Help Lisa Battle Breast Cancer!
So here I am. My name is Connie, and I'm asking you to donate whatever you can afford to help defray Lisa's medical expenses and keep her home and studio lights burning. The loss of a spouse and the shock of a daunting diagnosis is hard enough to endure when you're facing it from within the infrastructure of a clock-punching job and its attendant healthcare, but when you're a freelancer, and paying a la carte for coverage on a sporadic income --even in the age of Universal Healthcare-- such a trauma-combo can be completely overwhelming.
We'd like to raise $36,000: enough to afford Lisa a little peace of mind as she goes through this first round of chemotherapy co-payments, as well as keep her current on her mortgage and utilities and groceries, while she focuses on healing and getting well over the next year. We'd appreciate funds both immediate and ongoing, as her Hx and Rx will be ongoing expenses for the immediate future.
Lisa has devoted her entire life to the development of her art form, and was the voice of encouragement and inclusion for me when I was just discovering that I was not the only person in the world compelled to make the kinds of objects we make, and our friendship over the years became a window into a bigger world for me.
Help us show her that while her life as she knew it may have altered, she is still an inspiration of extraordinary value here in this life and that her beloved Jerry will just have to wait a little longer to be with her again....
Any support you can give will be enormously appreciated by Lisa and all of us who love her.
Late last year, just before the holidays, she started some specially-targeted physical and occupational therapies to help her with post-chemo/radiation arthritis issues that were affecting her spine (most all of her joints, really) but especially making it hard to use and move her hands. Her hand therapy involves immersion in warm wax baths, and while time-consuming, she says those therapies continue to be very helpful. But her ability to sit and work is not just relegated to hand issues; it's the spine and posture exercises and strength training that are also key, and this is where the anecdotes come in, which Lisa relates with spectacularly visual language: in one, she has been instructed, when going out for her walk, to really extend her stride and sway her hips, so as to increase the flexibility of the leg tendons that attach to the pelvis and bolster the strength of the lower spine. "If you do it right," she says, "it looks just like Marilyn Monroe walking her sexy walk on the silver screen — she must have had very limber bones!" And so I began giggling, visualizing Lisa, out on the street in Springfield in her apron and sneakers, 'sashaying through the neighborhood like Marilyn Monroe...' and before I could recover my composure, naughty Lisa (who by now knows that I'm helpless with laughter; even she's starting to giggle at this point) launched into her full anecdotal glory, describing how "as if all that weren't enough," she also has to "lie on a mat on the floor and attempt to place my left knee into my right armpit, and then vice-versa, in the name of all this strength and flexibility training." [--At this point, I'm wiping tears away, and trying not to wet my pants from laughing.] Then she adds, " I tried to do this on my bed and fell off. Twice. So now I do it on a mat on the floor. Poor Allyson has to pass me to get to the kitchen, and she sees this stuff from a rather bird’s eye view. I'm glad I don’t have any idea of what she’s seen — I might just die of embarrassment." [--So yeah, this is what generally happens, when I call Lisa to check in on her and 'cheer her up.' She makes me laugh so hard I generally just leak mirth at her expressiveness. She's always been a very visual thinker, and clearly her tribulations have not diminished that aspect of her skill-set one bit. If anything, they've enhanced it. And so I share.]
Earlier this year, she had some recent swelling in the affected breast which she had feared might be a relapse of the breast cancer. The best news is that the breast cancer appears to be gone, so YAY! for that! The less than great news is that it turned out to be lymphedema (a delayed reaction to the strong radiation she'd been on), and she is currently on a wait list to receive special lymphedemic massage therapy, in addition to the PT & OT that she's receiving for her arthritis issues. All of these therapies take up a considerable portion of her day, but they are ultimately worth every minute, she says, because they afford her those precious chunks of work time, when she can continue to sculpt.
Lisa is still battling red tape to secure some limited Social Security benefits in the wake of all this tumult, which would be an enormous relief for both her and Allyson. In the meantime, she has been able to offer some limited private lessons out of her home, and hopes to continue that practice, ultimately refurbishing Jerry's old writing room into a guest studio and salon.
