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Lorna "Lor" Van Diepen
Topic Started: Aug 6 2012, 05:46 PM (753 Views)
xylophonefairy
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gubernaculum
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Name: Lorna "Lor" Marie Van Diepen
Gender: Female
Age: 18
Grade: 12th
School: Aurora High School
Hobbies and Interests: Running, track, vlogging, charity work, travelling

Appearance: Standing at 5'7" and weighing 119lbs Lor is actually slightly underweight and this shows. She is thin; her bones press through the skin at her joints but her arms and long legs have muscles that betray her athletic past. Her shoulders tend to be hunched over and she has small breasts. There are several scars on her chest from biopsies and from her Hickmann line and portacath. Knobbly veins can be seen running down her arms and over the backs of her hands. The gnarled joints on her fingers appear almost arthritic, though she doesn't have any problems with them.

She has fair, slightly tanned skin and straight, dark brown hair that she keeps cut short in a choppy style that sits just below her jaw and frames her oval shaped face well. There are permanent dark circles under her eyes that no amount of sleep will get rid of and that she tends to cover up with makeup. She often ties her hair into a very short ponytail that sticks straight out from the back of her head, or in two low bunches. Her large, roundish eyes are grey in colour and topped by sparse eyebrows that she has to fill in with an eyebrow pencil. Equally thin are her eyelashes; for a special occasion she will wear fake ones but doesn't bother most of the time. She has a longish, straight nose and a narrow mouth with thin lips.

Lor tends to dress fairly sportily, preferring either flat pumps or training shoes with shorts or a short skirt worn over leggings, long, brightly coloured tank tops, and a variety of hoodies in different colours. Often she will associate the colours she is wearing with her mood, but nobody has picked up on this yet and her mood when she gets dressed in the morning is often different by the time she gets to school. Sometimes she will wear a hat from her large collection in varying styles, from beanies in the winter to baseball caps in the summer. She tends to always have a patterned rucksack with her in which she keeps a plain black anorak for when it inevitably starts to rain.

Biography: Lorna was born on an exceptionally cold day in February, the 5th, to Jack Van Diepen and his wife Penny in a small town in Colorado. They were just eighteen and the wedding had been a rushed affair a few months previously when Penny found out she was pregnant. Jack had just enlisted in the US Air Force, and the pregnancy could not have come at a worse time for the young couple. Lorna, named after Penny's mother who had died a few years before, didn't do much to help her parents when she was a baby. She was a difficult child, easily bored and thus demanding of her mother's attention, unaware of the absence of her father who was attending military training.

When Lorna was eighteen months old, they were moved to Texas to live on an air base, and it is from there that many of her childhood memories begin. Lorna's brother, Leo, was born on base just before her third birthday to the relief of her parents as he provided a much needed distraction. Despite the awkward age gap, the two children got on well when they were small; Lorna quickly proved herself to be something of a tomboy and preferred to run amok around the army base with the other boys her age than to play with some of the softer girls. She was Leo's ticket to play with the 'big kids', even if he often ended up playing an unfortunate role in their games. It was while they were living in Texas that she first insisted that everyone called her Lor because one of the boys said that Lorna was a 'sissy name' and the nickname stuck ever since. From a young age Lor and Leo were strictly disciplined, lest any misbehaviour on their parts have a negative effect on their dad's career.

When Lor was six the family moved to a tiny base in northern Italy. The base was very closely integrated with the nearby town, and they found themselves becoming used to small town Italian life. While there was an international school for the older kids, the younger ones were sent instead to the local primary school. All their lessons were taught in Italian, meaning that Lor and Leo were forced to pick up the language quickly. Lor thrived in this environment, the area was incredibly safe and they were free to run around the countryside with their friends, eating fruit picked straight from the trees. It was noticed by her teachers that while she didn't have any great aptitude for her lessons, she was very good at running. At the school sports day she won the 'long distance' running event, actually only one lap around the school field, by a significant margin, and her parents started encouraging her to develop this skill. Happy to have something to focus her energy on, Lor became mixed up in a world of personal bests and not long after her seventh birthday her dad arranged for one of his colleagues to train her twice a week. At this point her parents weren't entirely sure what they were training her for; only that they had noticed their eldest daughter had a skill and that they should probably nurture it.

It was with sadness that Jack was transferred back to the US after eighteen months in Italy,when she was seven, but they were fortunate to get a placement in Colorado. The family adored living there; Lor and Leo got to know their extended family properly for the first time in their lives. The two siblings grew closer together after living fairly separate lives in Italy and got on extremely well. At the school she attended when they moved back to the US she spoke only in Italian for the first week, and her parents were phoned at their home to make sure that she did actually speak English. Talking a different language to the rest of the kids was alienating, so she gave it up quickly.

When Lor was ten they were moved to California where they had their first fairly long term placement in years while Jack was deployed to the Middle East. Having already learnt how to integrate herself at a new school, Lor was quick to get on with her classmates and find a few friends. This school was particularly good at getting its pupils involved, and Lor started taking up all manner of extracurricular activities to see how well she liked them. Most importantly here was she seriously took up running. Her dad paid for her to join a private athletics club and she started receiving high quality training. She concentrated mainly on the 1500m race, frequently representing the school. When she was thirteen she qualified for a state final in the 1500m and came third, something that sparked the attention of several people important in selection for several teams.

