Saturday, February 5, 2011

Help Save Your Own Life

If you have the choice between being loved or being right, choose to be loved.

I took a week off from the blogging world to help some friends. Two years ago, my friend Cindy's step-sister died of carbon monoxide poisoning. This is her story:

Lauren Johnson was a flame from which every person could light their own candle. She had a spark inside her and she shared it with the world. Lauren had dedicated her life at an early age to standing up for those that could not stand up for themselves and she believed passionately in fighting for justice. Caring, compassionate and ready to take on the world, Lauren had found her calling. At twenty four years old, she was working on a masters program in international human rights at the prestigious Joseph Korbel School of International Studies in Denver, Colorado. Lauren was a natural leader and was preparing to travel to Israel to lead a delegation of students at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. However, five days before she was to leave, on January 5, 2009, Lauren lost her life to carbon monoxide poisoning because a damaged furnace vent on the roof of her apartment building leaked the odorless, colorless, tasteless toxin through the wall and into her home. A carbon monoxide detector (COD) had not been installed in her apartment and she was unaware that she was breathing the lethal gas. When she developed a headache and felt drowsy, she laid down in her bed and never woke up. Lauren's flame had been extinguished and the world was worse off because of it.

Lauren's friends formed The LAUREN Project which has two separate focuses. To support international volunteer mission trips among young people (ages 21-35) and to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The LAUREN Project applied for a federal grant through FEMA's Fire Protection and Services Grant Program and I assisted them in preparing it. Given they just learned of the grant the middle of January, and the grant deadline was yesterday, February 4, 2011, we had only two weeks to put it together.

Please check out The LAUREN Project and pass it on. And please install a CO detector in your home if you don't have one already. After researching this issue the past two weeks, I am amazed at how many people still don't have the $25 device installed in their home that can save their life.

Now for the wait and see period. And on to the next project.

Have a fantastic week everyone!


  1. These CO stories always break my heart. I'm sorry for her loss.

    I hope you guys get the grant and continue to spread the word.


  2. Thank you for your kind words Lola! I post an update when I find out. :)

  3. What a tragic story. Best of luck with the grant and moving the project forward.