Dear Friends,

“When I learned about Lauren’s Light, I wasn’t doing very well; I was depressed, overwhelmed and very scared.  My worst fear was what is going to happen to my family, my children, especially my daughter.  She couldn’t even talk with us, and we could see her anguish through her teary eyes. I have seen so many incredible changes in her since. I now know that she will be OK if there comes a time that she will be without me; this was only possible thanks to the generosity of Lauren’s Light.  I cannot express what this means to me; for this I am forever thankful.” F.R.

This kind of feedback inspires everyone associated with Lauren’s Light.  It has been a privilege to have helped over 100 family members this past year alone.  We want you to read in their own words the “Voices of Light” from some of the people we have helped, as well as from members of the Lauren’s Light team.  We cannot express the value of Lauren’s Light as well as those who have benefitted from our services can.  Their perspectives are attached.  Through their words you can see how your donations are impacting the lives of Lauren’s Light families.

Lauren’s Light is continuously re-evaluating its efforts and services to reflect the ever-changing needs of our families.

As part of the ongoing evolution of the organization, we have created an Advisory Board, to provide counsel and open doors for Lauren’s Light.  We are thrilled and honored to announce the first four individuals who have agreed to serve as members:

  1. -Dr. Luis Villa, Jr., Oncologist and President of La Liga Contra el Cancer.

  2. -Dr. Michael Gordon, Cardiologist and Director of the University of Miami Center for Research in Medical Education.

  3. -Mark Sterling, Partner in Hogan Lovells, who has provided invaluable pro-bono legal assistance.

- Anthony Askowitz, Miami businessman and childhood friend of Lauren.

To help us continue our work during these very challenging economic times, Lauren’s Light has also been blessed to have an amazing group of volunteers to whom we owe our gratitude.

In an effort to bring you closer to our work at Lauren’s Light, we have emailed our newsletters, “Spotlight,” to everyone for whom we have email addresses.  Do we have yours?

We have held several exciting and rewarding fundraising events during the past two years, including our “Extravaganza – A Premier Spectacle of Fashion, Jewels, Music & Dance”; “Family Matters,” a Light-Hearted Conversation with Dave Barry, Michelle Kaufman and Mitchell Kaplan; a “Concert for Cancer” featuring Ellen Bukstel; “Festival of the Flutes”; a “Happy Hour” at the Titanic Brewing Company; and a walkathon held at a school where one of our Lauren’s Light families attend.

These events secure much needed funds, and also greatly increase community awareness of Lauren’s Light.

In order to help more families and open a path through the darkness of living with cancer, Lauren’s Light needs your financial support.  Our infrastructure is in place to grow, and our goal is to greatly increase the number of families we help.  

With your help, Lauren’s Light can double the number of families we assist.  Every contribution will make a profound difference.  We will use 100% of all monies we receive to help families who are desperate for our help and have nowhere else to turn.  For our friends and family who have contributed in prior years, we are extremely grateful and would like to thank you once again for your generosity; we look forward to your continuing interest and support.  To our new friends and contributors, we thank you in advance for your tax deductible giftFor our new friends, we welcome you to the Lauren’s Light family of contributors.  Tax-deductible donations can be made in your name or in memory or honor of friends and loved ones.  You can help keep Lauren’s Light bright!  Please send your donation to Lauren’s Light at 3 Grove Isle Drive, Suite 503, Coconut Grove, FL 33133, or make a secure donation through our website.

My fellow Board members – Mal, Anthony, and Bob – join me in wishing you and your loved ones Happy Holidays and a year ahead of health, happiness, and prosperity.

                                                                   With gratitude and warmest regards,

                                                                   Ben Feinswog, Chairman & CEO



“Voices of Light”

Families

1. V.G. – “In December of 2008 my wife Ana was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. She had a primary tumor in her right breast, plus two brain tumors, and cancer which had spread to her lung, kidney, liver and spine. This caught us totally out of the blue; three months earlier my wife had gotten a mammogram and no issues were detected.

I was in a state of absolute chaos dealing with her sickness and trying to do my best to take care of our three children who at the time were ages 3, 7 and 9. Medically Ana was in great hands, but her situation was so grave that we were looking at death straight in the eyes.