Shortly after this event her dad was transferred, again, this time to Tacoma in Washington in what was to turn out to be their last significant move. He was moving into a different field, previously having worked in a more practical role in aircrew operations, he had been trying to move into intelligence, something he had always wanted to do, and finally had an opportunity for a training post. Lor contested this move furiously, her athletic career was taking off and there were whispers at her athletics club of representing the state. But, being thirteen and her father being as ambitious as she was, she was overruled and they moved north up the West Coast, to a military base just south of Tacoma. Her mother, Penny, was also unhappy by the move and how Jack seemed to disregard his daughter's career in favour of his own, and for a while their marriage teetered. Lor tried to ignore the tensions at home by disappearing off to the athletics club, often taking Leo along with her to save him from the strain.

Fortunately, the school in Tacoma was a good one with excellent sporting facilities and connections. Lor joined another athletics club, and quickly worked her way up the ranks. She began an intensive training schedule, often running in the early hours and after school. At her peak she was competing regularly in district and state competitions. Seeing how happy their children were, her parents reconciled. Lor made an effort to get on with them, she was grateful to her dad for paying for her athletics training. Though the family was comfortable, they were never particularly well off and she often wondered if there were things they were going without because of her.

About a month before her fifteenth birthday she developed a cough. Not wanting it to have any impact on her training schedule, Lor blamed it on a normal winter cold and claimed it wasn't affecting her abilities. Initially it didn't; she managed to hide it for a few weeks until her performance started slipping. Her coach, a tough ex-military man named Michel was, to begin with, unforgiving. Having always tried hard, this irritated her and caused her performance to slip further. In mid February, while on the track, they were having a particularly vociferous argument about the fact that she was running a full minute slower than her personal best when she had a coughing fit and started bringing up a small amount of blood. Michel immediately called an ambulance and she was taken into hospital. There she confessed to a multitude of other symptoms she had been hiding, the fact that she felt exhausted all the time, waking up in the night sweating, lacking an appetite, losing weight, an unusual pain on the right side of her chest. Given her history of living abroad and her symptoms, there was a high suspicion of tuberculosis, and she was sent for a chest x-ray later that same day. The scan showed a lesion on her right lung which was biopsied a couple of days later. The biopsy didn't show TB; instead it was positive for Hodgkin's Lymphoma, stage IIB. Less than two weeks after the ambulance was called, on March 1st, she had her official diagnosis.

Life changed immediately. The early stage of her disease and the fact that she had previously been fit meant that she had an excellent chance of survival, but only if she went through intensive treatment which was started just two days after her official diagnosis. In the months that followed this she had six four week cycles of ABVD chemotherapy. During this time she suffered badly with side effects such as nausea, hair loss, and developed an arrhythmia as a result of the heart damage caused by the adriamycin that took a long time to heal. It was incredibly trying for the entire family. Leo, by now aged twelve, started acting out; running away from home, being insolent at school. Lor was irritable and withdrawn, she had never been very good at being ill, and spent a long time trying to work out what it was she was being punished for. The rest of the time was spent watching TV and playing video games and begging the friends she had only had for a few months to visit her more frequently. After her sixth cycle, on a particularly hot day in August she was declared in complete remission.

Slowly the Van Diepens started getting back to a normal life. Just after finishing treatment Lor was able to start back at school at the beginning of her sophomore year, the high school she had barely started at when she fell ill. But the relief was mixed in with anger. Following her illness and treatment she was a lot weaker than she was before. Gentle exercise was encouraged in her healing process, but she was unable to compete at even a district level. Running had been her life for so long that she found it difficult to deal with this.

Her luck worsened further when she was diagnosed with a relapse of her cancer only three months after her remission, in late November of that year. This time it was more aggressive than before, with additional sites in her neck and groin and in only a few weeks she went from being relatively well to so weak she couldn't walk. Her doctors doubted that the treatment she had undergone before would help, and suggested instead that she be entered in a trial at a bigger university hospital in Seattle. Desperate to save their daughter her parents signed the consent forms for the treatment, and it started only a few days after she was diagnosed with her relapse.

While Lor was starting the new chemotherapy regimen the rest of the family made a decision. Her father applied for a desk job in intelligence analysis. Her mother decided that they should move to Seattle to be nearer the hospital if anything should go wrong. The new treatment was far more gruelling than the last lot, and she didn't have the energy to fight anyone any more. Whereas before her survival had been almost guaranteed, this time it teetered at just below fifty percent and Lor was acutely aware of this fact. During this time she became much closer to her parents and brother, and would actively seek out their company when she was feeling low instead of finding a way to deal with it on her own as she had always done before. A lot of her free time was spent watching low budget movies on cable with her dad, gossiping with her mother, and playing video games with Leo. After about a month of the treatment, she decided that she needed some purpose in life, and started a video blog. Initially it was for their family back in Colorado, whom she had grown close to in the months they spent living there, but after a while she started picking up followers that she didn't know, and over the next few months it started to escalate. Her acerbic commentary on life with cancer seemed to attract people's attention, and she thrived on that attention. It gave something to live for. When she felt particularly bad she sometimes had Leo make videos on her behalf, slightly irritated to see how popular his videos were.

