My name is Lauren Blanchard. I am a chronic blood cancer warrior, wife, mother of 4 boys, and bonus mom of 2. The term “gotCUREage” began as a team name for a Light the Night that benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Myself, family and friends participated in our local Va. Beach walk for the first time in 2012. I have since, trademarked the term and began my own 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with proceeds benefiting the LLS, Va. Chapter as well as local charities/families impacted by life threatening illness. I coined the phrase "It takes COURAGE to fight and CUREage to win!" as I feel that it is a simple yet bold reminder to never give up.
In March of 2017 I was nominated to take part in the 10 week LLS Man & Woman of the Year Campaign. My team "gotCUREage" and I raised more than $88,000 and I was named the LLS Va. Chapter Woman of the Year. I am honored to be on the leadership committee for Man and Woman of the Year, the Executive Committee for Light the Night, and the Honorary Mentor for our Student of the Year campaign. Since that first walk in 2012 "gotCUREage" has had a monetary impact of more than $200,000 all of which benefits the LLS, Va. Chapter.
I have a personal connection to this mission as I was diagnosed with Essential Thrombocythemia (chronic, yet treatable, blood cancer) in December of 2009, at the age of 36, after having multiple strokes caused by a vertebral artery dissection and a platelet count of 1.5 million (normal ranging from 200-400,000). Unless a CURE is found, I will remain on oral chemo indefinitely. For myself, “gotCUREage” has great meaning as I would love nothing more than to see a CURE in my lifetime. It is my hope that it can also be an inspiration for fellow cancer fighters, their families, friends, and anyone that is need of a CURE of any kind. By raising awareness and funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, we are contributing to research that could lead to a CURE.