Clara's Story

The Lawrence family have their normal lives back after beating Clara's pediatric leukemia. After that experience, a little normal is a big gift.  

 Maurie Lawrence is the mother of two happy, healthy children. She and her husband know the value of good health all too well. Their 3-year-old daughter, Clara, is a leukemia survivor. Here is Clara’s story in her mom’s words:

"When Clara was just 4 months old, I noticed unexplained bruises on her that would not go away. Her father and I brought her to Children’s Hospital at Greenville Health System for tests. Then we heard the word every parent dreads: cancer.

Clara had pediatric leukemia, which is treatable but terrifying nonetheless. For the first time since she was born, Clara’s future was out of our hands. Thankfully, she was in the hands of the doctors and nurses at GHS Children’s Hospital. In a way, I was, too.

Our difficult journey to cure Clara began with Dr. Cary Stroud and the wonderful team of nurses at the BI-LO Charities Children’s Cancer Center. Even though they often worked 12-hour shifts, the nurses always took the time to answer our questions and calm our fears. We were scared, but they were so supportive. Clara began a 52-week cancer treatment protocol that required regular and sometimes lengthy inpatient stays; at times it seemed like we lived at the hospital.
The nurses were always right there. They reassured us when an IV port was placed in her body, they comforted us when we knew she was in pain, they calmed our fears of infection after chemo impaired her immune system. They loved and cared for our little girl like we thought no one else could.

Now Clara is a big sister, and she's tall enough to push the elevator button when we return to Children’s Hospital for check-ups. We owe it all to the doctors and nurses who made a scary, uncertain situation a little less scary, a little more certain, and a little more normal. A little “normal” is a big gift.

That’s why we’re stepping forward to help GHS, a not-for-profit hospital, to make sure its nurses have the training, tools, and recognition they need to excel in their jobs. The hospital invests a lot in continuing medical education, but it needs support from the community to really give these nurses the opportunities they deserve: a chance to learn and develop their careers through education, a new recognition program to retain the best nurses, and a kindness fund administered by nurses in Children’s Hospital to help needy patients and their families. Some nurses go into their own pockets to buy a small toy for a child, but with your help they can perform more small kindnesses that lift their patients’ spirits and promote normalcy and healing.

Get Involved

If you'd like more information on supporting patients and families, contact Philanthropy & Partnership Director of Children's Services Crissy Maynard at (864) 797-7735 or

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