It’s Meet a Mom Monday! Today we’re introducing Lauren Lopriore, Chicago mama, breast cancer survivor (and thriver!) and founder of Liv & Let! In Lauren’s words, ” Liv and Let is dedicated to giving strength and hope to those affected by breast cancer- previvors, survivors and caregivers. By nurturing and providing comprehensive knowledge, the hope is to provide individualized support as well as essential items to thrive through treatment and survivorship.” Keep reading our interview below to learn more about Lauren and her inspirational story!
Hi Lauren! Thanks for speaking with us today! Where are you from originally, and what brought you to Chicago?
I am originally from Downers Grove, IL – a suburb of Chicago. I attended University of Dayton in Ohio before moving to New York City. Here I met my husband and after living there for 7 years we moved to Chicago for a job change and family.
How many kids do you have, and how old are they?
I have 1 daughter, Matilda, who is almost 3 (three in June).
What is your favorite part about being a mom?
I love watching my daughter grow each month – her height, her words, her personality, her intelligence, her kindness. Each day, week and month it seems that there is something new happening. I also love that even though we may have our bad days, the good ones where we spend beautiful moments laughing and playing together make the days of struggle seem not so bad.
What are your favorite things to do with your family around the city, both now and in “normal” times?
We love to try “new places” whether that’s a restaurant, a park, a town or ice cream shop. We enjoy going to the park near our house as well as to the parks by the lake. On a nice day, the beach is a favorite spot!
What is your favorite part about raising your daughter in the city?
My favorite part is being able to walk around and explore with her. Having access to so many kids activities and programs is a huge plus as well.
When were you diagnosed with breast cancer? Can you tell us a little about your journey?
In September of 2014, I found a lump under my arm and on my right breast. It took until February of 2015 to be diagnosed with stage 3 invasive ductal carcinoma breast cancer; estrogen, progesterone, and Her-2 positive. I would later find out I was also positive for the BRCA (breast cancer) gene. My treatment regimen moved forward quickly. Before I started I went through IVF (In Vetro Fertilization) to save my eggs before they would be destroyed by chemo. I then went through 6 intense chemotherapy treatments (Taxotere® + Perjeta®) , Herceptin® -a 12 month treatment targeting the HER2 positive cells, a bilateral prophylactic mastectomy, reconstruction surgery, and completed 30 rounds of radiation.
Can you tell us more about your organization Liv & Let?
Liv and Let is dedicated to giving strength and hope to those affected by breast cancer- previvors, survivors and caregivers. By nurturing and providing comprehensive knowledge, the hope is to provide individualized support as well as essential items to thrive through treatment and survivorship.
In 2019, I started “Liv & Let”- Thriving Through Breast Cancer (LivandLet.com). After not having a lot of resources at my fingertips, fighting cancer with a very small support team and later on becoming a support for friends who had been diagnosed with cancer, I decided it was time to share my story and talk about being a young adult cancer survivor and set up a space to support those affected by breast cancer.
It started as a blog and then expanded to include a calendar of support events, a list of resources as well as product recommendations. The blog became an information hub that is updated regularly for those who have recently been diagnosed, those going through treatment, those who are learning about their family history and interested in prevention as well as for caregivers.
I am passionate about sharing my story and talking about breast cancer, however my real passion lies in providing personalized support and giving back. Born after a deep conversation on a bench in a forest preserve, I launched Giv by Liv & Let. Giv by Liv & Let assembles personalized curated caring crates created with love and thought for loved ones who are thriving through cancer. Each “build your own” lux crate is beautifully packaged with hand selected items to provide each individual and recipient with love, care and support.
Liv & Let has so many amazing resources, whether you are fighting cancer or supporting someone through a diagnosis. Do you have a number one takeaway for someone supporting a friend or family member that has recently been diagnosed?
My number one takeaway is to be there for a cancer patient from the start of their treatment, after treatment, and into survivorship. Don’t assume that they are feeling good because they look good and are having a good day and that they aren’t still going through a lot because their treatment ended. Also anything you can do from a simple phone call to dropping off a meal is really supportive. Most of the time you are not going to get asked to do something so just doing or being proactive with your care can truly make a difference.
Are there ways that people can get involved or donate to Liv & Let?
Liv & Let may be for profit, however all proceeds go back into creating the crates as well as monthly and quarterly donations. Each month a Giv caring crate is donated to a patient or caregiver that I have connected with or that someone has nominated. If you have someone in your life that could use extra care, please reach out to [email protected] Each quarter, Liv & Let donates to a deserving organization doing amazing things for the breast cancer or cancer community. Please share Liv & Let with those you know affected by cancer. It is mostly focused on breast cancer, however there are good tips and resources for all diagnosed with cancer. Also, please consider purchasing a crate or nurturing items for yourself or loved one so Liv & Let is able to continue giving back through the monthly and quarterly donations supported with proceeds of the crates and shoppe! Giv-Liv-Let.MyShopify.com / LivandLet.com/Giv
What’s next for Liv & Let?
In 2021, I’ll be focusing on health and wellness, nutrition and mental health, creating more opportunities for personalized support and finding new essential items to enhance self care.
Undergrad college/major : Major in Communications/ Minor in Graphic Design at University of Dayton
Favorite way to destress: I love taking a bath with candles and bath salts (when I can) and walking the beach (again when I can and when I’m on vacation). Most of the time these don’t happen so normally distressing for me is getting a tea and walking the neighborhood!
Can’t leave the house without: This is a good question. I would have to say chapstick and lotion. Always dry!
Favorite candy: It’s always been 3 musketeers
Last book you read: I just read “In Five Years” and am currently reading “Between Two Kingdoms”
Your binge shows: Most recently it’s Wanda Vision and The Designated Survivor. Also my husband and I have been binging Schitts Creek and Yellowstone.