Yesterday, the Dayton area lost a young 13 year old friend who was simply one of a kind. Today, we tell you about her family, her life, her fight and her legacy. Her name was Liberty Vieson.
We are very lucky at Food Adventures. We have a platform where we are be able to shine a light on certain local causes and charities throughout the year. Each year through our activities, we are able to volunteer time and money to about 50 to 60 charities. We meet some incredible people. Some who are lifelong devotees to a cause, and others who are going through hardships. Some of these people leave an unforgettable impression on your heart and soul.
One such girl was Liberty Vieson. We met her 5 years ago when she was just 8 years old, and she was already an embattled warrior. She was fighting a disease that affects children called Ataxia-Telangiectasia or A-T for short. Her parents Mike Vieson (a classmate of ours) and his former wife, Stephanie had asked for help in organizing a benefit for Liberty, whom they call “Libby.”
The benefit was on a spring day in 2011 at Soft Rock Cafe in Centerville. Raffles, 50/50 prizes and karaoke filled the afternoon. The atmosphere was light and hopeful. The event highlight was when her parents thanked the supporters, and Libby herself picked out raffle item winners. Liberty was the sweetest little girl. But it was obvious her sickness was deadly. It was attacking her little immune system and other cells causing loss of muscle control. Although towards the end of the event she was tired, she still cracked smiles and stole people’s hearts.
As the next five years passed we would hear updates of Liberty’s ups and down with the disease. In 2016, Liberty’s illness progressed. Her family comforted her and prepared for the worst. She battled back from a very close call and was able to spend more time with her family. It was nothing short of a miracle.
But today, Ataxia-Telangiectasia or A-T is incurable. The average person with the disease lives to be about 22 years old.
So, 2017 came and Libby went about her life, but the odds were insurmountable and time was on the disease’s side. On the morning of February 27th, Liberty passed away. Her fight, her pain, her suffering was over. Her name was ironically perfect, because now she is free. Try to imagine being born into this world where from almost the get go, your body is fighting against itself.
The tremendous love the Vieson family gave Liberty and how they rallied around her is a lesson for every family. We send our deepest condolences to that incredible family and the friends who helped make her time on earth special. Thank you for sharing your story willingly with us, and sharing the little angel Liberty’s personality with us as well. We will never forget this young hero.
To learn more about this heartbreaking disease, please visit atcp.org
If we learn more about a donation fund, we will pass it along.
On behalf of The Big Ragu, Chef House and Hungry Jax, we salute each and every one of you who have dedicated your life to fight for a charitable cause like Liberty and her family. For those who have lived for a charity that has affected you day in and day out. Your efforts not only affect families now, you affect the future of this community, and that is priceless.