Survivor Spotlight: Lauren Alfino

I recently got to catch up with Lauren Alfino, a second-semester sophomore currently enrolled at Nova Southeastern University, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Lauren is a lymphoma survivor who has battled her way back to health, and is now battling her way to the rowing championship with her teammates at NSU. Read on to hear how she is doing.



Lauren and her family spent time in CA during the recent winter break to visit her brother, and spent a day a the Monterey Bay Aquarium. On their way back, traveling on Hwy 1, they stopped at the Pierdras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery, where Lauren got to takethis wonderful picture with some elephant seals. Does that count as extra credit?

  1. How are enjoying your time at NSU?

I love my major. I am a marine biology major with a marine ecology minor. I am so happy to be studying such fascinating subject. I loved taking my intro to marine biology with lab class last semester. We got to go down to Key Largo and into the Everglades! I got to see my first alligator, crocodile and manatee last year because of that class. This semester I am in oceanography. There is so much stuff I never knew and I am enjoying every minute of learning. We are going on a few field trips this semester and I can’t wait. Organic chemistry is giving me a bit trouble, but I’m surviving and learning how to handle it. I love Nova Southeastern University. I’m so happy to be in Florida and have access to the ocean, so I can study my field right at my back door.

  1. What was the best part of last semester?

The best part of last semester for me was joining my fraternity (and yes, it’s a fraternity). I joined Alpha Phi Omega, the co-ed service fraternity at NSU, last semester. It was amazing, I made so many friendships and did so much community service. It helped me connect with the community and be able to give back.

  1. How is your health? Do you have any lingering effects from cancer or your treatment?

I am doing very well. I just passed my 3-year anniversary for getting diagnosed. I’ve had no health problems other than a shoulder injury due to rowing.

  1. Finally, what are you looking forward to during the upcoming semester and summer?

I am currently working on filling out all of my internship applications. I am hoping to stay in Florida this summer to be able to do some research or other work in marine biology. I’m hoping to get into a program that does marine mammal stranding/rescue and/or veterinarian work.I am also getting ready to start the rowing season. Even though I’ve been injured this year, I am still looking forward to supporting my team and seeing them race! I should be able to travel with them to some of the races and I am going on the spring break training trip with them.



Lauren with her team last semester, rowing in her novice boat at the FIRA Championships. Lauren is in the bow seat, the rower pictured furthest to the right.

We are so proud of Lauren’s achievements in school and rowing. College is such a great time to spend making new friends, exploring everything that an exciting major and state has to offer,  The best part is knowing that Lauren is getting to do all of this completely cancer free and with less stress about paying for college! 


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