SheNANNYgans: Introducing Lauren

I met Lauren three years ago. She was 18 and paralyzed from the neck down after contracting a rare form of Acute Porphyria. After waking up from a six-month coma, Lauren was bedridden, a prisoner on her own skin. Unable to eat after digestive failure. Allergic to light of any kind. Unable to move anything but her one arm she used to type. We met in the Starbright chat room and were friends ever since.

On Lauren's 19th birthday I flew to Kansas to meet her. We spent a long weekend together, watching bad movies, fake-smoking cigarettes and rolling around the Kansas City suburbs blasting music from the boombox we rigged on the back of Lauren's wheelchair, making pathetic looking shadow-puppets with our hands against the street:

Months later, Lauren did the impossible. She taught herself, slowly, how to wiggle her toes and then how to bend her knees and soon to walk. With canes at first. And then about a year later, without them. Her feeding tubes were soon removed after slowly introducing her body to food again. And her skin to the light.

She moved to Los Angeles soon after to pursue film making and was offered a prestigious internship with Spielberg this summer on the set of Indiana Jones IV.

Lauren circa 2004:

Lauren circa today:

People keep asking me how I found a nanny.

"Who is she?" they ask.

Who is she?

Lauren. Just.. Lauren.

I don't know what else to say.

Today, watching Lauren chase Archer around the park, it is impossible to believe that three years ago she was bedridden. That she had tubes in her chest and couldn't walk or expose herself to any kind of light. That she couldn't eat or feel her feet, numb and paralyzed. It seems like the whole thing was a dream.

Finding someone to trust enough to be with Archer is almost impossible, but having him in Lauren's care is such a blessing. I don't know if there is someone I would trust more.

Lauren taught herself to walk. She taught herself to heal. She defied every odd and shocked every doctor. She persevered. I watched her take her first steps. I watched her receive a standing ovation as she spoke in front of hundreds of beneficiaries and celebrities, walking onto the platform radiant and beautiful, the personification of endurance and faith. The REALest star of all.

I am blessed to have been able to be there for her, to witness her miracle:

...And in turn she gets to be here for me, to witness mine:


Lauren will be soon be nanny-blogging here at GGC under the tag: sheNANNYgans. Word.


Scar | 3:16 PM

Lauren is my fucking hero. I love you guys.

Hol | 3:18 PM

What an amazing story! Thank you for sharing it and for introducing Lauren to us. You are both blessings to one another, and to the rest of us.

Lauren Henderson | 3:22 PM

wow. thank you for your beautiful words, my dear friend. i love you so much. i was blessed to have you in my life then, and i am blessed to be sharing so much with you now. i feel honored to be a part of archbug's life. you have created a perfect human.

so many kisses and grateful thoughts times infinity.


Anonymous | 3:35 PM

What an amazing story. This is the best thing I've read in a long time. Thanks.

Mom101 | 3:40 PM

Wow - talk about walking the walk, Rebecca, that's so awesome that she's your nanny now. Someone else to love Archer who you already love. What could be a more perfect fit?

Jen aka Evilynmo | 4:13 PM

That is freakin amazing!!! I am so happy for you and her and both your families =)

Fairly Odd Mother | 6:51 PM

Awesome story. Can't wait to 'meet' her on your blog!

Anonymous | 6:56 PM

fantastic story, truly represents the amazing strength of the human spirit. lauren, you totally rock!
bec, great photos as always, that one shot of archer is just adorable!!

dillyweed | 7:39 PM

As an occupational therapist, I love stories like this, where hope and strength prevails over sickness and weakness. What an amazing story; thank you for sharing with us!

dvl | 9:05 PM

hey, i remember that kid! :)

Anonymous | 10:31 PM

Ya know I had a feeling she was the nanny lol. It's funny you bring this up now because the other day I found those same pics of her and I was thinking back to where we were and how far we've come. I love that girl so much! Looking forward to seeing you blog Lauren! I miss you!

Rambling20-something | 11:29 PM

just wow.

