Office of Student Life

Lauryn O.

Lauryn O.

There are so many words to describe what Lu was like. As her sister Kristin says, “The best”. She had a warm and funny sense of humor and a gentle spirit. Her smile would light up a room, no matter how she felt or if she was having a not so good day. Her laugh was contagious. She had a passion for music, writing songs, playing her guitar and especially loved her dogs. She always fought with courage and determination and never gave up. Her bravery and compassion were an inspiration to everyone who knew her. 

Siblings Name: Kristin

Parents Names: Teresa and Scott

Our family decided to join BuckeyeThon to continue to honor Lu’s legacy.  We hope to accomplish this by raising awareness for AML research and to keep Lu’s spirit alive in the fight to find better treatment options and a cure for this horrific disease.  BuckeyeThon holds a special place in our hearts as it supports raising awareness and funds for pediatric cancers, the kids, and Nationwide Children’s Hospital oncology unit which we consider a part of our own family.”  - Theresa, Lu's mom


“I have had the privilage of getting to know the Oliphant Family through their invovlement in BuckeyeThon. Although Lu passed away, her parents and sister have continued to inspire others by sharing her story and even hosting an event in her honor: “Rockin’ to Beat Leukemia”. Kristin, Lu’s sister, has spoken at BuckeyeThon events before and hearing how they continue to keep Lu’s memories alive is what motivates me to be more passionate about BuckeyeThon's cause. Lu was always bringing a smile and positivity into everyone’s life and her family continue to do this for everyone they meet.”


Her family says that their favorite memories with Lu were often the simple ones. They loved catching her play guitar or piano, watching her play with her dog’s Gracie and Delta, and taking family vacations to Hilton Head beach.

Lauryn's Cancer Journey:

Lauryn (aka Lu) Oliphant was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) in December of 2014 and went into remission after 4 rounds of chemotherapy in April of 2015. However, in August of 2015, she relapsed. She went through treatments at Nationwide Children's Hospital and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. On March 26, 2016 Lu received her bone marrow transplant, and this day was a miracle for her and our family. Lu fought so hard and she continued to stay positive and strong through every challenge that came her way. Even after her transplant and all of her treatment, Lu's fragile body could not handle much more and on May 5, 2016 Lu passed away at the age of 17.

Even though Lauryn is not physically here with us, she continues to inspire so many people every day. Her family is so blessed for the memories they were able to make and share with her. She displayed courage, strength, faith and hope throughout her entire journey fighting AML. They are also very thankful for the doctors, nurses, therapists, patients and families we met on the 12th floor of Nationwide Children's Hospital. We will forever be #LuStrong.