Your Neighbor: Meet Lauren Canup

Published 12:05 am Thursday, November 11, 2021

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By Mandy Haggerson
For the Clemmons Courier

Lauren Canup was born and raised in Winston-Salem. “During my childhood, I liked doing a lot of activities that involved being outside. I also enjoyed organized sports for the exercise component and teamwork factors,” recalls Canup. “I was the middle child of three kids in my family, and it was always instilled in us the importance of family. My younger sister was born when I was 12 years old, and I remember her coming to my basketball games. I loved toting her around, and it was like she was my own baby,” says Canup. “I think I was the only kid in car line with a car seat in the back, but I loved every minute of it.”

Canup realized how much she enjoyed caring for her sister and helping her mom out. “When I was old enough, I babysat a lot. That led to me wanting to be involved with the Crossnore Children’s Home. I would even walk there from my house to volunteer. I developed a passion for wanting to help children and enjoyed developing relationships with them. That resulted in my decision to attend Forsyth Technical Community College after I graduated from R.J. Reynolds High School to focus on childhood education,” explains Canup. She also simultaneously worked as a certified nursing assistant while she worked towards getting her degree.

“While I was at Forsyth Tech and working, I met my future husband, Mat, through mutual friends. He had just gotten out of the service and had moved back to the area,” notes Canup. “One night, Mat was injured in a really bad motorcycle accident where he was hit head-on by a car going 60 miles per hour. They pronounced him dead at the scene, and miraculously he survived after suffering from major brain trauma and damage to the rest of his body,” recalls Canup. “The process for helping Mat recover was extensive. We had been dating long enough for me to know that I wanted to help him with that long journey. I stopped going to school and working to focus completely on getting him healthy and back on his feet again. It took over a year for him to get out of a wheelchair.”

Mat and Lauren’s devotion to each other grew during that time. They were married in 2006 and started a family three years later. “Before the boys were born, I had been working in management for the Arbors Apartments. Once Lucas (12) was born, I knew that I wanted to be home with him. Our son, Colby (10) was born two years later, and it’s been such a fun journey being a boys’ mom,” laughs Canup. “These days, Mat and I spend our weeks going to their activities like travel baseball which I wouldn’t trade for anything. It’s rewarding to see your kids involved in something that they enjoy. I’ve met great parents and enjoyed a sense of community with their involvement. I also enjoy getting to know the parents through the Parent Teachers Association at Lewisville Middle School where I volunteer.”

Canup encourages her children to also give back to the community that she enjoys so much. “We like fostering dogs with local rescues, we’ve helped drive them to neighboring rescues when needed, and pre-COVID would go and help in the shelters with socialization. Our family loves animals and being part of their journey to find forever families has been particularly meaningful to us,” reflects Canup. “I think it’s important to teach your children that we all need to do our part and help where you can.”