Liza Blue Findley was a 23 year old makeup artist who had recently graduated from cosmetology school. She had been complaining of pain in her abdomen and weight loss. After several unsuccessful trips to her family doctor she went to the local emergency room. Her liver enzymes were higher than normal. After a CT scan, it was determined that she had an 8cm tumor in her liver. She was diagnosed with Stage IV Fibrolamellar Hepatocellular Carcinoma by UAB in Birmingham, AL.
Liza was referred to Dr. Ahmed Kaseb at MD Anderson in Houston, TX. Since she was not a candidate for surgery she immediately started chemotherapy. During the course of her treatment, Dr. Kaseb and Dr. Richard Gualtieri, her local Oncologist in Huntsville, AL monitored Liza while she was on 5FU, Interferon, Avastin, and Xeloda. Liza completed two rounds of Y90 Radiation at MD Anderson.
In the spring of 2012, Liza’s health started to deteriorate. Due to the tumors in her liver and portal vein she began to retain fluid on her abdomen. A plurex drain was put into place to drain the fluid twice a day. During this time, Liza’s bilirubin levels began to flucate. She had numerous bile duct surgeries all of which only created a temporary fix. While the doctors were trying to get her bilirubin levels under control, she developed an infection in her port that spread into her blood stream.
In late summer 2012 after a thirty day stay in the hospital, Liza chose to go home without Hospice. Her health was rapidly declining. She wanted her Mother to take care of her and Liza thought bringing in Hospice was giving up. Liza was only home for three days before she began throwing up blood. She returned to the hospital on August 18th, 2012 where she passed away surrounded by her family.
Due to Liza’s being a healthy, young, and vibrant 23 year old her story touched the community. As a result of her diagnoses Team Liza Blue was established. Team Liza Blue was led by Liza’s parents, Melissa and Bruce and Liza’s sisters Lacy & Darci and nephew Parker. The community helped raise money for Liza’s treatment and travel to MD Anderson.
Liza was a brave and spunky young lady. She had an amazing attitude during her journey. She touched everyone she encountered. For 25 years she was a daughter, sister, aunt, niece, and friend. She was funny and bold. She was loud and loved. One thing is for sure, there will never be another one quite like Liza Blue. She was determined to fight and win the battle against Fibrolamellar Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Her family has chosen to remain a part of the FCF family to help bring awareness and honor Liza.
Keep On Tuckin!!!