Lindsey Lourenco Eulogy
Lindsey Brianne Ramslie Lourenco was born on July 18, 1994 at the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster…9 minutes after her twin sister, Sadie, but 6 weeks earlier than expected. She was so tiny, only 4 lbs, 13oz! She spent two weeks in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit where she was known as Lourenco Twin B. Absolutely no name was good enough for this precious girl, and so she wasn’t named until the day they left the hospital. Lindsey was brought home to Surrey to a house and neighbourhood where she would live her entire life.
Lindsey and Sadie reached most of their milestones together in these early years, like walking, talking, teething, etc. One notable difference was crawling. While Sadie took off in the intended direction, for well over a month poor Lindsey could only crawl backwards and would end up backed into a corner, unable to get out!
Walking quickly turned to running, and usually in the opposite direction of her sister, just to keep her mother on her toes. Clothing was definitely optional in the toddler years, bare feet and bare bottoms the preference. Playing dress-up, watching Barney, trips to the playground, play dough and bubble baths filled the days. Stories, singing, multiple bottles of milk and cuddles filled the nights.
Lindsey went to Green Timbers Elementary School from kindergarten to grade 7. She sang in the choir, entered speech festivals and brought the house down at the talent shows. She also attended Sparks, Brownies and Girl Guides throughout those early years and earned almost every badge offered! She danced competitive tap and ballet from an early age, had many years of piano lessons and played trumpet in the band. She often dressed in Portuguese folklore costumes along with her sister and took part in parades and performances with her father.
Every summer, Lindsey and her family would look forward to camping with their friends. These were some of the best times ever, filled with swimming and tubing, theme dinners, campfires and crazy games. A great lover of the outdoors, Lindsey enjoyed fishing, hiking, boating, climbing trees and collecting rocks and shells.
That summer after grade 7, the family went for a long awaited holiday to Portugal where Lindsey was ultimately diagnosed with Leukemia. Over the next 5½ years, Lindsey went through almost every type of aggressive cancer treatment available. There were several years of chemotherapy, full body and intense brain radiation and a bone marrow transplant, but the cancer always came back, each time a little worse than before.
This illness followed her to Enver Creek Secondary School, where she remained a first class honour student despite attending less than half the years of her classmates. Though she missed grade 8, she dove head first into grade 9 and even insisted on taking PE class, though she had medical permission to withdraw. She wanted the full high school experience, the good and the bad, and never wanted special treatment. Some days she would have chemotherapy in the morning, and still go to school in the afternoon, though weak and nauseous. And no one ever knew.
But with her sister close by her side, Lindsey made some friends and memories that she cherished. There were band trips to Whistler and San Francisco, concerts, parties, hockey games, graduation and late nights at Tim Horton’s. Lindsey was also a fearless fun seeker and enjoyed activities like scuba diving, white water rafting, parasailing and ATVing. She even dared to ride on the back of a speedy Ducati and get a tattoo when others might think twice!
Lindsey loved campfires, baking, dancing, music, and spending lots of time with friends. She enjoyed musicals, dark chocolate, taking pictures and listening to her sister’s stories. She loved flowers, dogs, crafts, babies and sleepovers…many, many sleepovers!
In Lindsey’s short life, she managed to travel to some beautiful places like Portugal, Disneyland, Florida, Mexico, the Bahamas and enjoyed a fun-filled cruise. She got to meet a few celebrities and has practically become one herself! Lindsey was featured on the news several times, opened big media events, was a keynote speaker at a convention for over 2500 people and was featured in newspaper articles, magazines, videos and radio commercials.
Lindsey inspired and educated a great many people through her struggles and was chosen to represent our Children’s Hospital as ambassador and Champion Child for 2012. She also came up with the idea of “Cakes for Miracles” (now renamed “Lindsey’s Cakes for Miracles” in her honour) which collects $1 from each cake sold at Dairy Queen to go to Children’s Hospitals… and is now a DQ national campaign! Even in death, she continues to astound us and make us proud with her accomplishments and achievements. Most notably, Lindsey will be honoured with the 2013 “Courage to Come Back Award”, which Sadie will accept on her sister’s behalf in April.
No matter the pain or fear Lindsey suffered on a daily basis, she kept a brave face and had a smile for everyone. She always gave her best effort and never made excuses for herself. Lindsey was grateful for all she had and never asked for more than she needed. If she were here right now, she would probably be embarrassed by all this fuss and apologize for all this “trouble” that she’s caused!
Lindsey spent 3 weeks at Children’s Hospital when it was confirmed that the cancer had returned. She never made it back home, but instead moved into Canuck Place for her final days. In the early morning of March 14, 2013, Lindsey took her last breath with her mother, father and most devoted sister Sadie at her side.
I ask everyone here today, family and friends, whenever you see a sunflower, think of Lindsey, and remember her courage, remember her spirit and most of all, remember her smile.