A New Meaning to Being a Mom: Chief Nurse Practitioner Lauren

[Presented by Atrium Health Levine Children’s

Being a mom with a child who has cancer changes you.  Being a mom who treats those children with cancer changes you too.  Follow along Mother’s Day week as we hear from some of our Levine Children’s cancer moms and their oncology care providers, who are moms as well. Listen to what Mother’s Day means to them.  And how living through a pandemic impacts momlife.

  • Mom: Lauren Brown, Chief Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Hematology & Oncology, MIBG and Solid Tumor Nurse Practitioner
  • Mom To:  Hayes (10-years old); Lila (7-years old); Miles (4-years old)
  • Length with Levine Children’s: Celebrating 20 years this September

What does Mother’s Day mean to you? How has caring for kids with cancer changed that meaning for you?

Mother’s Day is a special day for me because I enjoy that the day generally runs at a slower pace than usual, with greater focus on just relaxing as a family, and celebrating the gift of being a mom. For the last nearly 20 years, I have walked alongside cancer moms as they navigate the most unimaginable circumstances. I have witnessed motherhood through their experiences firsthand. Their resilience, grit, and fierce love for their children snaps into focus very quickly what really matters in life. When I started having kids, I had that gift of perspective, and I have them to thank for that. That perspective allows me to focus on the things that truly matter, and not dwell on the insignificant.

How has the current pandemic impacted you being a mom? How has it impacted the way you care for cancer patients and their moms? 

The current pandemic has definitely set some challenging expectations with trying to balance my husband and I working full time, figuring out e learning, and maintaining my sanity throughout all of this! I have discussed with so many of our moms that the disruptions we have experienced in our daily lives really do offer unparalleled insight into a fraction of what they are living outside of this pandemic. Quarantining, constant handwashing and sanitizing, home schooling… these are just some of the challenges they encounter daily.

What about this time has inspired you? 

Despite the challenges that seem overwhelming at times, I have been inspired most during this time by the sense of community. I am so proud of our Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders team at LCH. Our team has worked tirelessly to deliver care creatively during this pandemic. We have supported not only our amazing patients and families, but each other, during this time which has helped us to grow as a family. Experiences like this offer the opportunity to either succumb to the overwhelming challenge, or rise up and fight, and like our kids and moms do every day, we have committed to fight.

Featured Moms this week:

If you are looking for a way to honor a mother in your life, make a monthly donation that keeps on giving. Support research that will help create better treatments and outcomes for kids with cancer in honor of Mom! Donate Now!

(Disclaimer:  photos featured were taken before masking and social distancing guidelines were in place.)