In conjunction with Wayne County Children’s Cancer Fund, Kuk Sool Won, a Korean Martial Art Studio, with locations in Williamson, Ontario, Wolcott, and Webster, will be holding its Annual Cancer Benefit Tournament.
This year the recipient of the proceeds is Lauren Miller. The Benefit will take place on Saturday, Jan. 26 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Casey Park Indoor Soccer Field, located at 6551 Knickerbocker Road in Ontario. In addition to the tournament the event will host Martial Art demonstrations, a silent auction, bake sale, and raffles.
This time last year, Lauren Miller, a 7th grader at Palmyra-Macedon Middle School, was just like every other Middle School student. She enjoyed hanging out with her friends, and occupied her time with many after school activities. She was an enthusiastic swimmer and diver, and swam competitively with the Pal-Mac Sea Raiders Swim Club and was a springboard diver with Blue Wave Diving. She was in the pool sometimes as much as 6 days a week.
Around the same time she began experiencing pain, first in her sternum, then in her legs and back. The pain would come and go, and was often most apparent while swimming and diving. Her parents took her to the pediatrician who performed x-rays and a blood test. The results always indicated nothing out of the ordinary.
“We first attributed the pain to the rigorous swim and dive scheduled she maintained, but when she began to wake up in the middle of the night with leg pain, we knew something was wrong”, said her mother, Jennifer.
In April, her mother took her back to the doctor. Again, the pediatrician ordered x-rays and blood work; everything was normal except one result that indicated there was inflammation somewhere in the body. With this, the pediatrician suspected a sports injury and referred Lauren to an orthopedic doctor. After meeting with Lauren and discussing her pain, the orthopedist suspected a stress fracture in her spine and ordered an MRI. The MRI did not show a fracture, but did indicate an abnormality with her bone marrow. Lauren was scheduled for a bone marrow biopsy along with a slew of other tests in the beginning of May. On May 10, 2012, Lauren was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).
“Telling my daughter she had cancer was the single most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do,” said her mother.
Lauren’s prognosis is good, she is responding well to her treatments, and is considered to be in remission. But she still has a long road ahead of her. The treatment for ALL is 2 1/2 years long. The Miller’s travel to Strong Memorial Hospital weekly for Lauren’s chemotherapy infusions. Lauren has endured several hospitalizations, as well as blood and platelet transfusions.
“It’s difficult having to watch your kid go through this,” Jennifer said. “Through it all Lauren has had a positive attitude and just tries to be a ‘normal’ kid.”