Rachel Lara

First post: May 18, 2020 Latest post: Oct 12, 2020
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Our precious friends, The Lara’s, are currently facing an overwhelming journey as their 17 year old daughter, Rachel, has been diagnosed with cancer. Approximately 3 weeks ago, Rachel experienced a sudden onset of lower extremity paralysis and was admitted to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, Florida. The following day, an MRI showed multiple spinal tumors. Neurosurgery was subsequently performed and their worst fears were confirmed days later, as Rachel was diagnosed with Neuroendocrine Carcinoma. Rachel has spent the last 3 weeks in Sacred Heart Hospital, with her loving parents, Scott and Jen, by her side. Unfortunately, Rachel is still paralyzed and they have received news that a second opinion on her spinal biopsy has revealed a possible different type of cancer, Rhabdomyosarcoma. In the interim, it was also discovered that Rachel has multiple tumors on her ovaries. There is much uncertainty as to the diagnosis and future treatment, as they are preparing to be transported to Shands in Gainesville tomorrow. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions, only one parent is allowed in Shands hospital with Rachel. This leaves Scott balancing the house and their other 2 beautiful daughters, Abigail and Isabell, in addition to working and commuting back and forth to Gainesville to support his wife and daughter. As a result of COVID-19 restrictions, Scott will have to pay for his own overnight visits in a hotel in Gainesville and will have to travel back and forth, as the other girls won’t even be allowed to visit their sister Rachel at Shands hospital even once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. The emotional and physical burden is enormous, but I know that the financial burden will grow as Rachel will undergo a prolonged hospital stay this summer, with aggressive physical therapy, chemotherapy, and radiation. The financial burden is compounded as Jen is also unable to work as she is by Rachel’s side at the hospital. Rachel is a smart, beautiful, loving, and caring individual who is facing a journey that no child should have to face. She graduated from High School with a ceremony and Sacred Heart Hospital and also just celebrated her 17th birthday with a birthday drive by at the hospital. As a friend who has seen this beautiful family give of themselves year after year and support others in their life struggles, I would like to do something to relieve some stress off of the family. We already have a Meal Train that was started a few weeks ago and will link both the GoFundMe and the Meal Train to A Caring Bridge Site. 

Much love and prayers for The Laras,