Lauren was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma at the age of 23. After treatment, she was inspired to use her personal cancer experience to help other patients, so she returned to academia, earning a Master’s in Public Health and a Master’s in Social Work from San Diego State University. A few years after her treatment ended, she got involved with the AYA cancer community through a wilderness retreat. The interaction with others her age who had gone through cancer helped her to process her own experiences and begin the healing process. She is passionate about cancer survivorship, specifically issues of isolation, resilience, fear of recurrence, and advocacy for AYAs with cancer which is why she is thrilled to be at Cactus Cancer Society.
Prior to her time at Cactus Cancer Society, Lauren spent five years working as a Program Administrator at City of Hope National Medical Center, building comprehensive programs for cancer survivors and academic programs for physicians. She has developed curricula and educational materials for cancer survivors and AYA cancer patients, facilitated City of Hope’s cancer survivorship support group, and has presented extensively on fear of cancer recurrence and spirituality in cancer survivorship. In addition to her work at City of Hope, Lauren has worked with The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Stupid Cancer, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, and Still Waters Cancer Retreat to provide psychosocial support and to advocate for the needs of cancer patients and survivors.