Leah Lopez is organizing this fundraiser on behalf of Tamia Lagrave.
The past couple of days have been so surreal for Northern Californians, thousands of people evacuating their homes unknowing if anything will remain but ash. Our family’s eyes have been glued to the news, as fires have come so close, our bags are packed by the door, constantly on high alert, anxiously awaiting the unknown. But for one person dear to my heart, she was not afforded the luxury of time to pack and wait. At 2am on Sunday, Tamia, her partner Tony, her two dogs cricket and scrappy and her three horses Virgil, Shiloh and Warrior had seconds to escape the blaze that demolished everything they own. Tamia left with only pajamas on her back and slippers on her feet. No other belongings. I am quite aware this is the story of so many. But let me explain why Tamia’s story is different. Two weeks ago she took me horseback riding on her beautiful horse Shiloh, she opened up about recent events. See Tamia raises horses, she’s been around them since she was a little girl and taking rides in the woods is her flow. She recently acquired two horses, Virgil and Warrior from Virginia. The transportation to California was so deplorable and taxing, both horses had suffered severe dehydration, injuries from being flung around the small trailer which lead to serious neurological damage. Long story short, Tamia has put every penny she has into helping these two beautiful horses. After prodding, she explained how she had no idea how she was going to pay for the future vet bills as Virgil has gotten better however Warrior has a long way to go. Tamia and Tony rent 10 acres in Calistoga. And a month ago her rental insurance company dropped them because of too high risk of fire. But it gets worse, on their way out of evacuating, a limb fell down on the windshield of their truck. They spent the night in a parking lot, in a truck with a broken windshield and absolutely nothing else. Tamia is a surgical tech at St Helena Hospital. I remember the first time meeting her almost two years ago on my first day in the OR. I was scared to death of holding a laparoscope correctly and it wasn’t just her kindness and patience that put me at ease, but at the time I was also 6 months pregnant and she would take the time to make sure I was properly protected. I have witnessed her kindness not only to me but to the patients she interacts with. I remember watching her help random patients in the hallway, not being her job but just being the caring person that she is. She would give the shirt off her back to anyone in need and now I am asking you to do the same for her and Tony. They have lost absolutely everything. Not only the memories and belongings in their home, but all their horses equipment, trailer, camper. And no insurance to cover it. Tony is a welder, his truck with all his supplies, his livelihood is completely gone. She has no idea how to move forward from here, nowhere to go with her three horses and two dogs.