Friends, it has been quite a year. Lia has successfully completed treatment and she's technically CANCER-FREE! But she is not "back to normal," and she's still doing a LOT of work to heal her body from her life-threatening illness and the aftermath of its treatment. Please, read my update (in Updates) and if you can, please consider supporting Lia as she begins her new, post-cancer life. Thank you. with love and gratitude, Stephani
If you know Lia May Byrd, you already love her. Lia is an artist, a caregiver, and an amazing mom, sister, daughter, cousin, niece, auntie and friend to her extended family in Northern California and beyond. Beginning in June 2016, Lia began experiencing low-back and sciatic pain that worsened over the next several months. Despite visiting many doctors at multiple clinics, no one could find the source of her increasing pain. She persevered through the pain using a combination of prescription medications, acupuncture and gentle movement, but the pain continued to worsen. In the fall, she was forced to quit her job as a caregiver and art teacher. In December, the pain grew so intense that she did not sleep for ten days, and ended up in the Emergency Room. Finally, she received an MRI imaging test to look at her spine. On Dec 26, Lia received the news that two large tumors were pressing on her spine, causing the pain. Thankfully, her organs appear to be clear of any cancer, but some cancerous "spots" have been identified on the vertebrae, the bony parts of her spine. She has a definite diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and doctors believe the subtype is follicular lymphoma. As far as cancer diagnoses go, this is apparently great news. Yay, lymphoma! But because it was detected so late, Lia is undergoing immediate, aggressive treatment. She is being very well cared for in the hospital by her medical team, by her son Max, and by an amazing team of local friends. Lia is in great spirits and feels very supported, loved, and positive. She expects to leave the hospital soon, and will be staying with her friend Clare, a nurse. However, Lia's financial resources are extremely limited, and she has no safety net. Unable to work, she is relying on support from family, friends and other angels to get through this unexpected illness. Can you help? Most of all, please send Lia all the healing, loving energy you can muster as she moves through this journey. Thank you.