Family of Lauren Landavazo shares story to encourage others

Published: Nov. 5, 2019 at 12:48 AM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - Vern and Bianka Landavazo have lived every parent’s nightmare. Their Daughter Lauren was killed while she was walking home from school.

Three years later they have made it their mission to share her story. Just days after losing their daughter they gained something else – community support

“We’ve lived around the world and in the military, and you don’t see that in a lot of places. I think that this community can be proud of itself in the way they rallied behind us and supported us,” said Vern Landavazo.

With that support, the they have gained more courage than ever before: they have gotten legislation passed to raise the age of a protected child in Texas, they have led marches against gun violence, and because of their openness they have been asked to share their journey with churches in the Wichita Falls area.

It is why they were asked to speak at Celebrate Recovery at Compassion Church Monday night.

Compassion Church Outreach leader Jeremy Curry said, “Many people deal with death and deal with grief, and so many people don’t deal with it. They ball it up and it affects so many areas in their lives. We’ve seen Vern and Bianka face this thing head on. We’ve seen them take action and be proactive – getting from where they were to where they are today.”

Even as the Landavazos grieve their daughter’s death, there’s one thing that they will never lose sight of: that being able to know her was a gift.

Vern Landavazo said during his speech Monday night, “It’s impossible to go through this life without pain. How much pain you go through and how you respond to that is all about how you look at the big picture. Are you going to feel sorry for yourself and what you lost? Or, are you going to realize the gifts that you have?”

Celebrate Recovery helps people deal with pain struggle and addiction. The program takes place every Monday night at 7 pm at Compassion Church.

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