In August 2009 Stephen Wurst of Hillsborough, then just 12 years of age lost his mother, Laurie Parlin, after a 17-month courageous battle with breast cancer. Laurie, just a week shy of her 34th birthday, was an incredible mom and daughter who fought her cancer with all that she had. She possessed such strength and courage that many never even knew the impact cancer was having until the final stages of her life.
Laurie moved to the town of Hillsborough at the age of nine and grew up in the town's little league program. She went on to play softball and then passed her love of the game onto Stephen by teaching him all that she knew.
When Laurie was diagnosed she did not have health or life insurance. Medical bills began to surmount and as she became more ill, she was unable to work. The time it took for her to be classified as disabled and transferred to Medicaid was very trying for their family. The pills she required, some costing $100 per pill, could not wait for all the paperwork to be processed. As if fighting cancer was not hard enough, their family now found themselves in a financial crisis.
Laurie was receiving treatment at The Steeplechase Cancer Center where she found compassion and support through several organizations that helped in their unexpected health crisis. Her family was provided with food, gas cards and even assistance to help pay their mortgage.
Together with Donna Parlin, his grandmother, Stephen reached out to The Steeplechase Cancer Center to create Laurie’s Legacy in honor of his mom. Laurie's Legacy is a fund for the survivors, the fighters and the taken. Money raised through Laurie's Legacy helps ensure the underserved patients receive the cancer care they need. Since December 2009, Stephen and Donna have helped raise more than $62,500.
Stephen is a junior at Hillsborough High School and through it all continued to focus on making a difference in the lives of those in our community with cancer.
Laurie's Legacy is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. All donations are tax deductible and should be made payable to Somerset Medical Center Foundation (SMCF).
"If we all donate a little we can help a lot of people." - Stephen Wurst
August 19, 2009, was a terrible awful time. 3 AM, I'm congested with sleeplessness. This is the story why I speak with emphasis.
Struck with cancer, she stood her ground, And not once on her face did I see her frown.
My mother's late passing taught me a lot; Always keep your head up, if you're sad or not.
The good that I've done makes it all better. I was not expecting this result when I sent the first letter.
$28,000 just from one mailing released all the weight I was carrying.
Now, with light shoulders I soar sky high, knowing her memories shall never die.
Laurie's Legacy is in memory of you. I just want to say, I love you, too.
How can you support Laurie's Legacy?
- Click HERE to donate now.
- Click HERE to follow Laurie's Legacy on Facebook.
- Click HERE to email Donna Parlin (Stephen's Nana) for additional information about their fundraisers.
- In June, they host a raffle at the Somerset Patriots Game on Father's Day.
- In December, they sell ornaments and decorate a Tree of Hope and Remembrance in the lobby of The Steeplechase Cancer Center.