I have to admit that i cried. Lauren kicks major ass. Archer is a lucky little man.

barbara | 5:14 AM

You made me cry. Thank you. Such a lovely, lovely thing.

Anonymous | 5:53 AM

Yup, more crying here.

Great great story.

Mamalang | 6:05 AM

Thanks for sharing that story. What an amazing role model she'll be for Archer as he grows up. It's amazing how the things that are meant to be work out in the end.

Stargazer | 6:13 AM

I have been feeling sorry for myself lately due to some crap in my life. Thank you for this story as it is the complete kick in the ass I needed. Lauren I think you are beautiful and so strong. Way to fight back. You are amazing. Thank you both

b.kiddo | 6:47 AM

This is an unbelieveable story. I think alot of ppl can relate to this in more ways that one would think.
The power of women!
hey; check me out...not so deep but tard

Fraulein | 7:52 AM

What a story -- just awesome.

Looking forward to reading Lauren's posts!

Namito | 8:49 AM

Lauren, damn, what a warrior you are.
I'm glad you guys found each other. It's good to have some strong sources of inspiration close at hand. And I'm including Archer in this trio.

ms blue | 10:15 AM

That is brilliantly inspirational. I would want someone who is filled with strength, hope and determination to be around my children every day too.

toyfoto | 10:31 AM

That is amazing. I am thrilled for all of you. Walking the walk is right.

Anonymous | 12:20 PM

ha! i knew that you already knew your nanny!! you sound a lot like me and i didn't think you'd let someone you just met watch him...

anyway, that's the least of it- what an incredible, inspiring story. i got chills when I saw her hanging from the ladder!! amazing. i will think of it when i am complaining about hanging laundry...~jjlibra

Rachel | 3:05 PM

Count me amongst the criers. What an amazing post. Rebecca, Lauren, and Archer - I'm glad you all found each other. Also, I LOVE "SheNANNYgans" - can't wait to read 'em!

BOSSY | 3:48 PM

Holy smokes, what a story. If Bossy ever had a nanny she'd want her to be Laurenesque.

jeanie | 4:31 PM

Wow - I am awed and inspired by such a story - and not only do you know her, but she is going to be such an influence on your baby!

sweetb | 5:48 PM

Awe!! I love Lauren already and what's more, LOVE SHEnannyGANS... LOL ROFL and all the rest. can't wait to read more!

kittenpie | 8:15 PM

That's amazing. Amazing for her to seemingly decide she could just beat the thing by sheer will, amazing for you to be such a great freind and support for someone so far away, amazing for her to pursue her dream and come to LA for it, amazing for you both that it brought you together to share that equally amazing and totally delicious little boy of yours. I'm thrilled for both of you!

Anonymous | 8:34 AM

wow, it's like having a superhero for a friend AND nanny. she sounds amazing. I'm blown away

Anonymous | 5:53 AM

What a story, what a friendship. That made me tear up and I'm not even PMS'ing. You two are so lucky to have found eachother. If only we could all be that lucky.

Her Bad Mother | 10:32 AM

I love this story. I love that it's a true story.

I love you.

Anonymous | 11:47 AM

AWESOME story! Way to go, Lauren! What an amazing couple of years for you ....

And what a lucky kid Archer is, to have the two of you in his life!

Unknown | 8:20 PM

WOW. That's all I can say. Never met anyone with porphyria but you go GIRL.

MrsFortune | 6:38 AM

Jesus .. you weren't supposed to make me cry. Again!!! I honestly don't know who is more beautiful, her or archer.

the mystic | 10:48 PM
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Anonymous | 4:55 AM

Is there a bigger word I can use than miracle? Something more...miraculous than miracle? I read that page you linked to on Porphyria, and it sounds like it was a miracle that she was even diagnosed correctly. And then to teach herself to walk again? I'm just blown away.

I don't think it would be possible for Archer to be in safer hands. Oh, and that photo? Could he BE more handsome??!

Anonymous | 10:11 AM

Thanks for sharing both sound like great friends that make each other's lives doesn't get any better than that...