While Lisa has been victorious in her battle against breast cancer thus far, her battle to keep making her art in the wake of radiation and chemo after effects (Lymphoma / Lymphedema / Arthritis) will be lifelong. She has already proven herself a fierce Warrior Queen, armed with Patience, Fortitude and a Ready Wit... and the friendship, love and support of all of you who've donated so far.
From the bottom of my heart, Thank You All, so very much, for rallying to her side, and for continuing to ask about her and donating whenever and whatever you can, in spite of my more recent distractions.
Yi-Min (shown in the first picture) is now on the site:
Those of you who saw her amazing show at CFM Gallery in NYC will recognize the "Elephant Polo" piece, and our NIADA colleagues will surely recognize Lisa's endearing portrait of the late, great Don Smith, one of our long-time event photographers...
I know you all need something AMAZING to spend those tax returns on... why not splurge on something that moves your SOUL?!?
Help Lisa keep those home fires burning bright!
Thank you to all who continue to share this site, donate, and keep Lisa in your prayers!!
"This page has been shared 1,100 times , as of today, 1/9/17. If every soul who has hit share would donate $20 right now, it would enable Lisa to fix the eaves rotting on her 1910 house and replace the roof, which is now in danger of collapsing. Lisa was almost hospitalized for the radiation burns which resulted in the sloughing off of skin in the area and a deep infection. She has developed arthritis from her waist down as a result of the chemo so sitting to work is painful. In spite of ill health and pain, she has 3 pieces of art ready to find new homes. Her will and stamina are amazing. Huge thanks to all who have donated and shared. Could you find a way to donate $20 or $25 more ? Blessings and love to you ALL!!" [--thank you, Kat, for reminding us all that help doesn't have to be gigantic to be HUGE. The whole point of these crowd funding resources is that we all pitch in what we can...]
I know the holidays can be a wallet-zapper, folks. And I know that it can be easy to say, "oh, my $20 isn't going to make that much difference." But if we ALL replaced that little 'diminisher' voice with the $20 donation, --or $10-- whatever you can spare-- Lisa would be helped so much more dramatically. I just spoke with her again earlier this week, and in true 'Lisa' form, she began with THANKING me (and by extension all of YOU) for this GoFundMe campaign, and when I asked her how she's doing, she did that thing she always does: she spun her troubles into wry anecdote that made ME laugh. She does it every time. She compresses her own pain & struggles into a story that enlightens. Her family name, "Lichtenfels" means "light on the fields." And so that's what she does. Even when she's passing through a dark valley, herself. IF you know Lisa, you KNOW what I'm talking about.
To all of you who've donated once, twice, thrice, or more, a HEARTFELT THANK YOU FOR HELPING MY DEAR FRIEND. To all of you who have shared this article, likewise, a HEARTFELT THANK YOU FOR DOING WHAT YOU CAN. Please shed a little more light her way. Whatever you can. I'd be eternally grateful.
This page has been shared 1,100 times , as of today, 1/9/17. If every soul who has hit share would donate $20 right now, it would enable Lisa to fix the eaves rotting on her 1910 house and replace the roof, which is now in danger of collapsing. Lisa was almost hospitalized for the radiation burns which resulted in the sloughing off of skin in the area and a deep infection. She has developed arthritis from her waist down as a result of the chemo so sitting to work is painful. In spite of ill health and pain, she has 3 pieces of art ready to find new homes. Her will and stamina are amazing. Huge thanks to all who have donated and shared. Could you find a way to donate $20 or $25 more ? Blessings and love to you ALL!!
