Profile: Lidia Boicu

Author: angiem, 01 16th, 2010

I have been in awe of Lidia Boicu’s photography for quite some time. To begin with, I did not know much about her personal story, although I did know that she is my age, a cancer survivor and mom to a preschooler.  I was drawn to her determination to persevere and confront the enemy by living her life passionately, and by giving back to the community of families affected by cancer through her non-profit organization, Tiny Sparrow Foundation.  Facebook brought us together, and gave us the chance to form a real friendship when we started conversing over the phone, and finally met in person.

Through Tiny Sparrow Foundation, Lidia has been offering families with children suffering life threatening illnesses, free of charge professional portraits and albums, while bringing smiles to those faces most needing of them.

Lidia, how would you describe yourself?

I would say that I am optimistic and motivated.  I try to live my life without fear.

Have you experienced any miracles?

Oh, so very many.  When I was 5 months pregnant with my daughter, I developed an infection for which I was hospitalized.  My white blood cells were so high and the doctors determined I had C-diff.  It was so out of control that I was in the hospital for 2 months.  My colon was inflamed and my body retained so much water that I soon ballooned out to 240 lbs. Although I was on both Morphine and Oxycodone, the pain was excruciating. I had a nurse that had to just take care of me and she would come at night and massage my body in hopes the pain would go away.

Those moments when somebody reached out to me are in my mind forever.  My hand in somebody’s when I was in the lowest of lows was so astounding that I vowed that if I got better I would be the person offering comfort.

I did get better, and 3 months later my baby was born.  She, however, was missing her entire sternum… You could see her heart beating.  At 5 weeks old she woke up choking, we rushed her in and the doctors discovered a hemangioma blocking 75% of her airway.  We were hospitalized.  At 7 weeks she was diagnosed with PHACES, a relatively new condition discovered in 1997, affecting only 200 worldwide, and lacking information on it.  We were hospitalized again.  And then again when she was nine months and we determined that fixing her sternum was necessary as it protects major arteries.

When my daughter was two, I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer which involved my lymph nodes.  The miracles started pouring in.  Although we were in a new town and knew no one, people jumped in cooking meals for us, helping with my daughter, cleaning the house.  I had a double mastectomy and a hysterectomy and spent many hours in bed.

Is that when you started your photography?

Yes, my husband had gotten me a nice SLR digital camera for Christmas.  I placed my computer in bed next to me and learned photoshop.  I took picture after picture.  After I recuperated, at the encouragement of my new found friends, I decided that I would take my photography to a different level.  Cancer gave me the courage I needed and had been lacking. I contacted Kate McRae’s family and told them that I wanted to provide them with professional photos of Kate and their family.  I was surprised when they agreed.

Do you think about dying?

Only every single day.  But I am not afraid anymore.  Life is a journey.  Still, I would love more than anything to be here for my daughter.  She beat all odds.  I so want to see her grow up into a beautiful young woman.

Any regrets, Lidia?

That I have spent too much time agonizing over what people think and say.  And for what?  No one has a perfect life.  Everyone has problems.

How do you want to be remembered?

That I made a difference in someone’s life.  That I have built strong, lasting relationships.  But I don’t want the focus to be on me.  I want it to be on those little boys and girls that Tiny Sparrow Foundation is hoping to touch.  Their memory will live on.

Thank you, Lidia.  Please take a moment and visit:#mce_temp_url# Bookmark the site, and if you find it in your heart, please make a donation.

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29 Responses to “Profile: Lidia Boicu”

  1. Stephanie Baffone Says:

    Angie-wow…this is an amazing story. Now I have two new additions to my prayer list! Finding purpose in suffering is one of the vehicles that helps drive us from despair to peace. Bless youbfor sharing this with us and introducing us to Lidia.
    xo

  2. Jennifer Says:

    Gulp.

    Thank you, Angie.

  3. Wine & Words Says:

    Wow. I was just hospitalized with a kidney stone and never want to return. I can’t imagine going through something like this. But I am motivated by Lidia’s story, her courage and determination. Thank you for sharing this, and for visiting my blog.

  4. Renee Khan Says:

    Thank you darling Angie for introducing us to this remarkable friend.

    Love Renee xoxo

  5. Jena Says:

    What a sweet and tender soul she is. God bless her!

  6. angiem Says:

    Yes, Stephanie, Lidia is an amazing woman. She has such strength and courage, despite all she has been through.

    Jennifer, I know. You’re welcome.

    W&W, I hope you feel better quick. I am in awe of her fearless courage and her motivation to offer something good to families that daily struggle with their children’s illnesses.

    Oh Renee… You are welcome. She is remarkable and so are you dear friend. So very much.

