Blanket drive seeks to support cancer patients


Teachers at Lion’s Park Elementary School show off their “#LaurenStrong” shirts on Oct. 8. The shirts were made in support of second grader Lauren Graver, who is battling cancer, and teachers are planning to support Graver again by running a blanket drive at Prospect on Feb. 11.

By Mike Stanford, copy editor
Walking into Lion’s Park Elementary School on Oct. 8, second grader Lauren Graver, her twin sister Emma and her mother Amy were surprised when they saw the staff wearing turquoise blue shirts. They had their backs to the Gravers, so the family could see “#LaurenStrong” printed on the back, and then they turned around and clapped for Lauren.
“They were in total shock,” Lion’s Park teacher Courtney Voss said. “[We] saw the smiles on the girls’ faces. They spoke a million words.”
The shirts were made to support Lauren in her battle against cancer. The teachers bought the shirts without the family’s knowledge, and this was not the only time Lion’s Park has supported the Gravers.
Voss and fellow staff members Tobey Black and Patty Kennedy are spearheading Knots of Love, a blanket drive inspired by Lauren’s fight. It will be held Feb. 11 in the Prospect cafeteria, and the blankets will be given to children at Lutheran General Children’s Hospital.
Lauren was diagnosed in July with a soft abdomen tumor. According to Amy, Lauren is responding well to treatments.
Despite facing her own struggles, the event will not be for Lauren. The blankets will be a part of the care package given to young patients when they are first admitted.
Her brother, freshman Connor Graver, says that the Lauren’s involvement in an event for other children while being sick herself shows her maturity and selflessness in the face of danger.
“She said before, ‘I want to be the sick kid who helps other sick kids,’” Connor said.