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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Fighting back

Monday, May 25, 2009

Clay County resident Lisa Halfhill stands next to her garden. [Order this photo]
* Woman uses garden as tool against disease

Sometimes, it's the simplest things in life that create the ultimate joy.

The last few years have not been easy for Lisa Halfhill.

Approximately three years ago, Lisa, 43, Brazil, was diagnosed with Stills Disease, a form of arthritis that is characterized by high fevers and rash.

Normally, Stills Disease occurs in children, but it does strike adults.

"At first, we thought I had Lupus," Lisa said. "I was in the hospital and thought I had a reaction to medication."

Lisa is also a diabetic and suffers from fibromyalgia. In addition, in the past year, her son was in a tragic automobile accident and a family member was diagnosed with cancer.

But no matter what has happened to Halfhill, she always has her flower garden to walk through.

"Whenever I start feeling down and lonely, this is what I look forward to," she said.

For 23 years, Lisa and her husband Byron, have called Clay County their home. Prior to living in Clay County, the couple resided in Greencastle.

Her flower garden sits right outside the couple's front door. She affectionately calls it her "Walk in the Gardens."

The flower garden has a wide array of items in it, including Rhubarb Stock, Butterfly Bush, Blackeyed Susans, Lamb's Ear and Russian Sage, along with much, much more.

"Ever since we've lived here, we've added a little bit," Lisa said, pointing to her son's old Radio Flyer wagon that is sitting at the edge of the garden, which is now being used to house even more foliage.

Walking in Lisa's shoes would be a difficult chore.

When the Stills Disease acts up, she can suffer from chills and gets hives, which looks like a very bad sunburn. She can't spend a lot of time out in sunlight due to the possibility of high fevers and blisters.

Because of severe joint pain, Lisa has problems walking from time to time. Because of the joint pain, she has to have her knees drained every now and then and requires the use of a back brace every now and then. However, when she can't walk around her flower garden, she has the use of a motorized chair that her family purchased from a neighbor. She also has a garden claw set up right next to the garden when she falls and needs to get up.

"I push myself. I really do want to try to keep going," she said.

When she's able, Lisa walks through the garden on a walkway Byron created for her.

"My husband is is usually right beside me," she said. "He's my sidekick. He doesn't like for me to be out here by myself."

She has another sidekick that joins her in the garden periodically in her 2-year-old grandson.

"He loves to be outside," Lisa said. "He's my highlight. He likes to come out and pull the weeds."

Just this year, Lisa asked her husband to create her own "Angel Lady" within her garden.

"He looked at me with that smile and walked away," she said.

Within a few days, Lisa's garden had that "Angel Lady," resting within the confines of flowers, herbs and more.

There are days when Lisa can't even get out of bed because of her illnesses. But she always has the garden on her mind.

"This is my way of proving to my family that I'm not giving up," Lisa said. "This is something I look forward to. I just take the good days that I have and enjoy them. If it rains, I just look outside and think, 'tomorrow's a new day.'"

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Hang in there and good luck to you.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Tue, May 26, 2009, at 8:14 AM

A wonderful story and a wonderful Lady! Lisa, I hope healing comes calling to you very soon and that the spirit you possess continues to inspire those around you. What a beautiful garden you have.

-- Posted by karenmeister on Tue, May 26, 2009, at 8:16 AM

I agree that a garden of flowers can and will inspire us if we will allow them. In everything we do and see there is miracle just waiting to make an entrance. Believe!

-- Posted by Duddlebug on Tue, May 26, 2009, at 9:59 AM

Such a beautifull story.Hang in there. You,re a beautiful person to find beauty while in such pain.

-- Posted by rightwaygirl on Tue, May 26, 2009, at 3:21 PM

This a wonderful story about a wonderful person. This is my sister and she deserves everything she desires. I pray for her everyday. I love u sis and i no everything is going to be ok.

-- Posted by pennymoore403@yahoo.com on Tue, Jun 2, 2009, at 10:12 AM

Lisa,we are very proud of you. Byron,you are so wonderful to Lisa. You both make a wonderful couple. Just keep up the great faith Lisa and all will go well. We love you.

Love, Marty, Chris and Shelby XOXOXO

-- Posted by chris williamson on Wed, Aug 12, 2009, at 10:42 AM

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