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Saturday 25 June 2016

The Lauren Currie Twilight Foundation: Vasculitus Awareness

This year marks an important year for my year group - we are all turning 21. Sadly one member of our group won't be celebrating this with us, and that is Lauren Currie.

Lauren was easily the bubbliest girl I knew. Anyone who met her can vouch for the fact that she would light up any room that she entered with a big grin on her face, an infectious laugh and some comment about the Twilight Saga. She even had a full-sized cardboard cut-out of Edward himself.

I was lucky enough to know this amazing girl. We spent many lunchtimes sitting on 'the bridge' - our groups spot for lunch and I got to see her amazing acting talents when we worked together in the school show. Although she wasn't my best friend, she was certainly a friend that influenced my life. And when Rachel called me up to tell me the awful news that she had passed away at just 15, I was heartbroken. When I first saw the floods of messages on her Facebook wall, I thought it was some kind of sick joke. Unfortunately, it was not.

However, something has come out of this tragedy, and that is the Lauren Currie Twilight Foundation. This charity, set up by her parents, has given friends and family a way to cope with the loss. I first got involved to support my good friend Rachel, who I have known since nursery, as she was incredibly close to Lauren. I saw how it helped her through the difficult time, and wanted to support her in any way I could. Most importantly, the charity keeps Lauren's memory alive to this day.

It is also a way to prevent another death like Lauren's. Vasculitus is not a terminal illness, but as it is not well known, the symptoms can often be missed. By raising awareness and doing research about this illness, we can help future patients and families. In September this year, Lauren would have been 21, and so to celebrate the charity is aiming to have raised £500k by this time. Therefore, to help with this final push, I have decided to do a few fundraising events this summer. I started off by running the annual 5k event with Rachel, and the next stop is walking the West Highland Way over 7 days. It will be tough, but if it raises the money I hope it does, it will be worth every step.

To donate please follow this link to the just giving page, any donations big or small are greatly appreciated. Thank you.

For more information on Lauren, the charity and the work it does, visit the website here.

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