Kenderin says she has always had the gift of empathy.
Gaining perspective on her own recent acute myelogenous leukemia diagnosis, Lauren Kenderin was comforted by her friend Michelle Kiepowitz’s story about the scoliosis Kiepowitz had as a child, fellow coffee shop patrons confirmed Wednesday.
When Kenderin brought up her advanced leukemia while catching up with her friend, Kiepowitz was reportedly ready and willing to offer support, putting her arm on Kenderin’s shoulder and discussing at length her own scoliosis, a mild spinal deviation she had corrected with a brace as a child. According to Kiepowitz, hospitals are “really, really clean,” and doctors can do “basically anything these days,” in addition to being “so supportive and nice.”
“At first I was terrified because there’s a possibility that I might die,” said Kenderin, “but after Michelle told me about how easy it was to correct a slight, cosmetic defect about ten years ago, I feel a lot better.”
Said Kiepowitz, “It’s all about making people feel less alone. I’ve known a lot of people with scary illnesses, and I always think what cheers them up is to know there are people out there who have gone through exactly what they’re going through.”
The coffee date ended when Kiepowitz began to feel slightly nauseated from the previous night’s drinking. Fortunately, she was able to use the circumstance into another opportunity to make Kenderin feel better.
“See! All chemo is is a little nausea once in a while, just like this!” said Kiepowitz. “It’s not that bad!”