KEEP DONATING !!! Even small amounts, given once a month will help her keep her lights on and her mortgage paid. A plumber is trying to make her upstairs bathroom, near her bedroom, functional again but it will cost thousands. In the plumber's own words, " your husband did unspeakable things to this plumbing." HELP Fix it so Lisa does not have to struggle downstairs when she is weak and sick from the chemo.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of Anne S., who found good craftsmen with hearts who worked for very little, the roof leak directly over Lisa's bed has been patched. Her kitchen faucet has been replaced, restoring hot water to the kitchen sink !!! Now her upstairs bathroom needs restoring to a functional state. Weak and dizzy from chemo, Lisa cannot go up and down stairs to use the facilities, flushing out the tons of liquid she is supposed to drink after a chemo session...... And she has to find a handyman to remove a pile of debris and concrete at the end of the driveway that can hardly be seen but that the city wants to fine her over $1,000.00 for. Aargh!! Lisa is wearing scarves and caps now. I told her she has a beautifully shaped head, which she does ! She said she feels up to working on her Art for about the last 2 days right before another chemo session is scheduled....... You should see the piece she is working on now !! I think I read a story about the girl portrayed. She is a young tribal girl who befriends gigantic eagles. This piece will be breathtaking ! The expression on the girls face is fabulous !! Then I heard her say she wants a future piece to be a Valkyrie........be still my heart !! There is a company that sends ChemoComfortKits full of helpers that the woman who sells them used herself to get through the tough days of chemo. The kit also contains a booklet of inspiration and hints on how to journey through this. I asked them to send Lisa this kit. http://www.chemocomfort.org/page_12.html Blessings to all of you who have helped or who have thought about it. If you can give Lisa just a little bit every month or so, it will help her to get through this time until she can work on her Art again. .......Please continue to help.
Lisa's roof gave way when the snows melted and deluged her bedroom. A roofer came on emergency and said it was an absolute Miracle she was not crushed in her sleep!! Since the house was built over 100 yrs ago, every time the roof leaked, they built another on top of it... her house had 5 complete roofs layered on top of each other!! All rotted, molding and water-logged. Can you imagine the weight ? No wonder her eaves were crumbling..... So, great news is that Lisa was not hurt. Bad news is the demolition of the 5 roofs, and building correct guttering and new roof is going to cost a fortune ! She still needs your help folks !! Even $25 each, added up will go a long way. Blessings to all !
Lisa has started radiation. A vicious daily schedule for about a month. One side effect of the chemo has been the development of arthritis in her hips and legs. This makes working very painful. She has been in her studio though and has completed a new piece. "Ashol-Pan" is a depiction of the incredible young girl who has an amzing natural affinity with eagles. I cannot figure out how to post a photo here but maybe she will have one on lisalichtenfels.net soon.
Blessings to all who have donated and shared !! As of June 29, there have been 670 shares of this page. If each of those people donated $50, they would add $33,500 to this fund. Some of you can afford to help her in a much larger way. I have spent several days at Lisa's helping. There is a roof leak directly over her bed, which turns her mattress into a sponge when it rains. A neighbor has patched it but it still leaks. She has no $ for roof repair. Please keep donating as the months go by, either to this fund or by a direct check to Lisa. It breaks my heart to think of her, sick from chemo, unable to work on her art, and lying in a wet bed from the roof leak. Please continue to really help her each month. Bless you !
I, along I am sure, with everyone, else holds a special place in my heart for Lisa and hope that she is able to come through and, once again, walk in the light. Lisa’s situation is such that we are making her work available at very special prices to enable her to get the help she needs with as little added stress as possible. Towards this end we are offering the work in her workshop at 50% off retail with no commission for the gallery. Works which are owned by the gallery are being offered at 75% of retail with 50% of the purchase price going directly to Lisa. I hope that everyone will take this opportunity to not only acquire one of Lisa’s magic sculptures, but to give something back to this most gentle of souls. Please share this or pass it on to anyone you can think of who should be made aware of it. The sculptures may be seen at http://cfmgallery.com/Lisa-Lichtenfels/Lichtenfels%2050%20offl.htm
Are there any updates about Lisa please? I'd love to know how she's doing. Thank you very much.
Lisa has been working again, slowly due to chemo induced conditions but, her new sculptures can be seen at ....... Lisa Lichtenfels fabric sculptures for sale at these sites: http://lisalichtenfels.net/ and http://cfmgallery.com/Lisa-Lichtenfels/Lichtenfels 50 offl.htm Let's see if I can figure out how to post her photo of Yi Min. She is breathtaking! You can see her at the CFM Gallery site. Yi-Min is now on the site. http://cfmgallery.com/Lisa-Lichtenfels/Lichtenfels%2050%20offl.htm
Thanking all of you who continue to donate as you can, and especially to the family of Jim and Gloria "Mimi" Winer, who have asked for donations to this campaign in lieu of Mimi's recent passing! Love and Gratitude to you ALL, and Hugs and Condolences to Jim and the Winer family.