After eight months of intensive chemotherapy she was fortunate to be declared back in remission. It was almost exactly a year after her first remission, though this day in August was cloudy. Again she was started back at school in September; initially she was on a slightly reduced timetable, which was gradually increased until she was on a full timetable again. At this time a decision was made by Leo; he refused to change school again and move back to Tacoma. After contesting that move he had found that he was actually happier at the school in Seattle. So Lor started at the high school that Leo would soon start with all his friends and the move to Seattle was made permanent. Somehow the Van Diepen family had become civilians, and Lor actually found the experience quite interesting. The idea of people growing up with the same people, never getting to have a fresh start, had always fascinated her. It was also weird that she might need to make lasting relationships if her family was going to be living here for a while. Lor had spent a lot of her life hiding behind the fact that it wouldn’t be too long before nobody remembered her name, and she liked that sense of freedom. But if there was anything that she was good at, fitting into new situations was one of them. She had already met a couple of people from Track meets and district competitions that she kept in contact with while she was unwell, and found that when meeting new people she had a fairly interesting story to tell.

A year after her second remission, when she hadn't had any episodes of irregular heartbeat for over three months, she was declared healthy enough to start running again. This news was welcomed with enthusiasm, despite the fact that high intensity training was still discouraged. She joined the track team at Aurora and started competing at school events, but it often frustrates her that she is still a long way away from her previous skill level. From time to time she still feels angry about what has been taken away from her; especially in 2012, considering there was a chance for a while that she could have been competing for her country in the Olympics. These moods can strike with little provocation and she becomes irritable and unreasonable. This usually occurs when she is around her family, with whom she is still closer to than she might otherwise be. Sometimes Penny is still very overprotective of Lor, reminding her to wash fruit well before eating it and similar advice, which Lor finds very frustrating as there is a part of her that wants to forget that her illness ever happened. Jack tries to take her side in these matters, and she is appreciative of this.

Sometimes she looks down on come of the other students in the school whom she sees as less worldly, especially those who have never even lived outside of the state. She currently lives a fairly straight edge lifestyle, her years running and later becoming seriously ill means that she takes good care of her body, making sure she always eats well, sleeps enough, and avoids alcohol. Her military background means that she is always punctual, tries hard in school and always completes homework on time; despite these things she rarely earns above a C. One of her skills, practised by years of moving around, is that she can tell stories well and is a good public speaker. She has an ability to make even fairly boring stories seem interesting; one of the reasons her video blog is successful. There are some slightly obsessive traits to her personality; she always likes to know what the time is and to have things ordered neatly and preferably symmetrically.

Lor continues to update her video blog every couple of days to a few thousand followers, even though there is no defined purpose any more. She finds it ironic that what she considers to be the least interesting part of her life so far, when she isn't moving, competing or ill, is the part that she broadcasts to the world. Following the success of his own videos, Leo has started his own blog, and the siblings often appear in each other's videos. Additionally, in the last few years she has started raising money for lymphoma research and teenage cancer charities. Following high school she is currently planning to take a few years off to travel, maybe visiting some of the places she grew up in, particularly her family in Colorado and the Italian town.

Advantages: Having spent a lot of her childhood moving around, Lor is used to meeting people and having to form relationships quickly, meaning that she would be good at making alliances on the island. She has an incredibly determined streak, tending to do well at things when she puts her mind to it. She is still fairly good at running so she could get away from any adversaries quickly.
Disadvantages: Lor has never fully regained her strength, gets tired easily and needs a lot of sleep to make up for any physical exercise. She is prone to passive anger when put in an unfortunate situation and this might cloud her ability to make good choices. The fact that she looks down on a lot of her peers means that she might find it hard to sustain any alliances that she forms. While the arrhythmia hasn't affected her for a long time, there is a chance that the increased stress on the island could cause it to relapse.
Edited by xylophonefairy, Aug 20 2012, 02:14 PM.
the world is on my side
i have no reason to run


v4 nostalgia

shiny shiny V5 concepts (now with clickies)
Phoebe Cho - I shall be playing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor. Wizard!
Harry Hanley - I've got Hershey's at half price today! Get 'em quick before I have rehearsal!
Lor Van Diepen - I'm gonna make a video later. About running. Does that sum me up enough?
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BetaKnight
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In some cultures, what I do is considered normal.
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Sorry about the delay. I wanted to be very thorough with the critque. Currently, Lorna Van Diepen is temporarily DENIED.

Name: Lorna "Lor" Marie Van Diepen
Gender: Female
Age: 19
Grade: 12th
School: Aurora High School
Hobbies and Interests: Running, track (non-competitively) (This not-competitive track really confused me. Non-competitive track is simply running, which, if I've read the profile correctly, isn't something that Lorna is able to do any more due to her weakened condition. Do you mean that she is interested in track still and watches televised meets and such?), vlogging, charity work, travelling

Appearance: Standing at 5'7" and weighing 119lbs Lor is actually slightly underweight and this shows. She is thin; her bones press through the skin at her joints but her arms and long legs have muscles that betray her athletic past. Her breasts are a small A cup and this suits her well. (Please don't list her cup size. It is more beneficial to the appearance, and probably more accurate, if you described her build rather than listing a cup size.) Her shoulders tend to be hunched over There are several scars on her chest from biopsies and from her Hickmann line and portacath. Knobbly veins can be seen running down her arms and over the backs of her hands. The gnarled joints on her fingers appear almost arthritic, though she doesn't have any problems with them.

