Ramer family

Lauren Ramer with her brother Brent and their mother Ann

Improving Quality of Life for AYA Inpatients

Lauren Ramer first faced cancer at just 17 months old. That time, it was in her adrenal gland. When she was nine, her family learned that she had a brain tumor. It was removed; however, two years later, it came back, prompting yet another surgery. Today, the 15-year-old is in the midst of battling bone cancer.

Lauren lives with Li-Fraumeni syndrome, or LFS, a rare genetic condition that predisposes her to developing cancer. LFS is hereditary but, in roughly 25% of cases, is caused by a new mutation. Whether inherited or appearing for the first time, there is a 50% chance that the person’s siblings or children will also have the mutation.

Her family has no history of LFS, but of the four Ramer children, Lauren and her older brother, Brent, both have the mutation.

"Sometimes, it seems like the world is against me," shared Lauren, whose five-week treatment cycle requires her to spend three weeks at a time as an inpatient. "But I have an amazing family to lean on and, for better or worse, my brother can relate."

Like his sister, 18-year-old Brent has fought multiple cancers over the years. Just weeks after Lauren’s bone cancer was discovered, he was diagnosed with relapsed leukemia. "Angie's Institute is amazing, but right now it’s only for outpatients," he said. "I might be here for treatment, but Lauren and the other inpatients are in a whole different building."

"Angie's Institute has so much color and so many amazing opportunities to get out of your room and be with people your own age," said Lauren. "But as an inpatient, there are no public spaces for patients or families to gather or meet each other. It's isolating. We get amazing care, but you feel like the walls are closing in on you."

"Cancer is this huge, horrible thing," she added. "Angie's makes you feel like you don't have to deal with it alone. It's important that inpatients get that same sense of community."

How to Help Patients Like Lauren

Your support can help make the AYA inpatient unit a reality. Learn more about the Andrew Uhrman Inpatient Unit, which will be located on the seventh floor of UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital. Together, we can improve the treatment and outcomes for children, adolescents and young adults battling a world turned upside down by cancer.

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