in Loving Memory of
Lauren "ELLE" Elizabeth Richmond
6, 1993 TO DECEMBER 20, 2008
Established on December 18, 2008 the mission of the ELLE FOUNDATION is to carry out the last wish of Lauren “ELLE” Richmond. Lauren’s wish was to create a foundation that would grant final wishes for children with a recurrence of cancer.
In 2003, at the age of 10, Lauren was diagnosed with a very rare and tenacious chordoma tumor on her brainstem. For over five years, with the spirit of a warrior, Lauren fought valiantly facing numerous recurrences and endured repeated surgeries, proton radiation and chemo treatments. Lauren knew that a recurrence is more devastating than a first diagnosis. Lauren would say, “With a first diagnosis, you have a plan. You go through surgery, chemo, and radiation with the hope and faith that you are going to get better. It’s a terrible thing to go through, but there’s hope. Then all of a sudden, whether it’s a month, a year, or two years, it comes back. Now you feel…, why can’t I catch a break, what did I do wrong?”
Lauren knew that she would not live to experience most of the things we all take for granted and yet she never cried for herself, instead she cried because she worried about taking care of the ‘really sick’ kids.
At the age of 15, Lauren lost her battle with chordoma. In her final days Lauren wrote, I AM UP TO YOU – and charged her family with taking care of HER foundation, which Lauren defined as the “reason for her journey”.
WHAT MAKES THE ELLE FOUNDATION DIFFERENT FROM OTHER WISH GRANTING ORGANIZATIONS?
Lauren’s mission for the ELLE Foundation was to give children with cancer and their families a moment to forget, to laugh and to rejuvenate their spirits.
Lauren continues to teach us that with love, perseverance, courage, and compassion for others you can turn a terrifying experience into something good and make a difference in the world. This is why the ELLE FOUNDATION is SO VERY IMPORTANT to children with a life-shortening recurrence of cancer.
When medical options are coming to an end and all a family WANTS and NEEDS is time together, the ELLE Foundation is here for them. We are here to help them create memories that their hearts will treasure forever.
The ELLE Foundation is a completely volunteer foundation and is the only wish granting organization whose mission is to grant final wishes for children with a recurrence of cancer. With time being of the essence and “Wish” discounts not being extended - granting final wishes requires an extraordinary financial commitment, but Lauren's passion inspires us everyday and our dedication to give these deserving children a chance to forget, to laugh and to find their inner spirit and strength is unwavering.
THE ELLE FOUNDATION INC. IS A UNITED WAY PARTICIPANT &
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THE ELLE FOUNDATION INC.
(TAX ID # 26-4755717) IS A 501(c)(3) TAX EXEMPT NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION