Lauren Caruso, 17, is a rising senior at Hillsborough High School. She’s one of Komen CSNJ’s 18 and under fundraisers, and an elite one at that. As of 2017, she has been named the “Top Fundraiser Under 18” for over five years. So far, Lauren has incredibly raised over $20,000 for breast cancer.
Lauren first got involved with Susan G. Komen when she was just six years old, after her grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I was the only granddaughter, so I spent a lot of time with my grandmother; even after she passed away, I wanted to continue to be involved for her,” said Lauren. “I was with my mom for a lot of the time, and then started fundraising myself at the age of 12.”
Lauren’s fundraising mainly consists of email efforts and social media outreach. She shared stories and personal memories in her emails, and utilizing Facebook and Instagram to reach out to supporters.
Her Race for The Cure team, “Walking For The Girls,” is also a big part of her fundraising efforts.
“We created this team with family friends,” said Lauren. “We wanted to make it bigger and better. I felt as if I kept doing this, more people would be inspired to come and help. We have had a lot of people come back and support us year after year.”
Lauren’s family has gotten more involved over the years, with her father and brother racing alongside her mother.
She adds, “It’s pretty awesome to have everyone together.”
When it comes to being a young fundraiser, Lauren thinks it is important to be a good example and to empower other young people.
“It is important for younger people to fundraise,” said Lauren. “As a summer intern at Komen CSNJ, I have helped with projects that appeal to a younger generation.”
“Younger kids go all out, and that is something I want to see at Race for the Cure,” she added. “I want people to show up, to make this organization bigger and better. It’s important to raise money for this cause.”
Lauren also wants families who are struggling with a cancer diagnosis to know that it is going to be okay.
“Stay strong for your loved one because it is the biggest struggle they will ever face,” she said. “A strong support system is the most important thing. Cancer can be beat.”
Be a part of Lauren’s mission to see a world without breast cancer. Donate, join her team and spread the word — click here to get involved!
Olivia Bonevento is a featured guest blogger for Komen CSNJ. She lives at the Jersey Shore and is currently a student at a liberal arts college in Pennsylvania. Read more about Olivia on her personal blog — oliviabonevento.wordpress.com.