Ep. # 44 ESPN’s Lauren Sister reveals that opioid addiction claimed the lives of her parents.


Life is full of unexpected twists and turns, and our true strength and resilience are tested during these moments of adversity. The journey of Lauren Sisler is a testament to the human spirit’s ability to overcome tragedy and succeed amidst the darkest times. From her childhood dreams of becoming a gymnastics star to her career as a sideline reporter, her story is one of courage, perseverance, and the power of sharing one’s story.

Childhood and Passion for Gymnastics

Growing up in the vibrant city of Roanoke, Virginia, Lauren was fortunate to have two parents who were deeply involved in her life. With a brother who excelled in sports, she was always on the go, supporting his athletic endeavors and participating in gymnastics herself. Her parents’ unwavering support and presence in her life fueled her passion for gymnastics, leading her to progress in the sport quickly.

Challenges and Goals in Gymnastics

As with any athletic journey, Lauren faced her fair share of challenges. Injuries plagued her high school career, leaving her with broken bones and severe back pain. Despite these setbacks, Lauren’s determination to earn a collegiate scholarship and become a sports doctor burned brightly within her. She dedicated countless hours to honing her skills, setting her sights on a future that combined her love for gymnastics and medicine.

Tragedy Strikes: The Loss of Both Parents

However, life had a different plan in store for Lauren. During her first year at Rutgers University, tragedy struck when both of her parents unexpectedly lost their lives due to a hidden battle with drug addiction. The pain and sorrow she experienced were unimaginable, and it took immense courage to continue moving forward. The loss of both parents within hours of each other was a blow that no one should have to endure.

Breaking the Shackles of Shame and Finding Purpose

After her parents’ deaths, Lauren grappled with feelings of shock, denial, and shame. She carried the weight of her parents’ addiction and battled with the stigma that often accompanies it. However, she found solace in her faith and the support of her loved ones, who encouraged her to share her story and break free from the shame that held her back. With time, Lauren realized that her parents should be remembered for their love and pride for her rather than the circumstances of their deaths.

Becoming an Advocate and Inspirational Speaker

Driven by a newfound purpose, Lauren became an advocate for addiction prevention. Through her role as an inspirational speaker, she passionately shares her story, spreading awareness and empathy to those who have experienced addiction in their lives. Lauren recognizes the power of storytelling and its profound impact on others, instilling hope and encouraging individuals to seek healing and support.

Success and Fulfillment in Personal and Professional Life

As Lauren’s journey continued, she found success as a sideline reporter at ESPN, where she had the opportunity to tell stories that captured the hearts of many. Her personal life also blossomed with her marriage to her best friend, creating a solid foundation of love and support. Lauren cherishes the moments of joy and fulfillment that she has found, understanding the importance of embracing life and pursuing one’s passions.


Lauren’s inspiring journey teaches us that resilience is forged through adversity. She emerged stronger and more determined to make a difference from the pain of loss and the struggle to rebuild her life. We can all find strength in our challenges, turning our hardships into opportunities for growth and resilience. Lauren’s story reminds us to embrace our unique journeys, find purpose in life’s darkest moments, and share our stories to inspire and uplift others.

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