I recently listened to a Clubhouse chat on a Friday evening, and I was introduced to the powerhouse that is Lauren “Lolo” Spencer.
A multi-talented model, actor, influencer and content creator, she has never allowed her disability to get in the way. Aside from her impressive range of talents, Lauren's most notable work is supporting and encouraging other people living with chronic illness and disability, and she raises awareness through her Social Media channels where she has amassed thousands of followers.
Lauren was diagnosed at the age of 14 with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease (after the basketball player who was diagnosed with the condition). at first, Lauren noticed some changes in her body and went to see various doctors. Accompanied by her loving family, she was desperate to find an answer.
Talking about her diagnosis “It was scary - I just made the decision that I was going to live my life to the fullest" said Lauren. ALS patients usually live between 2 - 7 years after diagnosis but Lauren is defying all odds and has been living with the disease for 18 years.
Lauren wants to be an advocate for the disabled community and change the way that people speak about disability. Her videos are warm, authentic and honest and her social media is vibrant, upbeat and colourful. Just watching one of her videos will instantly motivate and brighten your day.
Lauren played the part of Tracy Holmes, a character in the award winning film "Give me Liberty". It is a comedy which premiered at both the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals.
ALS is a progressive disease, meaning the symptoms worsen over time. It is one of a range of diseases that are known as motor neuron diseases. As the motor neurons in the brain begin to cease working, the muscles in the body lose the ability to function as they should, affecting everything including speech, mobility and breathing.
The disease can strike at any age, but symptoms most commonly develop between the ages of 40 and 75. Sadly, as yet there is no understanding to what causes the condition. Early Symptoms include muscle weakness or stiffness, twitches in the arms, legs, shoulders or tongue, muscle cramps, slurred speech and difficulty chewing or swallowing.
If you or someone you know are affected by ALS or any of the motor neuron diseases, we have added some helpful links below. The links are divided into countries so please select the option most suited to you.
You can follow Lauren "Lolo" Spencer on the following platforms:
For help and support on ALS or Motor Neuron Disease:
Bosnia and Herzegovina
United States of America