Thriver Spotlight: Meet Our Bud, Lainie

Posted: May 16, 2022





"Always find the rainbows."

Introducing Lainie Jones – a Disney and TikTok aficionado, former St. Jude development leader (like our Founder, Kathleen!) and incredibly strong human with quite a long history as a member of the cancer community.

ICYMI: We went live with Lainie in April as part of our Thriver Thursday series –check it out here!

Lainie’s Cancer Story

Cancer has been a part of Lainie’s life for as long as she can remember – and even before that. She was initially diagnosed with adrenocortical carcinoma at 18 months old, but had little memory or knowledge of her experience.

“Growing up, I always knew I was a cancer survivor. I didn’t talk about it much, and I used to tell people when they asked what my scar was on my stomach that I swallowed a penny because I was embarrassed.”

Many years later, Lainie was two weeks into nursing school and almost 25 years old when she felt a lump in her breast. She was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer and, shortly thereafter, melanoma and thyroid cancer. By the time she turned 26, she had four different cancer diagnoses under her belt without any idea why. Further testing finally gave her an answer: a rare genetic predisposition to cancer called Li-Fraumeni Syndrome. To date, Lainie has lost track of how many recurrences she has had and receives scans every three months, but she has, in her words, “turned my diagnosis into my purpose.”

Crusading Against Cancer

Lainie channels her passion for cancer advocacy through her TikTok and Instagram accounts @theearlydetective. She uses both platforms to help raise awareness of symptoms, encourage regular screenings, and engage in Instagram live interviews with cancer orgs like buddhi. When she isn’t adding new songs to her “Beatin’ Cancer” playlist or making awesome TikTok videos to help others in her free time, you can find her working as an Associate Director for the American Cancer Society, continuing her efforts to make a difference and save more lives. We think you’re pretty damn awesome, Lainie!

Fun Facts About Lainie

1.   She absolutely despises cilantro.

2.   She’s obsessed with all things rainbow. 

3.   She loves Disney. 

We are so grateful to have you in our community, Lainie! You can keep up with her on her Instagram & TikTok accounts @theearlydetective.

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