Back in 2012 Lauryn Galvan, a nursing student at Phillips County Community College, had almost everything going for her. She was the only student in Arkansas selected as a LEDA scholar and was asked to attend Princeton University in New Jersey for 7 weeks before her senior year in high school.

But during that session, Lauryn became very ill. She began to lose weight, developed sores in her mouth and was constantly feeling very, very tired. When she returned home in August she underwent a series of tests to determine her illness. After undergoing many rigorous tests including extensive blood work and biopsies, eventually, in March of 2013, Lauryn was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus.

Back in 2012 Lauryn Galvan, a nursing student at Phillips County Community College, had almost everything going for her. She was the only student in Arkansas selected as a LEDA scholar and was asked to attend Princeton University in New Jersey for 7 weeks before her senior year in high school.

But during that session, Lauryn became very ill. She began to lose weight, developed sores in her mouth and was constantly feeling very, very tired. When she returned home in August she underwent a series of tests to determine her illness. After undergoing many rigorous tests including extensive blood work and biopsies, eventually, in March of 2013, Lauryn was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus.

“We prayed as a family, with our church, and yes, even in the hallway of her high school with her teachers circled around her,” stated Lauryn's mom, Angel Galvan. “ We prayed that the lupus would be mild and controllable.”

With mounting unpaid medical bills that the family's insurance did not pay, the Olive Branch, Mississippi Iron Order MC decided to hold a poker run to help Lauryn and her family defray some of the costs of her treatment and other medical expenses.

According to Darrell Henson, spokesperson for Iron Order MC, the poker run will be held this Saturday, June 17 starting and ending at the Wild Hog Saloon in Helena. The first bike for the Lauryn Galvan Poker Run will leave at noon and the last bike will return at 5 p.m. There is a $20 entry fee or $25 per double.

“There will be several drawing for prizes beginning at 5 p.m.,” reported Henson. “Tickets for a drawing for a Twisted Hammer custom knife are one for $5 or three for $12. A drawing also will beheld for a Rutger SR-9E 9mm and are one for $10 and three for $25. You need not be present to win. There will be several door prizes awarded.”

Following the poker run a barbecue dinner will be served to the participating riders. Food and arts and crafts venders will be on site.

Lauryn's big dreams and plans for the future were put on hold with Lupus diagnosis. She graduated as valedictorian of her high school class and had been awarded a full scholarship to American University in Washington D.C.

“But Lupus had other plans for her,” stated her mother. “It began to attack her kidneys. Her body rejected every medicine the doctors put her on, except one.”

The cost for that drug was astronomical – $2,000 plus per month, which Lauryn's insurance did not cover.

The family went to every resource possible seeking help. They held local benefits and family members worked every type of moonlighting jobs they possible could to pay for the meds. The financial strain was so severe the family eventually lost their home.

“We are OK with that because we didn't lose her,” said Angel. “ Lauryn was getting better and went into remission and was eventually taken off the medicine.”

Lauryn remained in remission for four months before suffering a relapse. This time the relenting disease attacked her kidneys and lungs. She went through six months of chemo therapy.

During the ordeal, Lauryn never gave up on her dream of becoming a nurse anesthetist.

“This young lady has never missed a semester of college through her entire illness,” commented Angel. Even while on chemo, she would take a treatment and be sitting in the Nursing Department at Phillips Community College the very next day. She never, and I mean never, has let Lupus stand in her way. She has Lupus. It doesn't have her.”

Lauryn has just two more semesters and she will become a registered nurse. She has completed the college's Phlebotomy course and is a certified Phlebotomist.

“I am very proud of my daughter,” stated Angel. “She has taught me determination and has shown me that whatever we face the outcome is our choice. She is the strongest woman I know.”

Angel said there are so many unpaid medical bills that insurance did not pay still pending and I'm sure there are more to come.

Referring to the June 17 Lauryn Galvan Poker Run Angel commented, “To every person that can help, I send you my deepest thanks...no matter how big or small. From my heart to yours, I thank you.”