100 Inspirational Alumni, Business Beyond Usual

Lauren Larsen | "Inspirational 100" Alumna


Lauren Ward Larsen, MBA 1988
Tirelessly Advocates for a Safe and Available Blood Supply

Lauren Ward LarsenAfter sixteen years in a for-profit career, Larsen's life took a dramatic turn when a pregnancy-related disorder triggered multiple organ failure and uncontrollable bleeding that required more than 200 pints of blood. Sixteen months after her near-fatal illness, Larsen ran her seventh marathon, raising $40,000 and 535 units of blood for the nonprofit blood centers that helped save her life. But she didn't stop there. She launched a six-year full-time speaking tour, produced more than 30 PSAs and video narratives, and hosted several additional fundraisers to help blood centers across the country ensure that blood would be available for the patients they served. In 2010, Larsen took over as president and chief ambassador of the Foundation for America's Blood Centers, continuing her unexpected path as the nation's leading blood donation advocate. The complete story of Larsen's near-fatal illness and the impact it had on her life is shared in her memoir, Zuzu's Petals: A True Story of Second Chances (In The Telling Press, © 2011), proceeds from which will support global blood supply initiatives.

Additional Links
• Larsen's Zuzu's Petals called a memoir "about love, courage, and destiny"
The Lives You Save: Patient Stories