Lauren Michelle Savoy was born on February 18th, 1984 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She grew up as the second daughter of Nancy and Mike Savoy with big sister, Jennifer, and younger brother, Jacob.
Lauren attended elementary at Our Lady of Mercy School from first to eighth grade. Lauren easily became everyone’s best friend and never missed a beat- even with her petite frame. After eighth grade, Lauren attended St. Joseph’s Academy. She flourished in the Catholic all-girls high school, where she was class president, a captain on the swim team and a student minister. Lauren’s junior year of high school she met a sweet Catholic High boy, Andrew Olinde, who would later become her groom. Upon graduation, Lauren was voted “friendliest” and received the Jeanette Svendson Memorial Award, voted by her peers throughout the four years and “given to the senior who exemplifies love, kindness and a strong moral character”.
Lauren attended Louisiana State University and majored in Graphic Design for the first four years. While at LSU, Lauren was a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority, and was president of the sorority her senior year. Lauren often stated that the four years of Tri-Delta were the happiest times of her life, and she was proud to have served as their president. In the middle of her fourth year, Lauren decided to change her major to Pre-Pharmacy. She chose to attend the College of Pharmacy at the University of Louisiana at Monroe with scholarship.
Wedding and Family
After a seven-year courtship, Lauren and Andrew Olinde were wed on August 1, 2008 at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church. She wore a beautiful lace bolero over her satin gown and held white and pale pink peonies down the aisle. Lauren personally organized and designed every detail of the wedding including the hand engraved invitations. Lauren and Andrew were happily nesting in their first year of marriage in Monroe, when in October of 2009 Lauren felt a large mole on the crown of her head. She was soon diagnosed with Stage III Melanoma.
Her Brave Struggle
She had two surgeries and began treatment at MD Anderson in January of 2010, while courageously continuing her third year in ULM’s Pharmacy program. Cancer treatment could not take away Lauren’s determination or her uplifting spirit. In July of 2010, Lauren went into remission. It was a wonderful time filled with family, friends, and trips to places she had always dreamed of visiting. Friends threw a “Hat’s Off Party” congratulating Lauren’s remission and during that summer Lauren travelled to Europe, California, and Florida with friends and family.
In February of 2011, Lauren’s cancer returned and it had spread to her liver. It was now Stage IV Melanoma. Cancer treatment resumed, but once again Lauren continued with her happy life as usual. In May of 2011, Lauren graduated with honors from ULM’s Doctor of Pharmacy program. Upon graduation, Dr. Lauren Olinde began working full-time as a licensed pharmacist in Baton Rouge. In the fall of 2011, the cancer had metastasized further. Lauren never lost hope and always showed the world her beautiful smile. On January 21, 2012, Lauren Savoy Olinde passed away peacefully, surrounded by her loved ones.
A Lasting Legacy
To those who know her best, Lauren’s greatest accomplishment is the inspiration that she instilled in her family, friends, and all those who have met her. Lauren’s kindness and love for life will forever live on through the lives she has touched.
Lauren and friends imagined a non-profit early in 2011 when her cancer returned from remission. She felt that an awareness walk/run would be the best platform to bring people together on this cause. The “Hat Run” name comes from the idea that you should wear hats and other clothing while in the sun’s rays and also the fact that we had a “Hat’s Off!” party that was full of high spirits and crazy hats! If you knew Lauren, then you know that a good party is always about a good theme!
The Birth of LSO Foundation
The LSO Foundation was officially opened on January 20th, 2012. Lauren was given word of the opening of the Foundation and responded with a beautiful smile of encouragement to carry it on. Lauren’s sincere wish for the Foundation was that others would be saved by early detection and to create a greater awareness of skin cancers.
We feel honored to share the beautiful spirit of Lauren Savoy Olinde through this Foundation’s work. We hope you will join us in carrying on Lauren’s wish for others to live a full and joyful life.