His doctors gave him a 50-50 shot at survival. Lawrence, who lives in Queens Village, immediately started chemotherapy.
“I was very scared, I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “I had never experienced anything like that before in my life.”
After a year of battling cancer, COVID-19 struck. Lawrence’s wife, also a police officer, tested positive for the coronavirus, forcing them to isolate from one another to prevent Lawrence from contracting the virus.
During the pandemic, Lawrence also went to the hospital for two emergency surgeries to remove four tumors. Due to regulations, his wife could not be by his side.
“This past year has been hard,” he said. “It was really rough.”
Lawrence, who has a passion for weightlifting, had to stop going to the gym. He soon lost 100 pounds and had to find alternative ways to exercise.
That’s when he found Charge Running, a virtual community running app that offers on-demand and pre-recorded classes with different levels and an array of coaches. He quickly became a fan. After one month, Lawrence logged 73 miles and completed over 20 classes.
“It’s very addicting,” he said. “It makes running fun.
“The community is great,” Lawrence added. “Everyone cheers everyone on.”
On September 13, Lawrence plans to participate in the app’s “Boston for All” event in honor of the Boston Marathon. For five hours, users will run together with the goal of reaching 26.2 miles.
Lawrence is already practicing for the virtual event and making good progress. The longest run he has done so far is 15 miles.
“I’m feeling pretty good about it,” he said. “I’m definitely going to finish.”