In the middle of the worst stage of her illness I was referred to Lauren’s Light by some people from the Baptist Hospital. Those sessions were free of charge to me, at a time that I couldn’t afford them financially, but turned out to be completely priceless in terms of the benefit they provided.

A little more than a year later, against all odds my wife is doing great, my children are fine and I will be forever grateful towards Lauren’s Light and all the wonderful people who are part of the program. They did something that most people only talk about; they made a real difference in a person’s life.

There are very few gifts that people can offer each other as beautiful as that. Lauren’s program was the light at the end of the darkest tunnel I’ve ever been in. I honestly believe that her spirit will be a beacon for many more that suffer the effects of cancer.”

2. P.S. – “Cancer can be a lonely and frightening experience; but Lauren’s Light gave us the tools that we needed to stop the downward spiral. While it has been a deep thorn in my son’s and my life for many years, it has truly brought us many blessings. Lauren’s Light has now been added to that list of blessings.”

3. L.K. – “The emotional support that I’m getting through Lauren’s Light is invaluable.”

4. T.G. – “I am so grateful for what you are doing for us – helping my daughter helps me so much.”

5. C.L. – “You are such a blessing!”

  1. 6.M.W. – “Thanks for all your help. Your assistance has made a difference for my daughter and me. It has given me the proper channels to help her through this transition of my wife having cancer and passing away.”

Therapists

  1. 1.Patricia Isis, PhD, LMHC, ATR-BC – “We are so fortunate to have this great treasure on hand. Lauren’s Light provides crucial services to many families in our community who would not otherwise be able to afford these opportunities. I only wish that this degree of support was available to my family during our painful and challenging experience with cancer. How lucky we are, today, to have such a vital and well organized structure for families with young children in which a parent has cancer.”

  2. 2.Katherine Campbell, PhD, LCSW –“Lauren’s Light specifically addresses a heart-wrenching gap in service by focusing on the needs of children who have a parent battling cancer. As our country continues to experience high cancer rates and a declining economy, the services of Lauren’s Light are invaluable.”

  3. 3.Roselyn Smith, PhD, LCP – “How terribly important it is to provide opportunities for parents and their children to have safe, private places where they can give voice to each and every aspect of the cancer experience. There is no doubt in my mind that Lauren’s Light makes a profound difference in the lives of their participants.”

  4. 4.Summer Sullivan, PhD – “Lauren’s Light is not just another organization providing access to resources; rather, this organization truly cares about the well-being of families. For these children, knowing that Lauren’s Light had taken a personal interest in them meant that they were not alone and that people recognized the struggles they were facing. I can’t express how much I admire the passion and devotion of Lauren’s Light. I have yet to come across another organization in the community who moves far beyond just raising funds and far into the hearts and homes of families who so desperately need the community support.”

Collaborative Partner

Carol Berns, PsyD, FT, Co-Founder of the Children’s Bereavement Center – “I have personally seen and experienced the valuable work of Lauren’s Light and the long-lasting positive effects on the children and parents you help. Lauren’s Light has filled a much needed void in the provision and continuum of care by regarding the needs of the entire family, as well as in its creative approach and really seeing and knowing what’s absolutely vital for families with young kids. Be it through counseling, distributing information, supplying resources, offering an understanding ear, a soft shoulder or the camaraderie of others who have ‘walked the walk,’ Lauren’s Light is a real gem in the community.”

Volunteer

Lynda Gordon – “I have been doing charity work for over 20 years.  As fulfilling as it is for me, I have never enjoyed the process of planning and producing an event like I did with Lauren’s Light.  After reading Malvina’s book, I was so touched by the story and the courage of Lauren in the last months of her life. Lauren’s Light helps other families deal with the tragedy that they themselves lived through. It is so close to their hearts, their souls and because of that they are involved in every facet of fundraising, in the production of the website, and in every event they are a part of. I felt like we were not just raising funds for an organization, but helping Lauren to continue her legacy of love, caring, and nurturing others like she had done her whole life. Malvina, Ben and their son Scott made the event one that we could all be proud of, but more than that they made me a part of their Lauren’s Light family.”