She has fair, slightly tanned skin and straight, dark brown hair that she keeps cut short in a choppy style that sits just below her jaw and frames her oval shaped face well. Her face sometimes appears slightly puffed up from steroid treatments, and has a slightly sickly hue. There are permanent dark circles under her eyes that no amount of sleep will get rid of and that she tends to cover up with makeup. She often ties her hair into a very short ponytail that sticks straight out from the back of her head, or in two low bunches. Her large, roundish eyes are grey in colour and topped by sparse eyebrows that she has to fill in with an eyebrow pencil. Equally thin are her eyelashes; for a special occasion she will wear fake ones but doesn't bother most of the time. She has a longish, straight nose and a narrow mouth with thin lips.

Lor tends to dress fairly sportily, preferring either flat pumps or training shoes with shorts or a short skirt worn over leggings, long, brightly coloured tank tops, and a variety of hoodies in different colours. Often she will associate the colours she is wearing with her mood, but nobody has picked up on this yet and her mood when she gets dressed in the morning is often different by the time she gets to school. Sometimes she will wear a hat from her large collection in varying styles, from beanies in the winter to baseball caps in the summer. She tends to always have a patterned rucksack with her in which she keeps a plain black anorak for when it inevitably starts to rain along with a multitude of debris. (This sentence is sort of awkward in that it implies it rains debris in Seattle. Please rework it.)

Biography: Lorna was born on an exceptionally cold day in February, to Jack Van Diepen and his wife Penny in a small town in Colorado. They were just eighteen and the wedding had been a rushed affair a few months previously when Penny found out she was pregnant. Jack had just enlisted in the US Air Force, and the pregnancy could not have come at a worse time for the young couple. Lorna, named after Penny's mother who had died a few years before, didn't do much to help her parents when she was a baby. She was a difficult child, easily bored and thus demanding of her mother's attention, unaware of the absence of her father who was attending military training.

When Lorna was eighteen months old, they were moved to Texas to live on an air base, and it is from there that many of her childhood memories begin. The move was tough for her parents, particularly her mother whose family had lived in the same town since her great-grandparents emigrated from Scotland. Jack was used to moving, having been a military brat himself, but it was still hard for him to leave the majority of his family behind. (I think that perhaps this highlighted portion is unnecessary to Lorna's biography since it has more to do with her parents, very little to do with Lorna, and never is an issue again.) Lorna's brother, Leo, was born on base just before her third birthday to the relief of her parents as he provided a much needed distraction. Despite the awkward age gap, the two children got on well when they were small; Lorna quickly proved herself to be something of a tomboy and preferred to run amok around the army base with the other boys her age than to play with some of the softer girls. She was Leo's ticket to play with the 'big kids', even if he often ended up playing an unfortunate role in their games. It was while they were living in Texas that she first insisted that everyone called her Lor because one of the boys said that Lorna was a 'sissy name' and the nickname stuck ever since. From a young age Lor and Leo were strictly disciplined, lest any misbehaviour on their parts have a negative effect on their Dad's career.

The family moved to Louisiana when she was four, the first move in her memory and Lor remembers this one as the most traumatic. At this time Jack's career was just beginning, and he was moved frequently to new assignments. Following Texas they spent a year in Sussex, England and six months in Montana. They moved again six months later to a tiny base in northern Italy. (While people with military careers do move frequently, I'm concerned about the frequency which this family moves. Some of these stays are exceedingly short. They are so short that they really should classify as a TDY, or Temporary Duty assignment, which last between two weeks and six months. A standard duty assignment , or permenant assignment, can be anywhere from 18 months to years. A TDY assignment means that Lorna's father is on temporary loan from his permenant duty station [which has not been established] until this new, temporary job is completed. This also begs the question: what does Lorna's father do in the Air Force that requires so much travel?

While the military would be responsible for housing and paying for his temporary stay while TDY, they would not be paying to move his family and household. So while it is feasible for the family to move that often, it is extremely expensive. Did all this moving put any financial strain on the family?)
The base was very closely integrated with the nearby town, and they found themselves becoming used to small town Italian life. While there was an International School for the older kids, the younger ones were sent instead to the local Primary School. All their lessons were taught in Italian, meaning that Lor and Leo were forced to pick up the language quickly. Lor thrived in this environment, the area was incredibly safe and they were free to run around the countryside with their friends, eating fruit picked straight from the trees. It was noticed by her teachers that while she didn't have any great aptitude for her lessons, she was very good at running. At the school sports day she won the 'long distance' running event (one lap around the field) (No parethetical notations, please. Find a way to work the information into the sentence.) by a significant margin, and her parents started encouraging her to develop this skill. Happy to have something to focus her energy on, Lor became mixed up in a world of personal bests and her Dad (This should not be capitalized because it's not being used a proper noun) arranged for one of his colleagues to train her twice a week. At this point her parents weren't entirely sure what they were training her for; only that they had noticed their eldest daughter had a skill and that they should probably nurture it. (How old is Lor when this happens?)

