She had a bucket list with 40-some ideas on it -- ranging from swimming with dolphins to getting a massage to driving a jet ski and watching a sunrise.
And, she had a pretty good start on checking off items -- except for the brutal and heartbreaking fact that she didn't have time to finish it.
Still, as was her way, Lauren "Lola" Scott kept at it with enthusiasm, a strong can-do spirit and an impressive attitude, especially considering she had been battling cancer for a good portion of her young life. She was diagnosed in December 2009 with metastic retroperitoneal undifferentiated soft tissue sarcoma.
On Aug. 8, the sweet 16-year-old finished the immense battle, leaving behind family, friends and a string of fans she had inspired.
A Facebook page, organized by mom Cherri Chiodo, shares the struggles and the victories of her much-loved daughter, who once attended Edna Hill Middle School in Brentwood.
"At 8 a.m. this morning, my beautiful baby girl left her physical body here on earth to start a new journey, one she told me she was so excited to begin. Words cannot explain our sadness but knowing that her spiritual soul is no longer ridden with cancer brings us solace. She is dancing with so many loved ones right now, I can feel her joy. She will forever amaze me with the love she had for so many," Chiodo posted.
Just three days after Lauren's passing, her singing idol, Demi Lovato, mentioned her in a speech during the televised Teen Choice Awards. —... I also dedicate this award to a new little angel in heaven named Lola. We love you."
And, so it seemed to go for the young spirited student, who reached for the stars and touched a few along the way. That spirit will be celebrated from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 8 at Hayden Community Park in Rancho Cordova. The day will include a potluck of all of Lola's favorite foods and stories about the teen.
Over time Lola endured 36 radiation treatments, five chemotherapy procedures and two relapses when tumors spread to her lungs.
According to the Facebook page, one of the things that kept her going was social media where she spread her sunshine and hopes via Instagram, Twitter and a blog, www.lovelikelola.com, which is still being used to keep track of her bucket list items getting done in her honor.
Carving her name on a tree was on that list, and befittingly on Aug. 8, a few Edna Hill teachers and principal Kirsten Jobb did just that at Lola's former school.
Through the social media outlets, the one-time Brentwood resident had garnered fans from across the world.
"It's a wonderful thing just putting it all out there and being vulnerable," she once said.
And, while all the blogging and postings helped Lola share herself, she and her family also did it to raise awareness about cancer among adolescents and young adult cancer patients. According to the National Cancer Institute, Lola was one of about 70,000 people between ages 15 and 39 diagnosed with cancer annually.
During her early battles and long stays at Children's Hospital Oakland, an entourage of support made of friends, Edna Hill staff and students, ex-teachers and soccer teammates brought meals to the family on a regular basis. There were also bake sales, blood drives, yard sales and a car wash to raise money for the family's expenses.
One of the lead supporters was Sue Lackey, one of Lola's teachers. Nearly four years ago, she said, "She is a spitfire: red-headed, soccer player, Texan; all the things that make a fighter. I really love Lauren. She is loved by the adults and children who are lucky enough to cross her path."
Lola's celebration of life will be at 2197 Chase Drive in Rancho Cordova. For more information on Lola and how to help, visit Team Lola on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach Trine Gallegos at TrineG@att.net.