Laurel’s Story

A message from Laurel

Hi! I’m Laurel Dortch, a field hockey player at Miami University Ohio and a cancer survivor. I began The Laurel Foundation to pass on the love and to help the victims of childhood cancer, their families and the research for a cure!

I am determined to fight childhood cancer and you can help! Each year at Barbecue on the River in Paducah, KY the River City Rib Ticklers sponsor TLF and make some mighty tasty food! Volunteers are needed to staff our booth and my Aunt Terri, our bookkeeper, will add you to the schedule or accept any checks made out to the Laurel Foundation.

Together we can make a greater difference than our individual efforts, helping others is the best work of life!

Laurel’s Story

Laurel was a normal, happy, healthy and beautiful 5-year-old girl. On December 13th, 2004, her life and the lives of her loved ones changed forever.


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Laurel and Slushy receiving radiation treatment alone behind 2ft. concrete doors.
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Laurel and Dr. Silverman


Laurel was diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer called Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor or PNET. This cancer is in the Ewing Sarcoma family. Over the next nine months, she spent the majority of her time at Norton Children’s Hospital (formerly Kosair Children’s Hospital). She endured 3 surgeries, 14 chemotherapy treatments, and 25 radiation treatments. Words cannot explain how physically, emotionally and mentally taxing this was for such a young girl and the people around her. She was very brave and her faith stayed strong through it all.

Laurel completed her final chemotherapy treatment on August 6th, 2005 and after 5 years of quarterly scans and testing, Laurel has now been out of treatment for nearly 15 years and is considered cured. Laurel is followed closely for collateral damage from the treatments. She has endured 3 major hip surgeries and, at age 20, a total hip replacement as a result of the radiation treatments.

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Laurel’s 2018 total hip replacement.

Laurel, her family, and many close friends have developed a passion to make a difference in the lives of the children and families that are dealing with this horrific disease. This is why we created “The Laurel Foundation”. Laurel has recently completed her year as a student-athlete at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She is enrolled in the Farmer School of Business and is majoring in Leadership/Management and has decided to pursue a career in Hospital Management. She absolutely loves her school, teammates, family, and friends old and new.

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Laurel’s internship at Norton’s Children’s Hospital
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Laurel as an honorary survivor at Bourbon and Bowties

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