    God bless her indeed, Jena! Thank you!

  7. Karen@SurvivingMotherhood Says:

    That’s an amazing story.
    Wow.
    She really got me with that point about agonizing over what people think and say. What an incredible waste of our time.
    Thanks for sharing her story with us, Angie.

  8. Ani Says:

    Thank you for doing the profile on Lidia. She really has inspired us all to be thankful and stay positive.

  9. Bebe Says:

    I held my breath and tried not to cry the entire time I read this post. What a beautiful spirit this woman has! She and her daughter are in my prayers.

  10. Susu Paris Chic Says:

    Thank you Angie for introducing this wondrous lady to me, to us!

    This gave me the sweet boost of “meaning of life” and how we can do it, I can do it, for today. I’ll be reflecting on this on my walk along the Seine River.

    Paris is fairy sunny today and I’m heading out for a nice time ‘around and about’ the city… lunch on a river boat and an art exhibit!

    Have a sweet Sunday dear Angie!

  11. French Fancy Says:

    Oh some people really have such a hard time it is very sad - yet out of all that pain such goodness and love has come that it is very moving.

  12. deb @ talk at the table Says:

    Thanking you this morning for shining light into this day, Angie. Women like Lidia are true angels on earth.
    Her positive attitude is infectious.
    I looked at her site, and the photos are jaw dropping gorgeous, as is her spirit.
    It is an honour to meet her through you, and now I’m off to make something of this day…
    love to you , dear Angie.

  13. angiem Says:

    Karen, I agree. I find myself wondering what will people say if I do such and such. Yet that is no way to live.

    Ani, so true! You’re welcome.

    Thanks Bebe! She truly has a beautiful spirit.

    You’re welcome Susa! And I’ll join you on that walk if I may. I wish I was in Paris now. Hope you had a lovely day.

    Yes, Julie, and isn’t it wonderful?

    Deb, I am so inspired by her story.

  14. Deb Says:

    Thanks for sharing this Angie. Lidia is an amazing woman, very inspirational!

  15. Ava Says:

    I just went by her site last night. Those children’s faces were in my dreams. How truly inspiring she is.

  16. Elizabeth Says:

    Lidia sounds so brave and wonderful.
    I would love to see more of her photos.
    I really admire her guts when facing so many horribly difficult challenges.

  17. SJ Says:

    Wow…beautiful!! Thanks so much for sharing with us. What a pic–I love that expression.

  18. laura Says:

    I meet the neatest people when I stop by here. So inspiring. Lidia’s story convicts and encourages. Makes me want to live abundantly! Better get at it…after I go read your guest post, of course!

  19. Vanessa Says:

    Angie,
    Thank you for sharing Lidia with us! I think we all need constant reminders of the gifts we are granted and that we can rise above tribulations to help others. She’s such an inspiration!

  20. Francesca Says:

    Thank you for sharing this story about an amazing woman who went through so much, and found the scope of her journey.

  21. audrey Says:

    Angie, this is a beautiful interview!! it is also quite special because it reminds us to lend a helping hand when we can, and the gift of someone helping us when we need it, as well to live each day as the gift it is. very special.

  22. Ruth Says:

    I am so inspired! Thanks for sharing this interview with your friend! May God bless her.

  23. Gigi Says:

    This is an amazing post, Angie. Lidia is an inspiration, as are you. Her optimism and determination clearly have given hope to so many.

    I’m heading over to look at her work right now, but I want to thank you first for your lovely comments and support recently. I’m making some big (unexpected) changes in my life that have thrown me for a loop, but I love reading what Lidia states about agonizing over what other people say. I am learning to trust my own heart and gut. It has only taken me 42 years!

    Warm thanks and hugs to you,
    Gigi

  24. Deborah Says:

    Oh Angie, this is simply beautiful. Thank you for posting this and introducing us to your lovely friend. Beautiful photo. **blows kisses** Deb

  25. Bridgette Says:

    I believe the highest compliment anyone can recieve is that you made a difference in their life.

  26. Holly L Says:

    Wow…what an amazing interview and an amazing woman…such strength and beauty. I have tears in my eyes. I love what she does for other families too. Thank you for sharing this.
    Holly

  27. elizabeth Says:

    Thank you for this beautiful interview with such an amazing person. Thank you.

  28. A special thanks to Oregon friends | Tiny Sparrow » Tiny Sparrow Foundation | A Non Profit Organization Says:

    [...] sure to check out Angie Muresan’s blog post to see her interview with Lidia Boicu. Thanks Angie for helping us spread awareness and for [...]

  29. raluca Says:

    Foarte foarte emotionant interviul..fotografia…Lidia…

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