Archive for Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Store owner embraced life, others

November 11, 2008

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From left, Susan Cary, Shari Anderson, Amy Laughlin and Julie Embrey have their locks shorn together to support Laughlin as she "fights like a girl" against cancer. Shari Anderson submitted the picture.

From left, Susan Cary, Shari Anderson, Amy Laughlin and Julie Embrey have their locks shorn together to support Laughlin as she "fights like a girl" against cancer. Shari Anderson submitted the picture.

Amy's journey

To learn more about Amy Laughlin's journey, log on to her CaringBridge Web site at caringbridge.org and type in amylaughlin.

Giving.

Hopeful.

That's how Amy Laughlin will be remembered by the Lawrence community.

Laughlin, owner of Second Chance Children's & Maternity Store in downtown Lawrence, died Monday at the age of 40 after a 12-year battle with breast cancer.

"She was concerned about everybody else. She wanted to make sure everybody else was happy," said Diana Buchanan, store manager.

Buchanan said Laughlin felt strongly about providing affordable clothing for children and expectant mothers. If customers couldn't pay the bill, she was known for letting them have store credit or sometimes simply giving the clothes away.

Laughlin also bonded with many of her customers during her nine years of ownership.

"She really grew a business, and she really grew what I call her entourage. People loved to come in and talk to her," Buchanan said.

Susan Cary, Lawrence, was a frequent shopper seven years ago when she was pregnant. She and Laughlin learned that they had a common passion for scrapbooking. Then, they realized their husbands shared common interests, too. They became a second family and often took trips together.

Every year, the two women spent Dec. 26 together.

"It was a standing date. We met at 7 o'clock at Milton's and then went shopping," Cary said with sadness in her voice.

She said Laughlin "just gave all the time." She often volunteered to watch children for parents who needed to run errands, played the viola during church services, and attended her three children's school activities. Last summer, she wanted to help run Bible School although she was sick.

Her friends said she was open about her illness and often provided encouragement for others battling cancer. She participated in events such as Relay of Life, which raises funds for cancer research.

"She embraced her life and she embraced her cancer and she brought dignity to a very cruel and heartless disease. She showed that when there is hope, there is life," Cary said.

Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. Friday at First Presbyterian Church in Lawrence. Friends and family are encouraged to wear pink - her favorite color.

"I don't want some gloomy, mopey black funeral," Laughlin had said to Cary. "Let's have a big party thing and celebrate life."

Comments

METALQ2 6 years, 4 months ago

She was a wonderful, caring individual. Great story LJW.

kansasrose 6 years, 4 months ago

I was lucky enough to meet Amy a time or two after my own breast cancer diagnosis. She was funny, direct and encouraging for me. I was struck by her amazing spirit and no nonsense approach to things. I was so sad to read of her passing. My prayers are with her friends and family. Rest in peace, Amy!

bearded_gnome 6 years, 4 months ago

it is important to note:by the content of this article her breast cancer battle started when she was 28! wow. maybe we need some kinda earlier screening since usually doesn't start 'till after 40! when I went to the mayo clinic, there was a couple staying in my motel there too. she was 27 and well into a fight against breast cancer.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 4 months ago

momma: "I am very sad to hear that Amy lost her battle...."By all accounts, 'twould appear she more than won the war.

formyle 6 years, 4 months ago

It's been said you can tell a lot about a person by their choice of friends. The people quoted in this article clearly loved Amy. Their words touched my heart.

SpiritTat 6 years, 4 months ago

She was wonderful, always remembering my child's name - and her father's too - when I would go into the store. I am so sorry to hear.

AlligatorMama 6 years, 4 months ago

Amy was a great friend of mine. She is everything that this story said and more!She will be greatly missed!

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 4 months ago

"I don't want some gloomy, mopey black funeral," Laughlin had said to Cary. "Let's have a big party thing and celebrate life."Indeed.

sarahsmilehawk 6 years, 4 months ago

I only met Amy Laughlin a few times, but I know many people who were close to her. They have really lost someone special.

RedwoodCoast 6 years, 4 months ago

Wow, 12 years... I had an uncle who had a 13-year fight with bone cancer, Hodgkins, and then bone cancer again.That is a long time to be fighting, but it is also a long time to make peace with the world. I would hope that this woman was able to do exactly that.

smartmomma 6 years, 4 months ago

I am very sad to hear that Amy lost her battle, she was always very cheerful and strong about her illness. She was a very caring and giving person. She will be missed by alot of people especially Lawrence mommies.

sourpuss 6 years, 4 months ago

Anyone at any age can get cancer. I am fighting colon cancer in my early 30s, a disease that isn't even screened for until your 50s. I had no family history either. The thing is, testing everyone is still cheaper than treating some people, and catching things early keeps those of us afflicted with cancer from suffering as much. Someday we'll kick cancer, I just know it. Until then, we should screen more people at a younger age. Sadly, insurance companies do not want to pay for such things.

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