It was with sadness that Jack was transferred back to the US after eighteen months in Italy, and following this they never seemed to stay in the same place for more than six months. California, Texas again, Pennsylvania, a bizarre six month long stint in Japan where life seemed to pass them by in a flash and Jack spent much of it in hospital with various injuries. Colorado, which they all adored; Lor and Leo got to know their extended family properly for the first time in their lives. (Okay, two issues here. Issue A: It's really difficult to tell how old Lorna is when these events occur. There's just a listing of periods of time, no age or year. It makes it very difficult to keep track of her personal timeline. There's also the issue of all these exceedingly short duty stations, but I assume you'll do some adjusting. Issue B: This incredibly vague six month hospitalization injury her father received. Most military hospitals are not equiped to deal with long-term care issues, which six months of hospitalization implies. If anything, the military would have sent Lorna's father back to a state-side military hospital to receive treatment and therapy. And if his injury prevented him from performing his duties, he would be medically retired. I find it incredibly hard to believe that he would suffer a six month injury, and after said injury, be switched from his current job to active combat zone intelligence gathering. Quite honestly, this makes no sense.) During this period the only constant in her life seemed to be Leo and, after growing apart in Italy, they became unusually close for siblings of that age. Lor experimented a lot with her personality at this time; she was friendly in one place, aloof in another. At the first school she attended when they moved back to the US she spoke only in Italian for the first week, and her parents were phoned at their home on base (You don't need to mention that their home is on-base. Just say the teacher called home.) to make sure that she did actually speak English. Talking a different language to the rest of the kids was alienating, so she gave it up quickly.

When Lor was ten they were moved back to California where they had their first fairly long term placement in years while Jack was deployed to the Middle East. Having already learnt how to integrate herself at a new school, Lor was quick to get on with her classmates and find a few friends. This school was particularly good at getting its pupils involved, and Lor started taking up all manner of extracurricular activities to see how well she liked them. Most importantly here was she seriously took up running. She concentrated mainly on the 1500m race, frequently representing the school, and later the district and county. When she was thirteen she qualified for a state final in the 1500m and came third, something that sparked the attention of several people involved in selection for the state team. (There isn’t a state team at the junior high-middle school level for a school-sponsored team. Now if she were in a private running club, that’s something different. But Lorna cannot compete on a middle-school sponsored team at that level.)

Shortly after this event her Dad was transferred, again, this time to Tacoma in Washington in what was to turn out to be their last significant move. He was moving into a different field, previously having worked in a more practical role in aircrew operations, he had been trying to move into intelligence, something he had always wanted to do, and finally had an opportunity for a training post. Lor contested this move furiously, her athletic career was taking off and there were whispers at her athletics club of representing the state. But, being thirteen and her father being as ambitious as she was, she was overruled and they moved north up the West Coast, to a military base just south of Tacoma. Her mother, Penny, was also unhappy by the move and how Jack seemed to disregard his daughter's career in favour of his own, and for a while their marriage teetered. (How did that affect the children? The impending threat of parental divorce is not a minor thing in a child's life. Also, this seems like a very stressful and contentious time in their family, but there's no mention of it.)

Fortunately, the school in Tacoma was a good one with excellent sporting facilities and connections. Lor joined another athletics club (Schools have very little do to with athletic clubs, and how is there another club? This is the first mention of any athletics club.), and quickly worked her way up the ranks. She began an intensive training schedule, often running in the early hours and after school. There was a slow shift in her life, and their family began travelling frequently again, but this was for her rather than for her Dad, and the travels were for competitions. At her peak she represented the state of Washington in the 1500m all over the USA and internationally with varying success. (Whoa, what? I don't know of any youth sports league that travels internationally. I tried looking up 14 year old international running and got nothing. While it would make sense for there to be a lot of state and regional travel and maybe even a teeny tiny bit of national travel, international travel makes no sense at all.) As far as anyone could tell, she was going places.

Until about a month before her fifteenth birthday, when she developed a cough. Not wanting it to have any impact on her training schedule, Lor blamed it on a cold and claimed it wasn't affecting her abilities. Initially it didn't; she managed to hide it for a few weeks until her performance started slipping. Her coach, a tough ex-military man named Michel was, to begin with, unforgiving. Having always tried hard, this irritated her and caused her performance to slip further. One day, on the track, they were having a particularly vociferous argument about the fact that she was running almost a full minute slower than her personal best, when she had a coughing fit and started bringing up a small amount of blood. Michel, never the most stable of personalities, immediately panicked and called an ambulance and she was taken into hospital. (Okay, as a coach, if your athlete starts coughing up blood, there is cause for alarm. In what way is being responsible and calling for medical assistance showing that this person is unstable?) There she confessed to a multitude of other symptoms she had been hiding, the fact that she felt exhausted all the time, waking up in the night sweating, lacking an appetite, losing weight, an unusual pain on the right side of her chest. Given her history of living abroad and her symptoms, there was a high suspicion of tuberculosis, and she was sent for a chest x-ray. The scan showed a lesion on her right lung which was biopsied. The biopsy didn't show TB; instead it was positive for Hodgkin's Lymphoma, stage IIB.

