In the summer after her 7th grade year, Lauren Gearon was diagnosed with aplastic anemia. Her parents, Claudeen and Eric Lindberg, were told this disease was virtually incurable and their daughter had little chance of living through the summer.
Undaunted, Dr. Abdel Ragab refused to accept these odds and fought to have Lauren enrolled in a clinical trial at UCLA. Lauren was the only child in the trial and routinely ran fevers as high as 108 degrees. After a month of isolation, the family returned home to wait and see if the treatment had worked. That was thirty-seven years ago.
Knowing that few children diagnosed with the same disease are as fortunate as Lauren, Claudeen dug in to help Dr. Ragab with the young CURE organization immediately. She served on the board of directors for more than ten years and when she retired, Eric took her place. When his board service ended he joined the advisory council. They ran tennis tournaments and other fundraisers and had a profound impact on Dr. Ragab’s ability to diagnose children through money raised to purchase essential equipment. They also supported other families in the battle in ways too numerous to mention.