Lauren Elizabeth Brown was never one to shy away from a challenge and never took no for an answer. To her cherished friends and family, she stood as the ultimate example of someone who truly lived each and every day to its fullest.
Lauren’s mother Kitty McGahey said Lauren’s determination and friendly nature became evident early on, as did her love of cheerleading which would stay with her in one form or another for the rest of her life.
“She taught kids in the neighborhood how to tumble and to stunt and to cheer,” McGahey said. “She lived and breathed cheerleading. Everything was cheerleading in her life. She was a competitive cheerleader. She was a strong, powerful base.”
At the age of 15, Lauren was diagnosed with a rare form of pediatric cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma, but, as her mother says, she never let that deter her from living her life the way she wanted to live it.
“She would say, ‘What’s the point in fighting for your life if you don’t have a life worth fighting for?’ To me, that sums up everything,” McGahey said.
McGahey said while Lauren showed tremendous talent in a variety of fields — including arts and crafts, photography, theatre and broadcasting — she had a particular knack for cooking that is fondly remembered by friends and family alike.
“Cooking was a big part of our family,” McGahey said. “My father was a gourmet cook and my mother was an excellent cook and baker and everyone in our family cooks and Lauren definitely got that gene.”
During her time at A&M, Lauren pursued a double major in international studies and applied mathematics and remained extremely dedicated outside of the classroom as well.
“She was just constantly involved in everything, she did study abroad through her classes,” said Taylor Lindley, one of Lauren’s best friends. “She was working on her double major in two nearly unrelated fields just because she [could] and had the desire to.”
According to McGahey, Lauren was dedicated to service, staying active in the freshman leadership organization FLARE, working as a math tutor as part of the Texas Success Initiative and working toward a career in the field of public service.
“She was incredibly drawn to public service — one of the many reasons why A&M was a perfect fit for her — and really believed that she could apply her uncanny grasp of statistics to real world problems — as evidenced by her international studies degree — to make the world a better place,” McGahey said. McGahey said.
Lauren kept the traditions of A&M close to her heart and took great pleasure in sharing them with her family. According to her best friend and former roommate Sally Johnson, her love of A&M was evident to her friends as well.
“I just felt like her time at A&M was so important to her,” Johnson said. “I think she really was the definition of a true Aggie.”
According to McGahey, Lauren’s Aggie Ring was an item of incredible personal value and after working tirelessly to obtain it, and she was rarely seen without it.
“That Aggie ring meant so much to her, and the only time she took it off was when it was medically necessary,” McGahey said. “She cherished that ring and she cherished every bit of symbolism on the ring and what it meant.”
McGahey said even as life threw challenge after challenge her way, Lauren remained supremely dedicated to the people around her.
“She never lost sight of her faith,” McGahey said. “She never lost sight of the people who were important in her life and toward the end when things were really bad, instead of asking people to pray for her, she asked them to pray for us, her friends and her family. And that’s just who she was.”