A decade of hard work

Fourteen-year-old Lauren had difficulties reaching her milestones from a very early age. As a baby, she was very quiet, didn’t roll over or sit up. By the time she was two, she still wasn’t walking or making any sounds. Concerned, her mom, Karen, got a referral to Grandview Kids through her family doctor. Lauren was diagnosed with Global Development Delay and began therapy with the team at Grandview Kids. Lauren is excited to start high school this Fall.

Then when she was three-years-old, everything changed. Lauren had a seizure, and then another one. She was brought to Sick Kids and had four more seizures in hospital. A week later, she was up to 10 seizures every hour, and a couple months later, was suffering 40 seizures every day. Many of Lauren’s seizures caused her to drop to the floor and would last a minute or more. With no end in sight, and little quality of life left for Lauren, it was decided that she would undergo surgery to remove an area in the right side of her brain where the seizures were starting.

As expected after surgery, Lauren experienced limited mobility and function on her left-side. Lauren began many weeks of in-patient treatment at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.

“The reason why Grandview Kids holds such a special spot in my heart,” says mom, Karen. “Is that it played an important role in helping Lauren be able to come home from Holland Bloorview. It was hard on our family for me to be away with Lauren for so long, but our Grandview Kids physiotherapist helped to reassure the Holland Bloorview team that she would be able to continue the therapy she needed – even they were blown away by the help Grandview Kids was prepared to offer to get Lauren home.”

Since that time, Grandview Kids’ therapists have helped Lauren work toward her goals of being able to walk again, build balance and stamina, and improve the use of the left side of her body. She also attended Campbell Children’s School for junior and senior kindergarten and continues to visit the Muscle Tone clinic to receive Botox treatment to help her gain more movement in her muscles.

It’s been a long journey for Lauren, but she has worked so hard and made such amazing strides. In fact, Lauren was the #1 fundraiser in last year’s Get Active Challenge in support of Grandview Kids. She raised more than $3,000 by swimming all summer.  

“Lauren just loves Grandview Kids,” says Karen. “In fact, every time we drive by she gets very excited and yells out ‘there’s my building!’”

Checking in with last year’s top fundraiser

Since 2020, Grandview Kid, Lauren, raised $6360 through the Get Active Challenge, which made her the top fundraiser for both years of this event. Lauren has dedicated entire summers to logging hours swimming in Rice Lake at her family’s trailer. Her family and friends rallied around her efforts by making donations, encouraging her on over Facebook, and even cheering her on from the shore during her swims.

“They would chant ‘go Lauren, go!’ as she swam,” says Lauren’s mom, Karen. “Everyone at the trailer park knows who she is and what she was doing for Grandview Kids. People would stop by on golf carts to drop off donations.” 

Lauren is currently narrowing down her choices as to what she will choose for her challenge for this year’s Get Active Challenge. Her mom and sister have brought up lots of ideas, such as walking, or a combined walk/swim, but so far, nothing has felt quite right to Lauren. Stay tuned for more on that! One thing that this thirteen-year-old knows for sure is that she will be participating in Get Active again in 2021. After all, she has a title to defend!

Sign up for the GET ACTIVE CHALLENGE now at https://grandviewkidsfoundation.akaraisin.com/ui/GetAvtive2022/get-active-challenge