Wishes & Dreams Committee is pleased to announce the 2017 Shining Star Award will be given to:
LAUREN MARIE BLACK
Lauren was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis just two weeks after she was born through a newborn screening test. The diagnosis was overwhelming. The median age of survival was just 31, about the same age as Lauren’s parents at the time of her birth. Her parents were told that the best thing they could do for Lauren was to manage the disease aggressively and diligently. Lauren has made this much easier by never complaining and always remaining compliant with her many medications and treatments. Lauren cannot tolerate many oral antibiotics and for this reason has had to endure many hospitalizations over the years, each lasting at least two weeks at a time. She makes the best of it, always finding some joy and fun in each day. CF hasn’t stopped her from achieving her goals and pursuing the things she loves. She has always loved to be outdoors playing with her friends. She plays sports all year and is a member of her school’s field hockey, basketball and lacrosse teams. Last year she served as president of her 8th grade class and this year continues to be active in student government as well as the Interact Club, a service organization.
Lauren’s family and friends have been raising funds for the CF Foundation since she was diagnosed. Lauren is the leader of her team, Lauren’s Lifesavers, and has proven herself to be a great advocate for herself and all people living with Cystic Fibrosis. Her team has participated in 15 Great Strides walks and has raised over $500,000 to support the search for a cure. In honor of this milestone, this past spring Lauren was named the “Patient Hero” at her Great Strides walksite and made a speech before the start of the walk. Lauren’s Lifesavers was named the “Outstanding Great Strides Partner” in 2016 for the Delaware Valley Chapter. Each spring since 5th grade, Lauren has made a presentation during her school’s announcements to invite her classmates to join her walk team and participate in Great Strides. Lauren enjoys public speaking and has been invited to speak twice at West Chester University’s Delta Phi Epsilon sorority meetings to explain what it is like living with CF. Lauren has also been the inspiration behind Laps for Lauren, a swimming fundraiser and Lax for Lauren, a lacrosse fundraiser. Both events benefited the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Lauren has benefited from better treatments that have been developed in the 15 years since she was diagnosed, but the reality of the disease remains the same. The ultimate goal for Lauren and her family is to find a cure for CF so that Lauren and all those with CF can have more tomorrows.