ABOUT LAUREN'S HOPE FOUNDATION
Lauren’s Hope Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in July 2008 in the Lehigh Valley in memory of Lauren Flood. We are a tax-exempt 501(c)3 children's charity. Lauren was born with a traumatic brain injury at birth, consequently developing into cerebral palsy, along with a seizure disorder. Lauren passed away on December 19, 2007 suddenly and unexpectedly in her sleep at the age of four and a half years old. In her short life she taught us so many lessons. She couldn’t sit, stand, walk or talk, but she knew how to smile and instill valuable virtues in those who knew her. The most important virtues being LOVE and HOPE, hence Lauren’s Hope Foundation, Inc.
Lauren’s Hope Foundation, Inc. has just celebrated our 5th year anniversary in July! In that time, we have accomplished so much. We have sponsored many children to receive Hippotherapy (equine-assisted therapy), purchased iPads and a Dynavox for assistive learning, Adapted tricycles, adapted strollers, Hyperbaric therapy sessions, and assisted in the development of the new Hypothermia Treatment Program in the NICU at The Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Health Network. We donated 2 head cooling caps and 2 brain wave monitors and are currently raising money to donate a Criti-Cool blanket so that babies being transported to LVHN can begin cooling therapy much sooner. We couldn’t have done all this without the dedicated board members of Lauren’s Hope. Each board member has a very distinct affinity to why they are part of this great foundation. It is important to each of them to see it continue to make a tangible difference in the lives of children with brain injuries from birth to 21 years old.
The mission of Lauren’s Hope Foundation, Inc. is to do whatever we can to enhance the lives of brain injured children and to give hope and provide support for their families by planning social events and to provide partial/full funding for specialized therapies or equipment where insurances do not provide coverage. Applications are required for review for partial/full funding.
Lauren Flood was born unexpectedly on April 23, 2003 at 37 weeks by cesarean section due to a spontaneous placental abruption. Up until that moment, the pregnancy was completely uneventful without any foreseeable problems. She was flown by life flight to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for critical care. She stayed there for 14 days until coming home. Lauren had severe hypoxia due to the placental abruption, which caused a massive brain injury leaving her with an uncertain prognosis.
THE STORY OF THE WILLOW TREE
When someone passes from this life to the next, it is difficult to accept the idea of no longer seeing that person anymore. The lack of presence in our daily lives or the ability to interact or touch that person brings a deep sadness, especially when you were very close to that person whether it is a child, parent, spouse, relative or friend. This story is one of faith and HOPE that their love is always with us. Their love is a living entity.
Love transcends our physical being. Many people share stories of signs sent from the loved ones who have moved on from this life. Each sign is a symbol of love; a message of hope that they are not gone, but always with us. I have experienced many signs from Lauren, but this one is the biggest and remains on my property to this day.
It was April 23, 2012, the morning of Lauren’s 9th birthday. She had been gone 4 years already. It was a cold, rainy morning and I was feeling a little down and missing my little girl. I decided to go to the gym in an attempt to improve my mood. I drove down my long driveway and quickly turned out onto the road. It hit me that I forgot my cell phone and I was compelled to run back home to get it. When I pulled into the driveway, I noticed something that was hard to believe. I have 2 willow trees at the end of my driveway, and round one of the large willow trees was a giant heart. I got out of my Jeep to see if my eyes were deceiving me. I quickly took pictures to capture exactly what I was seeing. The heart was created by the way the raindrops were lying on the blades of grass under the tree. This has never appeared here before, and at this point, I have lived at my residence for 12 years. I knew instantly in my heart, it was a sign from Lauren. A sign to remind me that she is still with me. Her undeniable message is that on this day, Lauren’s birthday, I shouldn’t be sad. It is a day to celebrate her life. It is Lauren’s love transcending.