Today, Lizbeth Wawrzonek is having brain surgery. BRAIN SURGERY. If you read no further, please take 10 seconds to put some positive energy, healing vibes, and #WawrPwr into the universe for Liz.
I was virtually introduced to Liz in March of this year by our mutual friend Arik in March of this year. Soon after, we met IRL at Five Watt. I was instantly inspired by her—she was so intentional, present, mindful, gracious—and smart as a whip, too. We kept in touch via email/Twitter/FB, I sent a potential project her way for a rebrand for a local university, etc. And when the COCO team asked me to speak for Startup Week, I instantly thought of Liz and her brand strategy work with startups, and asked her to co-present with me. She accepted enthusiastically, and I was excited about the opportunity to work with her.
We met a couple of times to talk through our game plan, and kept in touch over email throughout. As the day approached, we developed some final milestones to get us to the day. One of those things was for Liz to finalize her portion of the day’s presentation, and send to me for my additions. Pretty straightforward.
Then, on Labor Day, I got a phone call from Liz while the SO and I were at the State Fair. She was sorry that she hadn’t sent the presentation yet. That it had been a whirlwind of a weekend. And that they had discovered she had a brain tumor. Stunned, I could barely muster a response. “It’s okay,” I said. “Don’t worry about anything,” I said. “I’ll take care of it, give this no further thought,” I told her. “Let me know if I can do anything,” I offered. (Duh, you idiot, of course she’s not going to give our stupid marketing presentation a further thought, SHE HAS A TUMOR IN HER HEAD. And no you can’t do anything unless you are a surgeon or a miracle worker. I’m neither, in case that’s not obvious.)
Just as she was on the day we met, Liz was calm and thoughtful on that phone call. Almost eerily so—if only because that level of self-possession is such a rarity. Her friends started a Slack team for her, where she’d occasionally provide updates on her progress, and everyone would send healing, loving vibes. Her updates were so positive; it was as if she was counseling her friends as much as they/we were trying to support her. She initiated a Periscope meet-up to not just provide updates on her status, but to create space for everyone to share in the positive energy she was still radiating, and for everyone to experience the collective impact of that digital gathering.
As an outsider looking in, on the periphery of a horrifying health event-turned explosion of positivity and light in the world—I can’t help but be awed by the strength displayed by this woman and the love surrounding her by so many people.
Sending you all the positive juju I can understand and generate today, Liz.