Community raises awareness, funds, and hope for Suncoast elementary school teacher diagnosed with rare, genetic disease
SARASOTA COUNTY- Between lesson plans and life, a Suncoast is rallying around an elementary school teacher with a rare genetic disease. We introduced you to Lauren Hanrahan back in May when she was a recipient for A Helping Hand from Carl Reynolds Law. Now, she’s fighting back, and she’s not alone.
Englewood Elementary first grade teacher, Stephanie Ham has taken the word co-worker to a new level.
“When she said that if she lost her hearing, she hoped the last sound she heard is that of her kids. It struck chord in me and from there, I just have jumped in all the way," said Ham.
“Stephanie is my backbone through all of this," said Lauren Hanrahan.
When Hanrahan was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis Type 2, or NF2, a rare genetic disease, causing tumors through the central nervous system, Ham began researching and planning way to fight back.
“We have your back. We’re working hard and we are going to make a cure happen,” said Ham.
Now, that same passion and hope has spread into the tight-knight community. Off the Wave owner Brad Pike, is putting on a fashion show, raising funds, awareness and hope for Hanrahan.
“Anyone that knows Lauren, I mean, she just brightens up a room as soon as she comes in, so I’m going to do everything I can to help her," said Pike.
Saturday’s Fashion, Food and Fun event will help Hanrahan cover medical expenses as well as benefit the non-profit organization NF2 BioSolutions.
“What can I do? What can I do?" thought Pike, "That’s Englewood. That’s how we are as a community."
A community that sticks together supports one another and fights for a cure.
“I think when you put enough people together to reach a goal its going to happen. We are not going to stop until there is a cure," said Hanrahan.