Elizabeth Otto David means many things to many people. She is the mother of Matthew and Anna, wife of a pumpkin-farming engineer, sister to ten. Liz has been a nurse for almost 40 years, beginning her career at St. Mary's Hospital in Minneapolis and has been a staple at Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater for 28 years. When the family thinks good food, they think of Liz. She has held an extraordinary sit-down Thanksgiving dinner for as long as her nieces and nephews can remember. She always has a new recipe to recommend and the family regularly calls her for the old family recipes. Liz’s eclectic array of hobbies includes gardening, beekeeping, raising baby chicks and goslings, and seamstress-ing. There is no shortage to her creative projects. She constantly has projects going: bead making, mosaics, wood working, canning, knitting, to name a few. She loves nature, which is evident in her gentle hand and care of both people and projects.
As mentioned, Liz is the proud mother of two. Matthew worked in a career position in Parks and Recreation in Colorado. He and his dog Izzo have moved home to be closer to his family during this important time. Anna works at Boutwells Landing and is also living at home, demonstrating her talent with cooking as she helps to take care of her mom. John, the pumpkin-farming engineer, retired from 3M a few years ago. He is taking his usual engineering approach in helping Liz through these difficult times. The two are proud owners of an RV and love to travel, but in the fall of the year you will usually see them at a threshing show in Minnesota.
Elizabeth is number eight of eleven in the Otto clan; she is considered one of the “little kids.” Liz’s affinity for nature stems from her upbringing at the Farm. Her strong Catholic faith was fostered through her parents and growing up with this tight knit family on the Farm. The Farm has remained as a gathering spot for the family even though her parents are no longer with us. The eleven children and their families are a core part of Liz’s life.
However, life can throw you some crazy curveballs. On October 17th after blood work and a CT scan, Liz was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer. Liz had been asymptomatic prior to this doctor’s visit. On October 24th, Liz met with her oncologist, Dr. Jahagirdar. Liz had a biliary stent and drain placed at Region’s Hospital, and she is currently in the processing and treatment phase. Liz began chemo on November 7th at Lakeview Hospital; she will have blood work done on Monday November 13th and plans for chemo on Tuesday, and we will keep you updated from there.
Overall, Liz feels fairly decent, but as you can imagine, this is very overwhelming for her and her family. We draw on the strength of one another, as well as the thoughts, prayers, and kindness from Liz’s wide community as sources of comfort during this difficult time. We remain hopeful as we take it day by day.
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Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. Desmond Tutu