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1C Mac Attack has some appreciative leaders

By Paul Christian

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

Two years ago this month, Lauren Ellwein, then 11, was looking forward to summer vacation. What kid doesn’t?

But a trip to the Mayo Clinic changed those plans, and changed her life forever.

An MRI discovered a leison on her pelvis, which was diagnosed as ewings sarcoma.

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Cancer, bone cancer.

"Obviously, that wasn’t the news we wanted to hear,’’ said her mother, Tammy. "Little did we did not know what was in store for us.’’

Long story short, after 10 months of chemotheraphy and six more weeks of radiation, Lauren is in remission. She’s cancer free and doing fine.

"It’s been a difficult struggle," said Tammy, "but Lauren has been in remission since April of 2008. Every three months we come back to Rochester for a checkup and so far, it’s all been good news.’’

The Ellwein family -- there’s also Marc (father) nd another sister, Lindsey, 11 -- live in Sioux Falls, S.D. 

When in Rochester, they stayed on and off at the Ronald McDonald House and that’s why the family will be front and center on Sunday, leading all the walkers in the annual Mac Attack 5K Run and 3K Family Run/Walk.

Both the run and walk start at 5 p.m. by the Silver Lake swimming pool.

"This is quite an honor, yes,’’' Tammy said. "The Ronald McDonald House has been very good to us. That’s a huge burden lifted, not having to worry about hotel costs and all those other expenses.

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"Several organizations brought in meals and everybody was so friendly; they made you feel at home. It was definitely the best place to stay.’’

Proceeds from the run and walk go to the Ronald McDonald House and to "Brighter Tomorrow,’’' a local cancer support group.

"Brighter Tomorrow is for families with kids with cancer,’’ said Tammy, "and they meet once a month. The first day we were in Rochester with Lauren, they had a meeting. That was a great way for us to connect with families who were going through the exact same thing as our family.’’

Lauren went through most of her chemotheraphy in Sioux Falls.

"Every three weeks and often in between, she had to undergo a blood transfusion,’’ said her mother. " As far as school, she probably missed two out of every three weeks.

"But she’s healthy now, and just finished seventh grade.’’

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