Inspiration for All
- Alli McLaren, 30, has suffered from a broken jaw after being randomly punched, a brain injury, a brain tumor, radiation treatments and her feet being run over by a car. Even still she has a positive attitude.
- Her message is inspiring: “We don’t choose our lives and what happens to us, but we do choose how to take what happens to us and make it into something beautiful.”
- If you’re a someone in need of some inspiration, SurvivorNet has you covered. We’ve had the privilege of sharing many moving stories from cancer survivors over the years, including that of chef Eduardo Garcia’s incredible journey overcoming testicular cancer, pediatric cancer survivor and Girl Scout cookie sales record holder Lilly Bumpus and best-selling author and late-stage lymphoma survivor Alex Echols.
In a TikTok video that’s been viewed 1.6 million times, McLaren shared the hectic journey that’s been her life as of late.Read More
@notallialicee Also i randomly got stuck in canada for 9 months during COVID lol #toxic #foryou #fyp #bestie ♬ original sound – Alli McLaren
“That broke my jaw, and then I had to get jaw surgery to fix it,” she said.
Then, her immune system was super weak and she ended up getting and infection and getting pneumonia.
“And then when I had pneumonia, I was super lightheaded and I fell and I hit my head and that led to a brain injury,” she explained. “Then we found a tumor in my brain, and then I had to get brain surgery to get the tumor out.”
But, sadly, the doctors couldn’t get all of her noncancerous brain tumor out. So, then she started having radiation treatments to kill any residual tumor cells.
“And then I was walking to my radiation treatment the other day at the hospital, and, in front of the hospital, I got run over by a car,” she said. “They ran a stop sign.”
@notallialicee But i have a nice view #foryou #losangeles #healing ♬ original sound – Alli McLaren
As if that weren’t enough, the poor girl had her feet run over by the car and later found out her left foot was broken and her right was fractured.
Needless to say, McLaren has really been struggling both physically and emotionally. She’s lost friends and endures severe mood swings.
“I’ve had both really bad depression and anxiety,” she said, according to the New York Post. “I also get really uncomfortable walking near people on the street because I don’t trust anyone.
“I stopped responding to messages and stopped showing up at places. A lot of the time I’m super tired and just have no energy… I used to be super social and now I just have a hard time leaving my house.”
@notallialicee The amount of times I’ve heard this lol #surgery #brainsurgery #recovery #toxic ♬ arsenal through n through – Williamson
Even still, McLaren has a positive attitude. She shares her story on social media in the hopes of inspiring others.
“I think I stay strong by knowing it can’t be like this forever and also knowing that one day I’m going to wake up and I won’t be in pain anymore,” she said. “I do believe that everything happens for a reason.
“I am hoping to maybe one day write a book about it and keep using my platform to talk about my chaotic life… We don’t choose our lives and what happens to us, but we do choose how to take what happens to us and make it into something beautiful.”
More Stories of Resilience
Alli McLaren is an amazing example of resilience. Sometimes hearing stories like hers can help people faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges, cancer or otherwise, move forward with bravery and strength.
And if inspiration is what you need, SurvivorNet has you covered. Time and time again, we get to get to share stories of resilience because there’s no shortage of brave cancer warriors holding onto hope in the face of adversity and achieving amazing things.
Charged – The Eduardo Garcia Story is an award-winning SurvivorNetTV documentary following chef Eduardo Garcia’s incredible journey overcoming testicular cancer.
SurvivorNetTV Presents: ‘Charged’ — Setbacks Help Chef Discover Meaning and Connection
Garcia was on a hunting and fishing trip through the Montana backcountry in 2011 when he stumbled upon what he thought were the remains of a bear in a tin can that ended up being an old electrical junction box. When he attempted to remove its claw with his knife, he received an extremely severe electrical shock of 2400 volts. He lost an arm and nearly his life.
But his health struggles didn’t stop there. At the hospital, doctors also found that Garcia had testicular cancer. He needed to start chemotherapy immediately before beginning reconstructive surgeries.
Thankfully, Garcia beat the disease and has since returned to cooking up some delectable eats using a prosthetic arm. He’s a true warrior at heart who’s happy to be in remission and grateful for the people who helped to get him there.
“Everyone that has encouraged me, and supported me, and forgiven me, and held me accountable has brought me to today and how I make my life moving forward,” he said.
Another inspiring cancer warrior SurvivorNet has gotten to know is Lilly Bumpus. She’s a pediatric cancer survivor who was born with Ewing sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer that is often found in children and young adults.
One Tough Cookie: Resilient 8-Year-Old Who Overcame Ewing Sarcoma Sells More Than 32,000 Boxes of Girl Scout Cookies To Break Record
All before she turned one, Bumpus underwent intense rounds of chemotherapy and had some of her bones removed from her chest wall. Thankfully, those efforts were successful, and she’s still in remission today, though chemotherapy has left her with lasting side effects like bone deformation.
As if kicking cancer’s butt wasn’t enough, she’s also beaten the Girl Scout cookie sales record for most boxes sold in a single season. She sold more than 32,000 boxes of cookies in 2021 despite operating in a world ensnared by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“My favorite thing about Lilly is that she never gives up,” her mother, Trish, previously told SurvivorNet. “So, Lillybug got to 10,000 boxes one week into Girl Scout cookie season. Never, ever has that happened. So we went from there. I then approached Girl Scouts and said, ‘What happens now if she sells 20,000 boxes?’ And they said, ‘20,000 boxes, yeah, okay.’ So we said, ‘Game on.’ So then we sold on and sold on, and she got into 20,000 boxes.”
“And then we went to 32,000,” added Lilly.
And last, but certainly not least, best-selling author Alex Echols is yet another cancer warrior whose story has enthralled and moved us. He is a late-stage lymphoma survivor who, as humble as can be, credits his resilience to his upbringing in a violence-ridden neighborhood he’s since left.
How a Tough Childhood Helped One Young Man Face His Greatest Obstacle: Late-Stage Lymphoma
His treatment included high-dose chemotherapy followed by a bone marrow transplant, also known as a stem cell transplant – not an easy journey by any means. But through it all, Echols remained optimistic as ever.
“Even during some of the most challenging days and nights, when I didn’t have any energy, I looked for things to be grateful for,” he said. “I’ve always felt like I’ve been an optimist my entire life, and I’ve always seen things as the glass half full.”
Now, he’s on the other side of his cancer journey and sharing what he’s learned with the world through his work. He’s an emotional intelligence leadership-based trainer and the bestselling co-author of The Two-Week Notice: How to Discover Your Passion, Quit Your Job + Impact Our World.
“Honestly, I’ve just gotten back into such a rich and beautiful life for myself,” he said.
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