Life changed immediately. The early stage of her disease and the fact that she had previously been fit meant that she had an excellent chance of survival, but only if she went through intensive treatment. In the months that followed this she had six cycles of ABVD chemotherapy. During this time she suffered badly with side effects such as nausea, hair loss, and developed an arrhythmia as a result of the adriamycin that she stills suffers with from time to time. (When did this happen? How long has transpired between developing a cough and official diagnosis? How long did she undergo chemo?) It was incredibly trying for the entire family, especially when Jack was deployed to Iraq. They talked to him as often as they could, but he was in a dangerous situation trying to gather intelligence and this wasn't always a possibility. (Again, personal experience tells me this doesn't make any sense. His child is incredibly ill. At the news of this, his commanding officer should have sent him home on emergency leave. If the family can get in touch with him, he can be home. I've had the Red Cross bring family members home from over seas when there was a family emergency. This counts as a family emergency.) Leo, by now aged twelve, started acting out; running away from home, being insolent at school. Lor was irritable and withdrawn, she had never been very good at being ill, and spent a long time trying to work out what it was she was being punished for. The rest of the time was spent watching TV and playing video games and begging the friends she had only had for a few months to visit her more frequently. After her sixth cycle, she was declared in complete remission. (How old was Lor when this happened? How long was she in treatment?)

Slowly the Van Diepen's (Van Diepens. No apostrophe.) started getting back to a normal life. A month after finishing treatment Lor was able to go back to school, the high school she had barely started at when she fell ill. But the relief was mixed in with anger. Following her illness and treatment she was a lot weaker than she was before. Gentle exercise was encouraged in her healing process, but she was unable, and indeed not allowed, (This is a little redundant. If she is physically unable to compete, the school, for liability reasons, would not allow her on the school team. Generally, students have to pass a phsyical in order to particpate. Sounds like it would be AMA for her to be on the team.) to compete at even a district level. Running had been her life for so long that she found it difficult to deal with this.

And her luck worsened further when she had a relapse of her cancer only three months after her remission. (Again, when was this?) This time it was more aggressive than before, with additional sites in her neck and groin and in only a few weeks she went from being relatively well to so weak she couldn't walk. Her doctors doubted that the treatment she had undergone before would help, and suggested instead that she be entered in a trial at a bigger university hospital in Seattle. Desperate to save their daughter her parents signed the consent forms for the treatment.

While Lor was starting the new chemotherapy regimen the rest of the family made a decision. Her father applied for a desk job in intelligence analysis. Her mother decided that they should move to Seattle to be nearer the hospital if anything should go wrong. Leo tried half heartedly to protest, he had always enjoyed base life more than civilian life, but reluctantly agreed when their parents made Lor talk to him about it. (Run-on sentence. The new treatment was far more gruelling (grueling) than the last lot, and she didn't have the energy to fight anyone any more. Whereas before her survival had been almost guaranteed, this time it teetered at just below fifty percent and Lor was acutely aware of this fact. During this time she became much closer to her parents, and would actively seek out their company when she was feeling low instead of finding a way to deal with it on her own as she had always done before. After about a month of the treatment, she decided that she needed some purpose in life, and started a video blog. Initially it was for their family back in Colorado, whom she had grown close to in the months they spent living there, but after a while she started picking up followers that she didn't know, and over the next few months it started to escalate. Her acerbic commentary on life with cancer seemed to attract people's attention, and she thrived on that attention. It gave something to live for.

After eight months of intensive chemotherapy she was fortunate to be put back in remission. By this time she was sixteen and had missed a significant portion of high school. A decision was made for her to start as a sophomore a year late; this would allow her a few months to recover some strength and to make sure that she was caught up with all the work from freshman year. (Lorna should have been in either an Independant Study program or in a Home and Hospital program. She should not be as far behind as she is. If she was too sick to be in either program, she would have been sent to the district's continuation high school in order to make up her missing credits as quickly as possible in order for her to graduate with her class.) Another decision was made by Leo - he refused to change school again and move back to Tacoma. After contesting that move he had found that he was actually happier at the school in Seattle. So Lor started at the high school that Leo would soon start with all his friends and the move to Seattle was made permanent. Somehow the Van Diepen family had become civilians again, and Lor actually found the experience quite interesting. It had always fascinated her - the idea of people growing up with the same people, never getting to have a fresh start. It was also weird that she might need to make lasting relationships if her family was going to be living here for a while, Lor had spent a lot of her life hiding behind the fact that it wouldn’t be too long before nobody remembered her name and she liked that sense of freedom. (Run-on sentence) But if there was anything that she was good at, fitting into new situations was one of them. She had already met a couple of people from Track meets and district competitions, (Okay, since Lorna is physically unable to be on the track team, and she hasn't been competing since before she turned 15, are these people she had maintained contact with during her illness or people she has recently met? I'm a little confused.) and found that when meeting new people she had a fairly interesting story to tell.

From time to time she still feels angry about what has been taken away from her; especially in 2012, considering there was a chance for a while that she could have been competing for her country in the Olympics. These moods can strike with little provocation and she becomes irritable and unreasonable. Sometimes she looks down on a lot of the other students in the school whom she sees as less worldly, especially those who have never lived outside of the United States. She currently lives a fairly straight edge lifestyle, her years running and later becoming seriously ill means that she takes good care of her body, making sure she always eats well and avoids alcohol. Her military background means that she is always punctual, tries hard in school and always completes homework on time; despite these things she rarely earns above a C. One of her skills, practiced by years of moving around, is that she can tell stories well and is a good public speaker. She has an ability to make even fairly boring stories seem interesting; one of the reasons her video blog is successful. There are some slightly obsessive traits to her personality; she always likes to know what the time is and to have things ordered neatly and preferably symmetrically.

