Southern Stitchin’ Upholstery first came to Byron in January 2007, brought to town by Lisa Smith Dills who grew up here and had moved back in 2006. The business began first downtown Byron, then moved after two years to Gralan Drive next to On The Mark and finally in 2010 to the location close to Georgia Bob’s.
Upholstery, says Lisa, is her passion though she also loves sewing and embroidery. If she could do anything else it would be interior decorating which she also enjoys. A people person, Lisa says she was ”blessed with the gift of gab”.
January of this year was the fifth anniversary of bringing the business to Byron. On January 4th of this year, Lisa was diagnosed with Adenocarcinoma of the lung; a type of lung cancer. It occurs when abnormal lung cells multiply out of control and form a tumor. Because it has attached to her esophagus, doctors say it is too dangerous to operate or remove the right part of her lung.
Though it was devastating and at first she thought about not doing chemo, Lisa said not doing it would have been selfish. ”I had heard so many negatives about taking chemo and I did not want to be so sick that I could not enjoy what life I had left,” she said. But then she prayed and said it would have been selfish to just let the cancer run its course and not give the people in her life more time with her. ”I am a fighter. It is not over until it’s over and I am taking one day at a time, keeping the faith and holding my head high,” she said firmly.
Lisa had her first chemo treatment three weeks ago. She will have to go every three weeks for the treatments. Should the treatment shrink the cancer enough so that is moves away from her esophagus, then surgery could become an option.
This week, Lisa’s hair began falling out as a result of the chemo. For her, she says that is the hardest part. Yes, she said, you can wear a wig but she is having a hard time getting one to fit because her head is small. Tuesday she was planning on seeing about having one fitted.
Now, she and husband, Randy, are trying to sell the building and some of Southern Stitchin’s equipment. Lisa is planning on enjoying as much of life as possible. She has already been in the hospital a couple of times and had to have chest tubes. Since she loves the fresh air, she said it was hard to be in the hospital. However, she said the nurses on the fourth floor were ”angels on earth”.
She has been overwhelmed by all the support and the prayer she has received. One organization, the Battle of Byron Committee, which gives back to the community in many ways, has scheduled a fundraiser to benefit Lisa to help with medical expenses, etc. Battle of Byron Gives Back, A Benefit For Lisa Smith Dills will include a spaghetti dinner from 4-8 p.m. on Friday, March 1 and a dance from 6-10 p.m. at the Byron Municipal Complex. Tickets for the spaghetti dinner which includes spaghetti, salad, bread and a fruit cup/dessert are $6 per plate. Admission to the dance is $5 per person (age 12 & older); $8 per couple; $2 for age 11 and under. There will be a variety of music at the dance from 50’s on up. Refreshments will also be available for purchase. All monies will go to Lisa. For tickets see BoB members or call Karla Chidester at 954-4592. Lisa said this fund raiser will be a blessing to her.”This was so very thoughtful. I am truly blessed,” Lisa said.
She also says if you would like to contact her or talk with her you can call on her house phone at 478-654-6177 or contact her through Facebook.