Lauren Emily Frei, past co-president of Friends of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, was born in Boston and now lives in Andover with her husband, Emil, and their daughters Chelsea and Carly. After graduating from Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School, Lauren worked for many years setting up and overseeing site offices for the nationwide general contractor, Clark Construction. Recently, she and a friend started a small event planning business, "Silent Partners."
In 1987 while visiting her father-in-law, Dr. Emil Frei III, at Dana-Farber, Lauren was impressed with the warm environment, patient care, and how much Dana-Farber does for its patients. She volunteered in the Friends’ (Place) boutique in 1999 and was so moved while fitting a young patient for a wig. Lauren said, "This sweet little girl was too embarrassed to attend school and face her friends with her hair falling out, and she came to the boutique in tears, but left with a smile on her face. Friends’ Place has much to offer cancer patients, and it was rewarding to be able to reach out and make a difference," said Lauren.
Lauren was honored when Dori Frei, Lauren's mother-in-law and Friends Board Member, proposed her for membership. Shortly after joining the Friends Board, she became involved with the patient gift bag program and upon distributing 100 gift bags, she garnered much appreciation from Dana-Farber patients. Lauren said, "This is something that I can share with my children as they help assemble the bags and experience part of what I do for the Friends. Several months ago, we did a Red Sox-theme bag, and my daughters and ten of their friends made 200 bags."
As vice-president of membership, Lauren sponsored a coffee at her home, and her guest speaker was someone she met while delivering gift bags and whose son was being treated for testicular cancer. She was so touched with the Friends activities that she offered to speak about her son's positive experience at Dana-Farber. Last year, Lauren co-chaired the Friends 30th Anniversary Gala with her dear friend and Board Member Cheryl Eckel. This event was significant because it honored her father-in-law, Dr. Emil Frei III.
Lauren says "Every year it has become a family tradition to help decorate Dana-Farber for the holidays. I have been on the Friends Board for four years and am surrounded by Board members with hearts bigger than one can imagine. I have volunteered with many organizations, but no one can come close to my ‘Friends.’"