Lor continues to update her video blog every couple of days to a few thousand followers, even though there is no defined purpose any more. She finds it ironic that what she considers to be the least interesting part of her life so far, when she isn't moving, competing or ill, is the part that she broadcasts to the world. Additionally, in the last few years she has started raising money for lymphoma research and teenage cancer charities. She runs with the track team, and is hoping to be allowed to start competing at a low level again soon if her arrhythmia continues to improve. Following high school she is currently planning to take a few years off to complete her recovery and travel, maybe back to the Italian town where she spent part of her childhood.

Advantages: Having spent a lot of her childhood moving around, Lor is used to meeting people and having to form relationships quickly, meaning that she would be good at making alliances on the island. She has an incredibly determined streak, tending to do well at things when she puts her mind to it, and this determination can also be applied to how much she wants to live. Having survived cancer twice her desire to live and make the most of her second chance is huge. She is still fairly good at running so she could get away from any adversaries quickly. (You have previously said she's still weak and really, not allowed to be a part of the track team. How does this translate into good runner?) As she was brought up in a military family she has some limited knowledge of weapons and tactics. (Not necessarily. There was no mention of her father teaching her about weapons or tactics. I grew up with two military parents and have never used a gun ever.)
Disadvantages: Physically Lor is still weak, she lacks the strength she used to have and would go down very quickly in a fight. Her heart problems, from her first lot of treatment, still present when she is stressed and cause her some discomfort. (Okay, she can't be physically weak and a good runner. It's an oxymoron, especially when coupled with intermittent heart problems.) She is prone to passive anger when put in an unfortunate situation and this might cloud her ability to make good choices. Having only been at the school for three years there are still many people that she doesn't know and this might be a disadvantage when it comes to knowing who to trust. (Sorry. Knowing classmates one year less that most of the others does not count as a serious disadvantage.)

There's no mention of how she currently relates to her parents or brother. The last mention of them was how well she got along with them during her second bout of cancer. Nothing in recent terms. This is a problem and needs to be addressed. If I've counted correctly, by the time she is 10, Lorna has lived in 11 different places. This is excessive, even by military standards, and really strains realism.

I have to admit, as a teacher, I would have serious reservations about taking Lorna on the senior trip because it will be a situation that aggravated her arrythmia. Plus, in her description, she kind of sounds like she looks like the walking dead. When teachers chaperone students on any school-sanctioned trips or at school-sanctioned events, they are liable for the well-being of the student. With a girl like Lorna, if I had pulled chaperone duty, I would be protesting her inclusion because I would be afraid something would happen to her. You might want to reconsider the severity of her illness. It might make her ineligible for the trip. Especially in light of the fact that she's never been medically cleared as well enough to take up extra curriculars.

If you have questions, feel free to PM me. Once you made the necessary edits to the profile, throw a reply here and I'll give her another going-over.
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xylophonefairy
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gubernaculum
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Okay, awesome, thank you so much for the critique! I hope I've addressed everything. The only thing I haven't changed is the spelling of gruelling - I think it's a British English/American English variation and as the rest of the application is in British English it would be a bit odd to have one word different? I can change everything over to AmEng if you want but I'd rather it was all the same.
the world is on my side
i have no reason to run


v4 nostalgia

shiny shiny V5 concepts (now with clickies)
Phoebe Cho - I shall be playing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor. Wizard!
Harry Hanley - I've got Hershey's at half price today! Get 'em quick before I have rehearsal!
Lor Van Diepen - I'm gonna make a video later. About running. Does that sum me up enough?
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BetaKnight
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I didn't realize that grueling was one of those differentiated spelling word. Sorry about that. c:

However, there are still a few things that need to be adjusted before I can approve Lorna. There are a few grammar things and still the indication of time issue that was previously noted in the last critique. Also, if Lorna is on the school's Track team, it needs to be indicated in the Hobbies and Interest section, please. Her relationship with her father is non-existant. Currently, it seems like he exists simply to justify their moving. How does Lorna *feel* about her father?


From a young age Lor and Leo were strictly disciplined, lest any misbehaviour on their parts have a negative effect on their Dad's career. (I tagged the word 'Dad' because it is an improper capitalization. It should only be capitalized if you are using it as his name, rather than to explain his relationship to Lorna. I'll tag the other places in light blue where grammar errors occurs for ease of editing.)

When Lor was six, the family moved to a tiny base in northern Italy. The base was very closely integrated with the nearby town, and they found themselves becoming used to small town Italian life. While there was an International School for the older kids, the younger ones were sent instead to the local Primary School. All their lessons were taught in Italian, meaning that Lor and Leo were forced to pick up the language quickly. Lor thrived in this environment, the area was incredibly safe and they were free to run around the countryside with their friends, eating fruit picked straight from the trees. It was noticed by her teachers that while she didn't have any great aptitude for her lessons, she was very good at running. At the school sports day she won the 'long distance' running event, actually only one lap around the school field, by a significant margin, and her parents started encouraging her to develop this skill. Happy to have something to focus her energy on, Lor became mixed up in a world of personal bests and not long after her seventh birthday her Dad arranged for one of his colleagues to train her twice a week. At this point her parents weren't entirely sure what they were training her for; only that they had noticed their eldest daughter had a skill and that they should probably nurture it.

