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Lauren is ticking things off her now-list

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Earlier this year, ER24 wrote an article about Lauren de Swardt, an Intermediate Life Support (ILS) medic from the ER24 Witbank branch, who was diagnosed with Pulmonary Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis. It is similar to lung cancer but very rare. During that time Lauren had also started her first bout of chemotherapy and her family and crew members from the Witbank branch showed their support by shaving their hair off.

Recently, Lauren started to complete some things she has always been wanting to do. She is not ticking things off her bucket list because she believes she will be dying, but rather ticking things off to celebrate her life now.

The annual Greatest Train Race was one of the things on her list. It is a race that starts in eMalahleni and ends in Middelburg. On Saturday the 19th of August, Lauren, with the help of best friend Estie Biela, completed the race.

“I’ve always wanted to do the race. My friend Estie Biela (an operational paramedic at the Witbank branch) opted to run the 15km race. Estie completed the first 10km on her own and for the last 5km of the race she pushed me in a wheelchair to the end. I wasn’t allowed to run as this puts strain on my lungs,” said Lauren.

This proved to be quite an emotional experience for both of them.

“In the beginning, I felt quite useless and I felt bad that Estie had to help me. We teamed up together and I think it is something that we won’t forget. It was an emotional experience because she was willing to help me. It’s so fulfilling and such a great feeling to know that I have someone in my life willing to do this for me,” said Lauren.

Although the chemotherapy has been taking its toll on Lauren, the scans have showed some improvement. If her health continues to improve she will only be receiving chemotherapy once every three weeks until the end of the year.

“Even though I can’t do any physical activity and I am booked off from work until the end of the year, there are a number of things I still want to do. My brain is working overtime and I’d still very much like to do the Jeep Warrior Race,” said Lauren.

ER24 wishes Lauren all the best with her health and we will keenly follow her as she ticks things off her now-list.

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