You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Fri, Jan 15, 2010 : 5:56 p.m.

Dexter teenager Laurence Carolin, who inspired many to give, died today

By Ann Dwyer

Thumbnail image for Ann Dwyer Laurence in peace shirt by Myra Klarman-1.jpg

Laurence Carolin, in a photo taken by Myra Klarman.

Laurence Carolin, the Dexter teenager who dedicated his life to helping others, died just before 1 p.m. today at the age of 15. 

He was in his home surrounded by family and close friends, according to his adoptive mother, Lisa Carolin. Laurence had been battling a malignant brain tumor for more than two years.

Although quite young, Laurence helped and inspired many. He was only 13 when he was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive tumor in which fewer than 25 percent of patients live two years past diagnosis.

Carolin's life took on new meaning after Make-a-Wish offered to grant him a wish. He had asked to meet his hero, U2 frontman Bono. 

But when Make-a-Wish was unable to arrange that, Carolin chose to have the $5,000 that was to be used on him donated instead to the United Nations Foundation. The foundation aims to fight extreme poverty and disease. 

That donation set in motion Carolin's dedication to help those in need.

Bono signs play list.jpg

Photo by Lisa Carolin. Bono signs playlist for Laurence Carolin before a concert in Chicaago.

"He made it his priority to help others," said Lisa Carolin.

Eventually, Carolin was able to meet his hero backstage at U2 concert in Chicago. Bono was so moved by Carolin's selflessness, he gave a brief tribute to the teen during a concert this past fall.

Many have been moved by Carolin and have acted to help him in his goal.

"He has inspired over $20,000 in donations, mostly to United Nations Foundation," said his mother.

The Carolins have set up a memorial fund to continue their son's work. They ask that all donations be given to the United Nations Foundation.

Two memorial services have been planned. The first will be held at the the new St. Joseph Catholic Church in Dexter on Saturday, Jan. 23 at 11 a.m. The church is located at 6805 Mast Rd.

The second will be a secular service at the westside Nie funeral home in Ann Arbor on Sunday, Jan. 24 at 1 p.m. Nie is located at 3767 W. Liberty Rd.

Ann Dwyer can be reached at



Sat, Jan 16, 2010 : 11:48 a.m.

RIP, Laurence. You were an inspiration. I am an adult who has managed to survive Glioblastoma Multiformae, but, I havent done anything like you did in your short life on earth.


Sat, Jan 16, 2010 : 11:03 a.m.

He is already working on his next project. Great spirits never die, never!


Sat, Jan 16, 2010 : 9:45 a.m.

Dear sweet boy, may your next life be a healthy and happy one. You have obviously made a lot of people on earth very happy and you are worthy of such.


Fri, Jan 15, 2010 : 11:53 p.m.

Too young to leave us... our hearts are broken. But Laurence left this world a much better place than when he came into it. Please take a lesson from Laurence and give to a cause you believe in as much as he did.. pay it forward! Love you Laurence and you'll always live on for us.


Fri, Jan 15, 2010 : 10:32 p.m.

May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be at your back. May the sun shine on face and be at peace. Rest in peace, knowing you left the world a better place than you found it.


Fri, Jan 15, 2010 : 10:08 p.m.

My nephew died at age two from this same type of cancer so very sad what A special young man and it seems he has touched the hearts of many my thoughts and prayers go out to his family and those who new him..god bless. He was A angel and god wanted him back in heaven


Fri, Jan 15, 2010 : 9:52 p.m.

I have never met this young man, but my heart goes out to him and his family. Having a child myself who has had to deal with multiple surgeries and painful recoveries I can only imagine a fraction of what his family is going through. I have read articles about him in the past and he seemed to have such a great attitude about his life. It does make you question why God would take such a young promising life. It certainly puts your own life into perspective when you see someone so innocent have to suffer. God Bless You Laurence, hope to meet you in heaven.


Fri, Jan 15, 2010 : 8:59 p.m.

Such an inspiration... Thank you, Laurence! You have shared a wonderful gift with the World.


Fri, Jan 15, 2010 : 8:34 p.m.

My the Angels journey with him to heaven be filled with his favorite music. The good die young rings so true....May God grant his family comfort during their time of grief.

Ann Dwyer

Fri, Jan 15, 2010 : 8:07 p.m.

I just received word from a friend of the Carolins that there will be a candlelight vigil outside their home tonight (Friday) at 9 p.m. (I'm not supplying the address because I have not received direct permission).