Lauren Graham

  • "Lieve kleine Lauren, ik zal je nooit vergeten. Jij bent..."
    - Sünne Van Gemert
  • "glad to know we can view this another year longer :D "
    - Gilly Roberto
  • "Your Daddy, big brother Garrett and your Mommy miss you..."
    - Dana Graham
  • "I miss you Ms Lauren but I know that you are in a better..."
    - Susan Kent
  • "Todd, Dana and Garrett, Even though you don't know me, I..."

Lauren Marie Graham, 20-month-old daughter of Todd and Dana Graham, died March 6, 2010, at home in Anchorage, surrounded by her family.

A service will be at 4 p.m. today at Faith Christian Community Church, 4240 Wisconsin St. A celebration of life with a balloon release will follow.

Her family wrote: "July 15, 2008, Lauren Marie was born to Todd and Dana Graham. Expecting a healthy baby girl, she was delivered full term but very medically fragile. Fifteen days after birth she was diagnosed with an incredibly rare genetic syndrome, Bohring-Opitz. She was the 16th documented case in the world. Lauren was missing part of her brain and was born with a cleft lip, cleft palate, blindness, deafness and had failure to thrive. She spent her first 35 days of life at the Providence NICU. Her family was under the impression that she would pass away within days or weeks. Lauren came home Aug. 20, 2009. She was a tough little girl and although the most she ever weighed was 14 pounds, she was only 11 pounds and 26 inches long at the time of her death. Her will to be here was strong.

"Lauren's strength, determination and will to survive was completely amazing and inspiring. Anyone can tell you that their lives are forever changed after knowing and loving Lauren. She was our Little Angel here on earth and now in heaven.

"On Saturday, March 6, 2010, she grew her little wings and made her journey home, where we know she is at peace. We all have our own guardian angel. She will no longer suffer and can now run and play. For that we are grateful."

Lauren is survived by her parents, Todd and Dana Graham; her big brother, Garrett Graham; grandparents, Michael and Jamie Bennett, and Mike and Judy Graham; uncles, Cody Bennett and Sean Tucker; Aunt Kelly and Uncle Joe Straker; and cousins, Gordie and Toby.

The following people have kept the Graham family grounded and offered extra-special help during the last 20 months: "Auntie" Susan Kent, "Auntie" Michelle Withrow, "Uncle" Kenny, Miss Kay McKim, "Auntie" Marci Umatum, the Wooldridge family, Miss Dee Berline, Lauren's primary caretaker, Karla, and her husband, Matt Lemoine.

Her family added: "(We) would like to thank everyone at Providence NICU, especially the nurses who gave so much support and love to Lauren and her parents. HOPE Alaska; Heather, Christy, Rachel, Barb, Deb, Diana, Ashley, Erin, Aoife Colfer, a student from County Wexford, Ireland -- we are forever grateful for your persistence with providing us in-home care for Lauren."

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made at any Wells Fargo branch to help the family with expenses during this difficult time.

Todd and Dana have asked that you look up the poem "Welcome to Holland" by Emily Peril Kingsley.

Published in Anchorage Daily News from Mar. 12 to Mar. 13, 2010