One of our devoted volunteers, Laura Caravella, died on March 21st, after living with her disease for over 10 years. Laura could be found in our chatroom where she was a moderator for both the daily chat and the stage IV-um support group chat. She was also a Buddy to many newly diagnosed patients across the country.
Laura was a lawyer by day before she had to go on disability about the 4th year of her journey, but that didn't stop her from helping folks who needed legal help of any kind. She was loved by all. She helped hundreds of newbies who arrived in our chatroom daily by helping to educate them on the options and managing side effects. Her humor despite whatever she was going through was contagious and often had us all in stitches laughing.
She was told upon diagnosed to get her affairs in order. She was referred to our own Dr. Laura through a mutual friend who encouraged her to get another opinion. That simple piece of advice is one of the reasons she lived 10 years with active disease. She found a team that said they were going to do everything they could to help her survive.
She had just about all the approved drugs including a new immunotherapy. She had too many surgeries to count as well as radiation treatments. She was a very private person, but she never hesitated to share her story when asked and frequently would be in the chatroom long after chat ended helping patients.
Laura taught us how to LIVE with this disease. There were 5 original stage IV moderators in our chatroom - Harry, Jeanne, Sue, Michael and Laura. She was the last one and felt the burden often to keep the group together in their honor. Now that burden falls on the current group of moderators, which we will do in her honor.
There is a void in our chatroom right now, but we hope there is a party going on in the chatroom in the sky. We will miss you dear Laura - until we meet again.
Written in loving memory by Colon Cancer Alliance cofounder and Certified Patient & Family Support Navigator & Community Manager, Jeannie Moore.