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Business owner didn’t let cancer steal her dreams

Valley Sleep Center has been named  the 2011 Business of the Year by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce during the 24th Annual IMPACT Awards luncheon.

Valley Sleep Center was one of 10 finalists vying for the award. Four companies also received chamber awards for outstanding achievement in community involvement, company culture, innovation and response to adversity.

Lauri Leadley, President of Valley Sleep Center, was inspired to start her own sleep clinic after her own struggle with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.   Just after she started her business, and while she was pregnant with her third child, Lauri was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer: Burkitt’s lymphoma.  She was told that unless she go through chemotherapy immediately she would surely die, but that chemotherapy would endanger the life of the child growing in her womb.  Doctors advised her to terminate her pregnancy.  Lauri remembered the message that she had heard at church one Sunday, “You’ll never have joy in life without taking risks.” And so with much prayer, she and her husband decided to go ahead with chemotherapy while pregnant.

A few months later, after many rounds of chemotherapy. Lauri gave birth to a healthy baby boy.  Ironically, it was on the same day as Lauri’s own birthday.   She continued her treatments, and also continued working on growing her business.

It was not easy, as anyone who was around Lauri at the time can attest.  However, Lauri’s faith, persistence, and determination paid off .  Now, 18 years later, Lauri is cancer free and Valley Sleep Center is one of the largest sleep disorder testing and treatment centers in Arizona treating over 6,000 patients per year.

About Valley Sleep Center

Since 2002, Valley Sleep Center has provided Arizona with a diagnostic sleep disorder testing in a home-like atmosphere, ensuring a comfortable, relaxing experience for patients.  Their physicians are Board Certified sleep Medicine specialists and are accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.  They provide diagnostic testing for a multitude of sleep related disorders including insomnia, sleep apnea, snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, hypertension, sleep walking and pediatric sleep problems.

They have five locations in the Phoenix area including Scottsdale, Glendale, Mesa, and Chandler.  For more information visit www.valleysleepcenter.com.

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