by MEGAN HUSSEY
In her position as a dental assistant for Ackley Dental Group in Spring Hill, Pixie Lamphier was widely regarded as a maternal figure for patients; With her warm, infectious manner and cordial smile brightening the days of all who entered.
After 37 years, Lamphier had to take a break from the job she adored, this owing to a health diagnosis that changed everything. “My mom is surviving stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, but was also struck with Devic’s Disease (a rare autoimmune condition that affects the central nervous system) about 1.5 years after her initial diagnosis and as a result is paralyzed from her collar bone to her toes. And despite all of that, she is the MOST positive, inspiring, funny, and caring person you may ever meet,” said daughter Jennifer Siem, System Director of Marketing & Public Relations, Bayfront Health Brooksville/Bayfront Health Spring Hill/Bayfront Health Seven Rivers/Bayfront Health Medical Group.
Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018, Lamphier has undergone chemotherapy and radiation treatments and is managing her condition with the help of medication, and under what she regards as the expert care of Kenley Davis MD Bayfront Health Medical Group General Surgeon. Also, of course, with the help of her friends and family members who adore her.
“I have the most amazing family. I love spending time with my kids and grandkids, and like to hang out and watch Netflix with my fiancé, Bert Olton,” she said. And she receives daily emails and messages from friends and former patients. “Everybody knows Mom,” said Siem. “I’m so overwhelmed by her spirit.”
Before leaving Ackley, Lamphier’s employers Rodney and Eva Ackley of Ackley Dental Group offered to do anything they could to help. But instead of asking anything for herself, she requested that every female employee at Ackley be treated to a free mammogram. Pixie asked for it, and so it was done. “The most important thing that friends and family members can do is to be there. Support the patient. Be whatever they need,” said Siem.
Lamphier calls Siem “her rock” and after recently celebrating her birthday with her and their family, she has no greater wish than to encourage other women to get regular mammograms; And for those who have been diagnosed, she encourages them to “Live every day to the fullest.” And she wants to reassure everyone of one important fact, “I’m living a good life.” ]