In Loving Memory
Jules Laurita, 12/1999 - 04/2019
Diagnosis: Brain Cancer
Age: 19 Years
The fall of 2017 was one of the happiest times in Jules Laruita's young life. She was on track to graduate high school a semester early, enjoying a budding career as a singer-songwriter, playing bass in a band, and working as a barista. She was accepted to college, and was radiating positive energy wherever she went.
On October 21, 2017, a series of seizures landed Jules in the Emergency Room, and a suspicious MRI moved her to Children’s Hospital in Aurora, where a brain tumor was discovered in her right frontal lobe. At first deemed inoperable, many second opinions, sent out across the country and even to Europe, suggested otherwise.
After visiting a specialist in New York City, where multiple tests were conducted, and numerous consultations were given, Denver-based Neurosurgeon Kevin Lillehei, removed most of the tumor on December 08, 2017, however, Jules's struggles continued.
She was a “rockstar” going in, during, and after the surgery with amazing courage and a sense of humor throughout. In fact, she performed so well that she was discharged after three days, and began recovering at home, where she celebrated her 18th birthday, graduation, and the winter holidays, her favorite time of the year.
Unfortunately, Jules's tumor remained in areas that could not be touched by surgery, and her treatment plan included radiation and chemotherapy stretching over 2018 and into 2019. Outside assistance with nutrition, and other supplemental therapies, including a procedure to protect her fertility, are were not covered by insurance, and had to be paid out of pocket.
While clinical trials are being explored across the country, such treatments cost hundreds of thousands, and again are not covered by insurance. If you are in a position to help people like Jules, who passed away on Monday, March 04 at 4:44PM (MST), please consider a donation to the Colorado Cancer Foundation, whose support for patients has made a difference in myriad lives over the course of four decades. Thank you.