Remembering Lori McConaghy Newman
Lori Newman was a remarkable person who decided early on in her cancer experience that the cancer would not define who she was in this world. Lori was a gifted artist and designer. However, if you asked her, she might say that her best creative accomplishments are her sons, Rye and Brett. One might infer something about her mothering by the post that her sons made on Facebook on the evening of her passing: “At 10:20 pm on December 3, 2016 the best mother, wife, and force of love and light this world has ever known passed away speaking words of joy, love, and pride to her loving husband. Our mother was a beacon of light, joy, compassion, and comfort to all that knew her. She was the strongest and the best person we knew or will ever know. We and so many others love her and her spirit. Her spirit lives on through us, and may it guide us to live up to a fraction of her goodness and compassion. We love you Mom, may the angels sing your praises. Love, Your Boys”
Lori shared the best of herself in every situation that she found herself. She had a knack for seeing things from a more positive perspective, carried herself with grace, and offered love and forgiveness in all parts of her life. She often said, “Laughter is the best medicine,” and would find something to chuckle about even while waiting for hospital procedures.
Lori was a philanthropist and supported many charities including her son’s schools. She was also a highly valued member of the Simms/Mann – UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology Advisory Board and on several occasions, she shared her gifts by speaking about her cancer experience in deeply inspiring ways that touched all who heard her. Lori and her family’s caring was such that even when facing their greatest challenges, they wanted to give back and to make certain that the next patient and family touched by cancer could have the resources of an integrative center that focused on the well-being of the whole person.
Lori was a believer in an individualized and patient centered approach that included both Western and complementary approaches to care. In her own life, she always lived from a place of spiritual truths. She believed that there was beauty and richness in the everyday. In one presentation she said, “Treasure, true treasure is all around us. We just need to open our eyes.” She was someone who was vigilant in looking for the treasures in relationships, in moments, in family gatherings and even in the treatments that sustained her through cancer for more than a decade.
Lori was a force of love and light and the members of the Simms/Mann –UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology will miss her presence in countless ways. We also know that how much we miss her is only a shadow of how she will be missed by her loving family and dearest friends.
Lori was inspirational and in her last talk for the Simms Mann Center, Lori read the following prayer that guided her:
“May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith or yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are.
Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.”
We are grateful to Lori Newman and the gifts she shared with us and her generosity that continues through her beloved family. She will always be remembered and treasured.
For more information please see her obituary in the Los Angeles Times:
Lori’s Presentation on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28p03EyB6Kw
If you would like to make a donation in memory of Lori please contact the Center at 310 794-6644 or go online to donate: https://secure3.convio.net/jccf/site/Donation2;jsessionid=00000000.app311b?3186.donation=form1&df_id=3186&mfc_pref=T&NONCE_TOKEN=B03EC7888708A57F5E24F2BF39B37F86