As a young child I, was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and underwent a multitude of medical procedures. The love and care that I received from the people who cared for me during my illness inspired me to help others and work in the medical field as a respiratory therapist.

In 1990, I was encouraged by one of the physicians I worked for to launch an in-home medical testing service. It was an instant success and we quickly outgrew our home-based business and Valley Sleep Center was born.

Life has a way of throwing curves. Just two years into our growing business and five months pregnant with our third child, I was diagnosed with a very aggressive and rare form of cancer called Burkitt’s lymphoma. Doctors told me that in order to live, I needed chemotherapy immediately, but the chances of losing or damaging our unborn child were extremely high. They advised me to consider aborting our child to save my life. It was not an easy decision to make, however after much prayer, my husband and I decided against termination.

Four chemotherapy treatments, three surgeries and just a couple of months later I gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Connor, our “miracle baby” was born on January 7th, 1993.

In 2015, I was diagnosed with Stage I breast cancer. I underwent a double mastectomy and 15 more months of chemotherapy. I still battle rheumatoid arthritis and degenerative disk disease. I struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep along with using CPAP.

But…Today I am declared cancer free!

I have come to believe that the reason I’m here is to inspire others and change lives. My struggles with illness and as a business owner have taught me about love, hope, and how to succeed with joy in this amazing and short journey called life.

Lauri Leadley

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