Now, Kristen is by Lawrence's side every step of the way during the annual kLaVoy5k race created in her honor to raise money for Donate Life NY"Center for Donation and Transplant.
"That transplant gave her probably seven or eight years of really good quality of life it helped her so much not to be on dialysis and all the meds," said Lawrence. "I decided to organize the race to get awareness out there and advocate for organ donation."
The 4th kLaVoy5k is May 7 at 8 a.m. at Saratoga Springs State Park. Even though Kristen would have balked at running 3.2 miles, Lawrence said she would have loved the event itself.
"She would have loved not even the race but that somebody was advocating for organ donation," said Lawrence.
Lawrence said she, Kristen and LaVoy made many memories together and separately. Lawrence would sit with Kristen during four hours of dialysis three to four days a week or bring her lunch in the hospital, and now that LaVoy moved back to Saratoga from Florida, the pair get together every single morning.
But there's one moment Lawrence said she'll always remember and is what really made her realize not only how fragile life is, but the magnitude of organ donation.
"When she got the 'OK' to do stuff we went camping out in Cape Cod and she literally stood there holding her stomach where her kidney was and loved it that we were out at a campfire and she didn't have to be at the hospital," said Lawrence. "She would pat her stomach and just say 'There's my kidney.' It was a massive sense of freedom."
This is the first year LaVoy will be able to attend the race her sister inspired and she's both nervous and excited.
"I have a feeling a bus of them are going to show up and it'll be so overwhelming," said LaVoy. "To be able to see everything and know this is all for my sister and Donate Life, I'm honored and honored to be Tonya's friend and keep that name going. It's going to be a really special day and I'm looking forward to it."