The Vermont Air National Guard sponsors the Young Hero Program to recognize children living with life-changing health issues. It is designed to pay tribute to their courage and dignity.
Lauren Hunt, 14, of Shelburne received the Young Hero Award at University of Vermont Medical Center on March 16. This award was presented by Lt. Col. Luke Ahmann and his team. Hunt was joined by her family and friends. Physicians, nurses and staff attended in support.
Hunt, a Rice High School student, was born with a low functioning immune system and juvenile arthritis. She receives weekly injections and monthly intravenous therapy.
Lauren’s parents Chuck Hunt and Jane Swift, along with her sisters, Elizabeth, 17, and her fraternal twin, Sarah, all have a special bond. “It’s been tough for her to do a lot of the things she would like to,” her father said. “She had pneumonia nine times one year.”
At the Young Hero Award ceremony, Lauren gave special thanks to her doctors at The University of Vermont Children’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital.
She plays field hockey and lacrosse and just attended a week-long leadership conference in Washington D.C. “She’s a tough kid with a positive attitude,” her father said. “Her mom and I are very proud of her. She doesn’t let this control her life. She just keeps pushing forward.”