It was with sadness that Jack was transferred back to the US after eighteen months in Italy, and following this they were fortunate to get a placement in Colorado. (Okay, so how old was Lorna when her family moved back stateside? Also, the part where it says "following this" is confusing. Following what? Was there some place they lived in between the move from Italy to Colorado? Also, since Lorna has plans to potentially move back to this city in Italy, please name the city.)

When Lor was ten they were moved back to California (In order to move back, they would have had to have lived there previously but it doesn't say that in the updated profile.) where they had their first fairly long term placement in years while Jack was deployed to the Middle East. Having already learnt how to integrate herself at a new school, Lor was quick to get on with her classmates and find a few friends. This school was particularly good at getting its pupils involved, and Lor started taking up all manner of extracurricular activities to see how well she liked them. Most importantly here was she seriously took up running. Her Dad paid for her to join a private athletics club and she started receiving high quality training. She concentrated mainly on the 1500m race, frequently representing the school. When she was thirteen she qualified for a state final in the 1500m and came third, something that sparked the attention of several people involved in selection for the state team. (There isn't a state team. California does not compete against other states. To the best of my understanding, short of the Olympic team, there are not state teams. However, if you want to say something like " this caught the attention of several people who coached for influential teams", that would be okay.)

Shortly after this event her Dad was transferred, again, this time to Tacoma in Washington in what was to turn out to be their last significant move.

There was a slow shift in her life, and their family began travelling frequently again, but this was for her rather than for her Dad, and the travels were for competitions. At her peak she was competing regularly in state competitions, and often travelling nationally to represent the state. (She can compete regionally and in state-wide competitions, but I'm going to have to stop you again at 'representing the state', let alond doing it regularly. I'm not finding anything on the internet at the national competition level for junior high school students for either private sports clubs or school-sponsored.)

Until about a month before her fifteenth birthday, when she developed a cough. (I strongly suggest removing the 'unti' and just going with "About a month before her fifteenth birthday.... It helps the narrative flow more smoothly.) Not wanting it to have any impact on her training schedule, Lor blamed it on a normal winter cold and claimed it wasn't affecting her abilities.

Life changed immediately. The early stage of her disease and the fact that she had previously been fit meant that she had an excellent chance of survival, but only if she went through intensive treatment which was started just two days after her official diagnosis. In the months that followed this she had six four week cycles of ABVD chemotherapy. (How many months? Since it is never said when Lorna’s birthday is, we have no way to tracking these events during a school year.)

Slowly the Van Diepens started getting back to a normal life. A month after finishing treatment Lor was able to go back to school, the high school she had barely started at when she fell ill. (Is this even the same academic year or the start or another one? I can’t tell.)

Her luck worsened further when she had a relapse of her cancer only three months after her remission, in the November of that year. (What year?) This time it was more aggressive than before, with additional sites in her neck and groin and in only a few weeks she went from being relatively well to so weak she couldn't walk. (How long since relapse did she being this new treatment? Is it the next calendar year by now?)


After eight months of intensive chemotherapy she was fortunate to be back in remission, and after about a month was well enough to start back at school on a slightly reduced timetable that was gradually increased until she was on a full timetable again. (What grade is she supposed to be in, since if I’m timing this correctly, it’s August of some unnamed year?)

A year after her second remission, when she hadn't hadn't any episodes of irregular heartbeat for over three months, she was declared healthy enough to start running again. This news was welcomed with enthusiasm, despite the fact that high intensity training was still discouraged. She joined the track team at Aurora and started competing at school events, but it often frustrates her that she is still a long way away from her previous skill level.


Lor continues to update her video blog every couple of days to a few thousand followers, even though there is no defined purpose any more. She finds it ironic that what she considers to be the least interesting part of her life so far, when she isn't moving, competing or ill, is the part that she broadcasts to the world. Following the success of his own videos, Leo has started his own blog, and the siblings often appear in each others videos. Additionally, in the last few years she has started raising money for lymphoma research and teenage cancer charities. Following high school she is currently planning to take a few years off to travel, maybe back to the Italian town where she spent part of her childhood.

Advantages: Having spent a lot of her childhood moving around, Lor is used to meeting people and having to form relationships quickly, meaning that she would be good at making alliances on the island. She has an incredibly determined streak, tending to do well at things when she puts her mind to it, and this determination can also be applied to how much she wants to live. Having survived cancer twice her desire to live and make the most of her second chance is huge. (The reference to Lorna wanting to live more than others is unnecessary and gives off a bit of a Pre-Made Player vibe. I recommend simply dropping the highlighted text.) She is still fairly good at running so she could get away from any adversaries quickly.


That should about do it. Drop a reply once you've done your editing and I'll be happy to look Lorna over again.
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xylophonefairy
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gubernaculum
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Edits have been maaade! That capitalising Dad thing is a bad habit that I'd never really noticed - you're the first person to ever pick up on it. Hopefully the dates make more sense now as well. Many thanks.
the world is on my side
i have no reason to run


v4 nostalgia

shiny shiny V5 concepts (now with clickies)
Phoebe Cho - I shall be playing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor. Wizard!
Harry Hanley - I've got Hershey's at half price today! Get 'em quick before I have rehearsal!
Lor Van Diepen - I'm gonna make a video later. About running. Does that sum me up enough?
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BetaKnight
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In some cultures, what I do is considered normal.
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