end shows me that I'm not nearly as tough as I might claim to be. At 21, she's been through more than most people can ever imagine - losing a home in Hurricane Katrina, then losing her father to cancer. Now, while she is in the fight for
her life, she is having to watch her mother battle Stage IV cancer.

Which brings me to the point of this post --

You know that Lauren is fighting for her life. She made it through transplant only to be set back with a fungal infection. This infection is taking every bit of strength that she has in reserve. On Friday, the Dr.'s made the decision to put her back on the ventilator to help her body rest. Both Rob (Lauren's friend from high school) and I are with her every day. Lauren has no other family that can be with her during this time.

Now, Lauren's mother is in the last stages of her fight against cancer. Her friends from New Orleans have rallied around her to keep her comfortable in these final days/weeks. Sadly, Lauren's mom had to relinquish care of their four dogs to the Humane Society because she could no longer take care of them.

These dogs are one of the good things that Lauren has. We compare stories about her four crazy dogs and my three crazy kitties. I can't tell you how important it is for these dogs to still be there for Lauren when she is well.

I spoke with Angela @ The Greater Huntsville Humane Society today, December 8.

There are four dogs total - 3 pugs and 1 boxer. Lauren's grandfather kept the oldest black female pug (Lilly) because she is in poor health. Lilly is not available for adoption. The other two pugs (Buddha and Tanooki) were taken to the shelter. Trixie (the boxer) was also taken to the shelter. They have been there almost two weeks.

(This is the information that is on the Greater Huntsville Humane Society's webpage):
She is a very playful girl!! She loves attention and is very demanding of it. She has come to us with her house mates, and her former owner's final plea is that they all stay together.

Breed: Pug
Primary Color: Tan
Age: 7 yrs

This hefty little guy is full of love! He came to us with his house mates, that he has lived with always.

Breed: Pug
Primary Color: Black
Age: 7 yrs

She is a smaller boxer, a little shy at first meeting. Once she warms up, she loves cuddles and kisses. She is more comfortable with her house mates.

Breed: Boxer (mix)
Primary Color: White
Age: 2 yrs

The GHHS has placed the dogs on a thirty-day hold for adoption. All three dogs must stay together (Trixie - the boxer - is very, very dependent on the two pugs, Buddha and Tanooki). They will do a pre-adoption visit to ensure that the home is large enough for all three and capable of taking on the responsibility. They also do post adoption home visits to ensure the care of the dogs.

All three dogs have had their vaccines updated and will be micro-chipped. Tanooki had to be taken to the vet to have his eyes and sinuses treated, but is doing well.

Please help me.

This family (both human and canine) needs it.

We need to find someone that can adopt or foster the dogs until Lauren is well. I know that this is a huge responsibility but it is so important that Lauren know that her babies will be taken care of, no matter what. You can also help by sponsoring the dogs while they are with the GHHS. If you would like to make a directed donation for the care of these three, I can put you in touch with Angela @ The Greater Huntsville Humane Society.

I am sharing this information via e-mail, blog, and Facebook. This is my desperate plea to help get the word out. This family has overcome too many trials and there will be many battles ahead. We need your help! Anything you can do - great or small - will be greatly appreciated.

If you, or anybody you know, can help
please e-mail me, call me, leave me a message on Facebook or leave a comment on this blog. Or all of the above.

Update, 4:00 PM: Please feel free to share this information.

Update, 6:15 PM: We've just been informed that Lauren's Mom (Susan) only has a few hours left. Maybe a day. I hate this. I hate this. I hate this.