Cancer is not something most people talk openly about, but the truth is it has touched all of our lives in one way or another. The Seany Foundation is a San Diego based non-profit organization that has raised over 3.8 million dollars to put directly toward the fight against childhood cancers. Needless to say, this foundation’s work has directly impacted and improved the lives of countless families.
My dear friend, Tiana LaCerva is a two-time cancer survivor and a single mom. I’ve known her for almost 3 years and her resilience, kindness and strength has always amazed me. Tiana now works for The Seany Foundation and will host an event this weekend, on Saturday, January 26th, to raise money for the foundation’s cutting edge cancer research and family support programs.
She was inspired to create this event after her own experiences with the trauma that can result from cancer diagnosis and treatment.
As a child, Tiana was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma. She was treated here in San Diego at Rady’s Children’s Hospital. At only 7 years old, she felt lost and confused during her treatments.
“It was such a traumatic experience… I would run from nurses and I didn’t understand what was happening to me, I thought I was going to die.”
After 3 years in treatment, Tiana returned to school feeling unsure how to fit in. After so much time in hospitals, it was hard for her to be in big groups of people. She had to learn how to be social again and carried some of this uncertainty into adulthood.
“I experienced a lot of anxiety & depression as an adult”
In 2016, a curveball hit. Tiana relapsed and was diagnosed with papillary follicular cancer of the thyroid.
That year she had two separate surgeries to completely remove her thyroid, one in March & one in June. Going into her surgery she didn’t think it was going to be a very big deal.
“The doctors really downplayed how severe it was. They just told me I’d take a pill for the rest of my life and made it seem like no big deal. They didn’t tell me what the repercussions would be.”
The thyroid is basically the engine of the body and controls bodily functions like hormones, digestion, temperature and heart rate. Medication helps make life without a thyroid possible but it wasn’t an easy transition.
“I felt the need to downplay the severity of relapsing with cancer… At the time I had just begun a new job, and I didn’t want to blow that opportunity. I was determined to return work within 5 days after my thyroidectomy.”
She did. She kept working full-time, though treatments and surgery recovery all while being a single mom to a 1.5-year-old daughter.
“I had to relearn my body function… I felt like I was in a brain fog for a year… before [surgery] I could multitask and remember every little thing and then [post-surgery] I didn’t have the same energy and wasn’t able to function at the same capacity.”
Today, she finally feels like herself again and has found a lot of healing through sharing her story and by helping other families and children with cancer through her job at The Seany Foundation. She understands first hand the shame that can burden cancer survivors and their families. She has experienced it all but in the last few years, her perspective has shifted. Instead of being embarrassed to share her story she has embraced it.
“It was hard for me to talk about my first cancer experience but the second one made me realize it was something I should be proud of. I used to hate what happened to me and feel like it ruined my life and my family. Now I’m proud of what I’ve overcome.”
In sharing her story she has created space for others to open up and share their stories too.
The Get Well Soon Holistic Yoga Retreat that Tiana is hosting on Saturday will create space for people to come together and raise money for The Seany Foundation. This event will be an escape for parents of kids that have had cancer and people who have been caretakers and need a break to heal themselves. Whether you are a cancer survivor, the family of a cancer survivor or just someone that wants to come together in support of this community please join this weekend at the Soledad Club.
The event will open with a heart-opening yoga practice brought to you by teachers from Indie Yoga. Following the yoga practice, there will be a panel with a dietitian from Sharp Healthcare and an essential oil specialist from DoTerra on how to incorporate holistic practices into your routine that can help ease stress and anxiety and keep toxins that can contribute to illness out of your home. There will be complimentary acupuncture treatments and chiropractic adjustments brought to you by Chiropractique. An upgraded ticket will also give you access to a mini-massage or facial. Healthy snacks will be complimentary for you as well.
There will be a raffle with some incredible prizes like a spa package (facial & massage!), a 20-class punch card for Indie Yoga, a DoTerra starter kit filled with essential oils, plants to brighten up your home like a fiddle fig and snake plant, a cookbook and more!
The event will close with a sound healing with crystal bowls that will leave you feeling like you’re walking on a cloud. Then, to top it off, each guest will leave with an incredible gift bag.
If you are in need of a day of peace and relaxation and also want to support an incredible cause join us on Saturday! Use the code “HEALING” to get your ticket for only $50 (a $40 discount!). CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO & TO REGISTER.