|Updated: 8/14/2012 9:15 am
||Published: 8/13/2012 9:32 pm
If the only measurement you used to gauge someone's life was longevity, Lo Detrich wouldn't pass the test; but if you measured the impact and impression someone was able to make, even in a short time, few people would surpass Lo Detrich.
In her parents' words, Lo, whose given name was Lauren, was, “exuberant, inclusive, full of life, vivacious, wise way beyond her years, funny, and gorgeous.”
Lo Detrich was the kind of person we all wish we could be.
“She had a very strong faith, and she loved her family and her friends as much as anybody I know,” her mother, Terry, told FOX23.
Lo was also sick. Soon after she was born, she was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a disease that attacks the lungs. Lo had to fight for every breath.
“The doctor told us in no uncertain terms that (her life) would be full of hospitalizations, physical therapy, taking scores of pills,” Terry said.
Her father, Don, says as she grew older, “she took probably 40 to 60 pills a day.”
Lo’s parents say their daughter didn't let the disease stop her.
“She wanted to make a contribution to CF to CF research,” Terry said.
“When she smiled, people couldn't help but smile. She began to understand that she might have a responsibility to try and raise this money (to help find a cure)”, Don said.
So, she began to speak about CF to the Oklahoma legislature to raise awareness of the disease. She also carried the Olympic torch in 2002.
“She wanted kids born today with CF not to have to worry that they would have to go through what she'd been through,” Terry said.
Lo survived two lung transplants and a kidney transplant: that kidney, from her father.
“She just never complained; she just knew that was what she had,” Don said.
Six weeks ago, Lo's CF complications worsened. On Saturday, she took her last breath.
“I will miss every single minute that I got to spend with Lo. Being her mom is and has been an honor. I have the two greatest kids in the entire world,” Terry said.
“I will just miss the joy that somehow that little kid knew how to create in everybody that she met,” Don said.
Lo's parents are at peace knowing their daughter is no longer in pain, and knowing that her spirit will live on through the lives she touched.
“There have been so many people who have said, ‘Because I met Lo, my life is different and better,’” Terry said.
Lo’s funeral will be held Wednesday evening at 7:00 at Holy Family Cathedral in Tulsa. Donations in Lo’s memory can be made to Sooner Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.