Meeting Alex Ovechkin was a dream come true for Lauren
Lauren was 5 years old when she tested positive type 1 diabetes. The diagnosis came during a regular check-up but also just in the nick of time. Her blood sugar levels were extremely dangerous, so she was admitted to the hospital before she went into a toxic state of diabetic ketoacidosis, an acute, major, life-threatening complication of diabetes. She remained in the hospital for 4 days while her family learned how to properly care for her type of diabetes.
Lauren, now 8, is completely dependent on an insulin pump and is monitored around the clock by a glucose monitor. Despite her dangerous condition, Lauren is a fighter and doesn’t let her illness slow her down. The tough, sporty young girl loves to play ice hockey and has been on a team since she was 2. Her favorite team is the Washington Capitals, and she’s in awe of hockey superstar Alex Ovechkin, even more now since her incredible wish trip was granted by Kids Wish Network.
When Lauren started her wish trip, she had no idea all the surprises there were in store. Kids Wish Network provided luxury accommodations, historic and fun activities, fantastic dinners, and transportation in a limousine.
And by partnering with the Capitals, Lauren got to become a star for the entire trip. Cameras and flashing lights followed Lauren everywhere she went. She got to skate on the ice with Ovechkin, score a goal, shop in the Capital’s store, start the game on the “blue line”, and did multiple media interviews.
“I am very honored to have had a chance to meet Lauren and spend some time with her,” said Ovechkin. “She is a courageous girl and a great hockey player! It was great to see her smile and enjoy her time with our team. I also want to thank the Kids Wish Network for their involvement in this experience.”
“Thank you all so very much for making this possible for our girl,” says mom Dianna. “We are really blessed to get this wish for Lauren.”
Check out some of Lauren’s interviews and videos from the trip:
Kids Wish Network would like to thank all the generous sponsors that helped grant Lauren’s once-in-a-lifetime wish:
- The Mandarin Oriental Washington DC Hotel
- The Washington Capitals
- Alex Ovechkin
- Chef Geoff’s Downtown Restaurant
- Rosa Mexicano Restaurant
- District Chop House and Brewery
- Gaylord Hotel National Ice
- Abes & BBC Limousine and Tours
- Go to the Airport Shuttle
- Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
- Old Town Trolley Tours and the DC Ducks
- Monumental Sports and Entertainment Foundation
- Connex Credit Union
- Fraternal Order of Eagles #640
Lauren continues to battle her incurable illness but will not let it stand in her way.