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Ball State student with cancer sets sights on oncology career

Lauren McGlaughlin is battling cancer, but it is not stopping her from chasing her dreams.

MUNCIE, Ind. (WTHR) - Lauren McGlaughlin is battling cancer, but it is not stopping her from chasing her dreams.

Lauren, a student at Ball State University, has big dreams - and big obstacles to confront to make them a reality.

Like any other freshman, Lauren loves the new-found freedom of college life, even though she admits her parents have had a little trouble getting used to it.

Especially Dad.

"I applied, got accepted and finally we bought books," she said. "He was there for that, but it's really happening. It's happening, ready or not, no going back," Lauren said with a smile.

You can't blame her parents. Lauren has been fighting bone cancer since she was 14. Now she is fighting tumors on her lungs and has nerve damage in her left leg.

Dr. April Rahrig, a Fellow at Riley Hospital, has known Lauren since she was 14.

"We talked about her going to school and what she wanted to study and she told me she wanted to be an oncologist. It was an amazing moment," Rahrig remembered.

"I want to be a good doctor like her," Lauren told us.

Lauren completed her junior and senior years of high school in Muncie last year so she could enroll at Ball State this year.

"We never know when the end will come," said Lauren. "Any of us could not wake up tomorrow. I just want to keep going and living and pursuing my schools because I plan on beating this, so I want to keep doing all this and surprise everyone."

"She's dedicated," Rahrig said. "When she wants something, she doesn't let anything get in her way, she goes after it."

Lauren currently is living at home but still has regular chemotherapy at Riley every three weeks.

We asked Lauren if she thought she could be an inspiration to others.

"I hope so. I want people to look at me and think like 'wow, she loves God, she's doing this all for Him," she said.

And what is it like for Lauren, fitting in at college with all she's been through at the tender age of 17?

"I'm human, they're humans. We can live," she declared, laughing.