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Libby’s Story

Please see the background story below and the subsequent updates under "Journal" for the tragic and amazing story of Libby Lehman's stroke and her ongoing recovery.  The family so appreciates your comments and concern.

If you would like to make a contribution to the "Libby Lehman Medical Fund", you may use paypal.com.  Just set up an account with paypal.com and donate to libby.medfund@gmail.com,  or send a check to her sister, Cathy Arnold, at 2220 Stanmore, Houston, TX 77019 for deposit into a special account at JPMorgan Chase Bank.  

Please do not make a contribution to CaringBridge "in tribute to Libby" as solicited on this website.  Those donations go to the CaringBridge website, not to Libby!

Libby gave so much to so many people.  She needs your support now.

On April 30, 2013, Libby had a ruptured aneurysm in her doctor's office and she was rushed to Memorial Hermann Hospital. Lester had taken her to the doctor's office because she had suffered severe headaches for a few days, starting in Paducah, Kentucky at a quilting conference.   The following day she had a 7 hour surgery to clip the aneurysm.  Several days later she suffered a stroke and vascular spasms and required additional surgery.  Updates on Libby's progress are in the  "Journal" section, including her many months in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, a few weeks at home, a return to a skilled nursing care and rehab facility, and thankfully, Libby is now BACK HOME again with hubby Lester and round the clock caregivers. She is currently making great strides in her many therapies, including the RAMP program at T.I.R.R. Kirby Glen rehabilitation center. The road to recovery is a long and uneven road, but Libby is working hard and successfully to regain use of her left side and to overcome some cognitive issues. Thank you so much for your interest, support, and concern. Libby is blessed with so many friends, old and new!

Latest Journal Update

Thursday, February 26, 2015 - Faye Labanaris - Another one of Libby's Angels

     Yesterday I received a package from one of Libby's quilting teacher friends, Faye Labanaris, from New Hampshire, containing checks to the Libby Lehman Medical Fund totaling $5,250!  Faye describes her fantastic fundraising event in her own words below:

"Roses for Libby Fund Raiser by Faye Labanaris

The Kathy Dunigan Academy of Applique, Rockwell, Texas

The Hilton Dallas/ Lake Rockwall, February 3-7, 2015

I have known Libby first as fellow teacher, then as a friend. I have been following her on Caringbridge and have said a prayer after each reading. I had not sent flowers as other teachers have, but I wanted to do something more, over the donations I have previously sent in. 

The opportunity arose with my teaching at the premier of TKDAA, The Kathy Dunigan Academy of Applique, in Rockwall,Texas this February.  I decided to offer my vintage necktie roses for Libby, with at least 50% of the proceeds going to her. I brought 140 roses and hoped to raise $500 to send to Libby’s Medical Fund.

 I was not able to attend the first night TKDAA gathering as I was giving a lecture in Kaufman, Texas to the guild that was providing hostess to Kathy’s event. My lecture was – A Tribute to Celia Thaxter 1835-1894. My quilt, A Tribute to Celia Thaxter,  was a runner up for the century’s best 100. There is a quote I use in the lecture from a letter Celia wrote to a friend that I use for the end of the lecture – the letter begins… I wore your roses yesterday, … and ends …and every thought of you a rose! This became the unspoken theme of Roses for Libby!!

 On the second night when I got up to speak, I told the audience of Libby’s situation and the Roses for Libby fund raiser.  I was able to announce that we had raised over the first two days a total of $500.  I hoped we would reach $1,000 to send by the end of the event.  As I was just getting into my seat, a lady whispered in my ear as she hugged me, that she was matching the $500!  I was speechless, shaking and in tears as took her to my classroom / store and gave her a dozen tie roses as she wrote the check. 

At the end of the event, a second lady matched the $500 again, so we now had a total of $1,500!!   My goal was met and exceded!!  The second donor came in the next morning to give me her check.  She was a quilter and had recently suddenly gone blind in one eye, with the other almost blind but slowly coming back.  She knew what Libby was going through.  She bought a few spools of Superior Tthreads in the hopes of sewing again. 

 Over the next few days the generosity was overwhelming.  One lady came in and wanted a rose. She wrote a check for $500!  Superior Threads also donated a check for $500.  One of the sponsor quilt shops wanted to do more in addition to writing a check for $100, so they collected items from teachers and vendors.  Kathy donated a $900 full scholarship to TKDAA’16.   These were auctioned off Saturday in a surprise auction after I got up to give what I thought was the final total.  We had a bit of rehearsal and the shop jumped up and said it is not the final total and we are not done! …and So the auction began.  We raised $1460!   As I walked back to my seat a lady pressed a roll of 20’s into my hand - $140.  I posted the fundraiser results on Facebook and have received a pledge for another $200! The grand final total donated to the Libby Lehaman Medical Fund from Roses for Libby is $5,250!!

I owe Libby a very big thank you for saving my life once on a short flight from Lancaster, Pennsylvania to Philadelphia in the mid 90’s.  It was a tiny plane and there was turbulence.  We sat next to each other and it wasn’t long before my fingers went numb and a started to get blind spots and hyperventilate.  I was having a full blown panic attack from the anxiety of small planes.   Libby rubbed the back of my neck the whole time my head was down as I was waiting to die!  She gave me a bag to breathe into and kept saying I would be ok.  The trip was only 20 minutes but it seemed like a life time.  By the time we land I WAS OK!!  Thank you Libby!!!

 As a thank you, Ellen Peters and I had her teach for us at Quilt Hawaii – twice. The first time was on Oahu, in Honolulu at the Sheraton Waikiki. We had several big name teachers, including Judith Montano and Lorraine Torrence, plus a teacher from Australia. Libby liked our tropical wear, which we said we got at Hilo Hatties. So off she went with a group of teachers shopping and came back with matching outfits which they wore to the show opening that night. It was quite a show! Libby has always been gracious and down to earth friendly with me. I miss her in the teacher’s room in Houston. I shall be there this year teaching and hope to see Libby and give her a big hug and more roses. 

I sent Cathy a brief note saying I would like to make necktie roses for Libby her sisters, caregiver, and anyone else you would like to have a rose. Simply send me neckties labeled as to who they are for.  It would truly be my pleasure and an honor to do so. 

There is a lot of love for that wonderful lady and the power of prayer IS powerful. I am grateful I was able to do this small token of help for Libby.                                                  God bless her and her wonderful family! 

Most sincerely, Faye Labanaris

80 Mt. Vernon St, Dover, NH 03820Cell: 603 765 3707   

  fayequilt@comcast.net    www.FayeLabanaris.com"


     Thank you so much, Faye!  Your enthusiastic and energetic support for Libby is so appreciated!  You are indeed - A ROSE!  And thank you to all of you other angels that made such generous and kind donations.  Libby told me to tell you that she loves you all!

Sincerely,

Cathy Arnold

PS.  The pictures are of Faye (note Texas denim vest) and of Faye with Connie Ritchie, the high bidder on one of the auction items.


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Comments

13 Comments

Sarah Ann Smith
By Sarah Ann Smith
Pass the kleenex! How WONDERFUL!
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Sallie Smith
By Sallie Smith
What a wonderful surprise!! Libby, you have SO MANY friends and backers. I'm good for a few bucks for a quilt raffle but not the high roller variety. I just have to make it up with prayers and you are certainly doing your part. Your comeback is nothing short of a miracle!! Keep up the good work!!
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margo bavry
By margo bavry
Dear Libby, I wish I was in a position to donate but I have a lot of my own health expensess. But you are in my prayers daily.
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2 people hearted this