One of our own needs help.
HEATHER LAWSON — friend, animal lover, gardener extraordinaire, talented stone carver and juried member of the Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council, has been laid low with not one – or even two – but several autoimmune diseases.
The one she is currently being treated for, Microscopic Polyangiitis Vasculitis is not very common. While the cause isn’t known, the condition is the result of blood vessel inflammation and can damage the organs – kidneys and lungs primarily, as well as the nerves, skin and joints. It’s serious and painful. And exhausting.
At last November’s NSDCC Christmas Show and Sale Heather kept slipping out to her truck for quick naps, thinking she had flu. She was actually in renal failure.
Since then Heather has been undergoing treatment. Unfortunately this treatment causes multiple debilitating side effects which means taking pills for the pills. Steroids and immunosuppressants wreak havoc on the body but the goal is remission. Soon she will switch from chemo pills (because she will have received the maximum dose) to another drug that will continue to suppress her immune system. She takes a total of thirteen pills: two main ones plus eleven to counteract their side effects. She now has high blood pressure, diabetes, stomach issues and nausea. Steroids eat up calcium; antibiotics cause gut issues; low iron makes her extremely tired.
Twenty-five years ago Heather returned to her roots and her parents’ family home in Bass River. Because the studio is next to the house, frustration looms large; every day she sees what needs to be done or what she could be doing….if she had the energy. It’s difficult to ignore. Her property is fully gardened, too, and needs regular maintenance; the veggie beds require tending; the goats and chickens feeding. She has three border collies and the same number of buildings, all of which need care. Too much work for one weakened person. In fact, it’s a lot for a healthy one.
Heather shouldn’t be working. The body needs rest and sleep to heal itself. But Heather has to work to pay the bills so she picks up her tools when she feels up to it. Her most recent sculpture, just installed on the grounds of Kingsbrae Gardens in New Brunswick, was carved in hour-long blocks of time separated by lengthy restorative naps.
Living alone and being self supporting means that if she doesn’t work, she doesn’t eat – and everything around her, established over many years of hard work, has the potential to fall apart. Heather is the last person who would want to ask for help but she is running out of options.
Many of us in the art and craft community are in similar situations. No back-up. No partner. No-one else to bring in the money or do the chores. Let’s start by helping Heather out and then we can work on establishing a permanent fund for others who find themselves in similar straits
COPY, PASTE & SHARE: https://www.gofundme.com/29rxess