February 1, 2008

Friends On Friday Presents ~ UPTOWN LIZ

Ramona, I admire your courage and your strength. Thank you so much for sharing your story. What is your most vivid adult image or memory of Liz?

I have so many, but my vivid memories are of her incredible sense of humor and her cackle/snorting laugh.

You mentioned in an article that you two had plans to be in business together, can you tell us about your dreams and aspirations as a team?

This didn’t go too far. It is something she had been thinking about and mentioned to me a few times. The one time she did, really talked more in depth, she was already sick. Because of her illness, we were never able to plan or put anything into motion.

As little girls, what were you two like? Did you dress-up? What were your interests? Did you fight? Were you each other’s biggest fans?

We were 2.5 years apart and shared a room our whole lives, so there was a lot of sibling bickering. She used to steal my clothes, provoke me, etc. Pretty normal sister stuff. We used to play house, school and store when we were little. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, so we really used our imagination. As we got older, yes, we were each other’s biggest fans. I miss that.

What made you two giggle?

Everything! My family has a very good sense of humor, so we laughed a lot. We definitely got a lot of mileage imitating/teasing my mother. Ha!

I read and saw your piece on DarynKagan.com. It was great. Like Ms. Kagan, I was so moved because of my "sissy" and the intricacies of sibling relations. She is my biggest fan, my greatest confidant and also my hugest sparing partner. But in the end, we are more alike than we are different. There is more joy than there is pain, and I know that if either of us ever leaves the planet, the other will still be there to root the other on or challenge in the way that encourages just the right growth. Please share a bit about losing Liz to breast cancer.

There is really no way to answer this that would do it justice. Unless you’ve experience watching someone you love suffer and tragically die so young, I can’t put it into words. Her death has permanently changed me and effects every single thing I do. Her absence leaves a gaping hole in my heart that no one can repair – not the love from my amazing husband, family or friends. Someone that lost someone they loved once said, “Some things are not curable.” I couldn’t agree more.

Tell us about UptownLiz.com.

Uptown Liz was created with everything Liz loved in mind. I used her favorite colors in the design (lavender and pink, which are also the colors for cancer and breast cancer awareness), and gave it a very trendy, sophisticated and upscale feel. She was a major fashionista, so I know she would love so many things on the website. I know that most people wish they could do more for the less fortunate, but they are just too overwhelmed with their own lives. So I wanted to create a way that people could give back in an easier way, and know where the money was going. What makes Uptown Liz unique is that you can shop by charitable cause or by product category. Every item shows you how much is going to charity and has a link to that organization’s web page. Through Uptown Liz, I hope to continue the movement of retail philanthropy and through Liz’s legacy I hope to bring awareness to misdiagnosis and cancer in young people.

You are up to 500 participating companies, right? What are your goals for UptownLiz.com in 2008?

Uptown Liz has over 500 products from many wonderful companies. My goals for 2008 is to get more media attention and bring Liz’s story and legacy to a bigger platform.

What can we do to help?

Tell everyone you know about Uptown Liz. People can spread the word through blogs, MySpace and other social networking sites. And if anyone has any great media contacts, let them know as well.

This legacy is so special, has it turned out the way you intended?

Yes it has. But, of course, I’m very type-A and an overachiever, so I have imagined much bigger things and hope to accomplish them soon.

Ramona, your courage and grace is very much appreciated. Thank you for sharing your sister and your story ~

Liz Overturf ~ July 17, 1977 ~ February 1, 2006 ~

1 comment:

kr said...

I've been following this all week. What a remarkable lemons to lemonade story. Thanks so much for sharing this, House. And, best of luck to Ramona with Uptown Liz. I can't think of a finer tribute to your sister than success!