Captain Sandy Yawn never knows what she might face each week on Below Deck Mediterranean–a questionable chef like Mila Kolomeitseva, rogue stews like June Foster, inclement weather or a fire when she is trying to dock. She has to demonstrate patience, strength, courage and optimism despite what is going on around her.
Those traits are characteristics I am sure Sandy has been calling on lately as she is supporting her girlfriend, gospel singer Leah Shafer, through a difficult health battle. Sandy announced via social media in late August that Leah had been diagnosed with what seemed to be breast cancer. At the time, Sandy revealed that Leah had chosen to have a double mastectomy and reconstruction. Recently, both of them shared health updates for Leah via social media.
In an Instagram post last week, Sandy shared, “Today is Leah’s surgery and I’m asking all of you that believe to please pray for her. Thank you from all of me, heart and soul!” Accompanying the post is a touching photo montage of Leah and Sandy, set to Leah’s song, Testify to Love.
Leah had posted earlier on Instagram, “I do not need chemo or radiation and have a chance to remove the area of disease early and be done!! Thank you Instagram family for your prayers!”
In the post’s accompanying photo, Leah announced, “I’m having a lumpectomy only this Friday Oct 4th praying for clear margins and a clean bill of health and move onward. I will forever be proactive and preventative. Thank you everyone for your prayers and support.”
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Sandy posted an update on her Instagram a few days later, declaring, “Thank you for all your support and prayers, now we wait and see if her markers are clear. Please keep praying for a positive result. Thank you.” The accompanying photo further stated, “Leah is home! She had a lumpectomy because insurance won’t cover mastectomy! Please pray that all markers come back clear!”
It must be incredibly difficult to face serious health challenges and not be able to get the treatment you think is in your best interest because of insurance rules.
In a follow up Instagram post several days ago, Leah revealed more about her diagnosis, explaining, “So to be clear, This is what I have: LCIS lobular carcinoma rapid cell growth. So I chose lumpectomy To remove the area of disease/concerned area so it didn’t even have a chance to develop into anything more. LCIS is not considered breast cancer. But it can!! And quickly. It’s early signs of breast cancer.”
Leah went on to share that her insurance company would not cover a double mastectomy for her condition. As a result, she chose a lumpectomy so the disease would not become aggressive.
The Susan G. Komen Foundation website states about LCIS: “Compared to women without LCIS, those with LCIS are 7-11 times more likely to develop invasive cancer in either breast.” Such odds would naturally result in someone wanting to seek what they believed to be their best option for their treatment.
Another complication for the couple is that Sandy is not able to be at home in Denver with Leah. Sandy had tweeted in late August that she was going to be away for work for seven weeks, which must make the whole situation even more challenging for the couple. As Below Deck Mediterranean filmed around the same time last year, there is a strong possibility Sandy is away filming the show.
I am sure that all Below Deck Mediterranean fans wish Leah a speedy recovery, clear test results and future good health.
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TELL US- WHERE DO YOU THINK SANDY GETS THE STRENGTH TO COPE WITH LEAH’S HEALTH ISSUES LONG-DISTANCE? WHAT WOULD IT BE LIKE TO BE SEPARATED FROM YOUR PARTNER BY WORK DURING SUCH A DIFFICULT TIME?
[Photo Credit: Instagram]