Two years cancer-free, Florida’s Lauren Evans returns to soccer fields

Published: Sep. 10, 2020 at 11:32 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - It’s been a long road back to the soccer fields for Florida senior Lauren Evans. Evans was diagnosed with cancer in the fall of 2017. She went through months of chemotherapy and was officially cancer-free in April of 2018.

The chemo was so rough on her that she couldn’t even walk. But now Lauren is doing more than walking. She’s playing the game she loves in the orange and blue again

When the Gators returned to Gainesville after falling in the 2017 elite eight, Lauren Evans went to the doctor because she felt very sick.

However the unthinkable was found, cancer. Lauren was diagnosed with leukemia.

The chemotherapy was rough and doctors believed that Lauren would never walk, let alone play soccer.

“It’s hard to explain to somebody that when a professional tells you that this will never happen again, it’s like a nightmare that you can never wake up from,” Evans said.

When Lauren felt her toes wiggle again for the first time, she knew she was capable of anything.

“As an athlete, you’re taught to persevere and fight through things that are hard," the senior from Lithia, FL added.

“I’ve had friends who visited Lauren in the hospital and said they walked out feeling better than walking out because Lauren radiated that hope," Lauren’s mother, Allison, said.

The soccer team always stood by her side in the hospital and when she was cancer-free in April of 2018.

Although she couldn’t play right after treatment. She was able to stay close and help out the team.

The soccer program even honored her scholarship.

“The team was always there always in our hospital room, whenever she was down another player would show up they always made her feel like she was part of the team," her father Jerome said.

In 2019, Lauren tried to return to soccer, however, she still felt the effects of chemo and was weak and decided to officially retire, but not for long. She underwent surgery and has beaten the odds again,"

“In 2019, I got a career-ending injury with leftover effects from chemo it meteorites my hip bones I got surgery, it was unfixable so it was an experiment, it worked, I look at it as I’m doing to defying the odds if they wanna tell me something I can’t do I’m gonna have to prove them wrong again”

Lauren has been able to play in scrimmages and when she got on the field for the first time this year, it was an amazing moment for her family.

“To see her run on the field it was a high moment,” Jerome said.

She now not only wants to win on the field but to inspire.

“God gives the toughest battles to his toughest soldiers. So keep fighting and be tough because tough things are gonna come your way.”

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