I am SO excited to announce that Juxtaposed Boutique is now partnering with Cancer Foundation for New Mexico! So... What does this mean exactly? Well, to truly understand what this means, let's back up a bit. As many of you know my journey to defeating Head and Neck Cancer began in 2010 with a nagging, tiny sore on the right side of my tongue that would just not go away. I was residing in Las Vegas, NV at this time and after a couple of months, I felt it become bigger and visited my dentist to hopefully receive some answers and relief. I was advised that one of my back teeth was rubbing against my tongue and the dentist sanded down my tooth. Problem solved, right? Wrong! A couple of weeks later I was visiting my primary physician's office for an issue with my leg and mentioned the sore on my tongue and how it just wouldn't go away. After a quick inspection he diagnosed a Leukoplakia on my tongue and personally contacted an oral surgeon via cell phone in front of me for fear that it may be cancerous. I was driving to the surgeon's office 10 minutes later. Meeting with the oral surgeon seemed promising -- I had no risk factors or family history of Cancer, I was primarily healthy and active, so the surgeon explained there was a 95% chance that if there is a tumor, its surely benign. Wrong again! Welcome Stage 4 Squamous Cell Carcinoma, followed by tumor removal and agonizing treatments leaving me hospitalized with chemo and radiation poisoning, hair loss, 40 lb. weight loss... the works. Problem solved, though... right? Wrong!
Fast forward to 2016... I am still residing in Las Vegas, NV and enjoying my life with a loving husband and daughter, a fruitful (albeit stressful) longterm executive career, and about 40% saliva left. Life is great... until that pesky sore comes back in the exact same spot. By this time I had a fabulous dentist who was familiar with my previous diagnosis and very cautious. She immediately completed an in-office biopsy where, sure enough, the results came back positive for Cancer...again. This time around I found the top dog of oral surgeons in all of Las Vegas, Dr. Mark Glyman, who is world renowned and very familiar with my situation. Ultimately, he removed the new tumor and we monitored the situation with a monthly small biopsy to ensure the Cancer did not return. All was going well and I was feeling great until 2018.
Fast forward to 2018 and at some random point I notice that parts of my face have become numb, specifically the right side of my lip, chin and inside of my cheek. At this point Dr. Glyman sent me to UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles to see a very special physician who specializes in Head and Neck Cancers, Dr. Keith Blackwell. Turns out the Cancer was spreading -- into my jaw and tracking the nerve to my brain. Blessed as I am, Dr. Blackwell has a 99% success rate with the intense type of surgery required to remove this Cancer -- Free Flap Mandibulectomy (The right side of my jaw was removed and replaced by my left leg Fibula, my lymph nodes were removed, and my tongue was partially rebuilt with the skin from my left leg). This surgery required a 2 week recovery period at UCLA and of course my husband wanted to be there to support me and assist for any amount of time necessary. What we didn't account for was the $400 per night hotel room at UCLA that my husband would need to stay in the full 2 weeks (the hotel designated specifically for those at UCLA that was right next to the hospital). Again by the blessings of God, my family travelled to UCLA as well to be with me and my husband, and assisted with the cost of his room. (My father shared a room with him, while my mother and sister shared a room, which split the cost of 2 rooms 4 ways, making it affordable for everyone).
Obviously, I made through surgery and long-term recovery and I now live in Albuquerque, NM with my amazing husband and daughter and have since opened Juxtaposed Boutique! When I opened this boutique, there were so many goals and visions I had/have that run so much deeper than art and retail -- I wanted a place for community to gather, a location of fun and unique finds that is inclusive to all and brings you to a place of happiness while you browse, and a place where everything is made or merchandised with love. At the top of my list was finding an organization to partner with that supported the cause so dear to me -- Cancer survival.
Here is where Cancer Foundation for New Mexico (CFFNM) comes in to the picture! I am so blessed to have found such an amazing, local foundation that serves our community and relates so closely to me and my cause. When I found CFFNM I was so excited and could not wait to help! Not every Cancer patient has the support system I had, or the ability to bear that cost burden. When your loved one is receiving surgery or treatments for a life altering disease, the last thing on your mind should be, "How in the world am I going to afford accommodations for weeks, months, or maybe longer when I just want to be by their side?" This is exactly what CFFNM assists with -- They are a separate, nonprofit entity whose funding goes directly to cancer patients and the support services that they provide:
Travel Mileage Reimbursement
Volunteer Support During Treatment
Community Resource Information
Juxtaposed is honored to be sponsoring CFFNM in their largest fundraising event of the year - the 17th Annual Sweetheart Auction to be held March 12th, 2022 at the Santa Fe Convention Center. They deem it "a great party for a great cause" and I really encourage you all to check out some of the AMAZING items up for auction - Art, culinary experiences, trips and travel accommodations, gift cards (yes, Juxtaposed donated a gift card as well for the auction!), jewelry, and many more items up for auction. Who knows? Maybe you too will want to attend and support this great cause? Either way, you can find more info @ https://cffnm.org
We are so looking foward to a long term partnership with this fabulous foundation! Be on the lookout for some fun upcoming in-store events to support CFFNM at Juxtaposed!