One of Laura’s favorite things to eat while she was in treatment most of her young life was a homemade tomato and elbow macaroni soup. Laura always liked to have her mom “make it fresh” and only elbow macaroni would do. It gave her mom comfort to know that Laura was eating when most kids experiencing what she was are often unable to eat. More importantly, though, it was Laura’s comfort food that helped to sustain her when nothing else looked or tasted good from the effects of the chemotherapy.
Laura and her parents spent a couple of years traveling back and forth to New York City in two-week intervals so Laura could receive antibody therapy at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Each day, when all of the pain medications wore off, she would ask her mom to make her favorite soup … and it had to be fresh. So, every day her mom would go down to the kitchen at the Ronald McDonald House and make Laura a fresh bowl of soup. Yes, her mom made it fresh for her every day, and Laura ate it faithfully every day.
Laura coined its name “Soupy for Loopy”. Laura wanted a nickname after her brother Mark was called Scuffy Sypek because he kept on running for the bus at Disney World after losing his flip-flops. Her family would lovingly call her Loops or just plain Loopy as a nickname, so Soupy for Loopy just seemed to be a natural fit.
As a tribute to Laura and her remarkable courage, family members along with B’Shara’s Eatery in West Springfield, Massachusetts hosted a “Soupy for Loopy” fundraiser for neuroblastoma research on October 14, 2006. That was the day that Laura would have turned 12. Many of Laura’s family, friends, classmates, teachers and townspeople came out to enjoy a bowl of Laura’s favorite soup and to help find a cure. Over 400 bowls of Laura’s favorite soup were sold that day and over $3800 was raised for much needed research.
Since Soupy for Loopy Foundation was launched in 2007, the benefit has become an annual event in the month of October, held in honor of Laura and her own unwavering commitment to raise awareness and funding for neuroblastoma.
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