We are thrilled to introduce our 2018 Remarkable Moms: Lani Baker, Jenine Dalrymple, Soozie Hazan, Maya Luria and Judy Wood. This year’s Remarkable Celebration will be taking place Saturday, May 12, at the Westin La Paloma. Learn more about this important event, including ways you can honor our Remarkable Moms, on our website. We hope to see you there!
Throughout her life, Lani Baker has learned to counterbalance events of loss with positive thoughts and determination. Lani’s son Aiden was born two months early and Lani suddenly became very ill. Seven weeks later, Lani was finally able to bring her baby boy home, but her health problems persisted – leading to an eventual diagnosis of lupus. Even in the trenches of being a new mom, she embraced the joys of motherhood while simultaneously learning to live with a life-changing health condition. Eleven years later, Lani continues relishing every moment of being a mother to Aiden and her stepdaughter Ze-Ahanna, a wife to Josh, and the successful Vice-President of Holualoa Companies. Beyond her household Lani is an engaged member of our community, dedicating and volunteering her time for multiple organizations, and serving as an advocate and support system to those living with lupus. She is a role model for her children, teaching them not to let a disease define who you are. Through her actions, she demonstrates how to be an active member of the community in multiple venues, helping others overcome challenges related to chronic illness, raising money for children, and working to advance women in their professions.
Jenine Dalrymple approaches each day with a sense of gratitude, an appreciation for beauty, and a profound love for her family. Born in Minneapolis, Jenine and her family moved around the West before settling in Tucson at age 15, where she attended the University of Arizona and met her husband, Phil. Together they raised two daughters, Andra and Grace, and Jenine fulfilled her career aspirations as the CFO of Southwest Energy, LLC. Tragedy struck in 2010 when their daughter Andra died suddenly of an undiagnosed heart condition at the age of 12. Inspired by Andra’s dreams to make the world a better place, Jenine started the Andra Heart Foundation, which provides cardiac education and screenings, and community support. The Foundation encourages others to Be Aware of the risks of sudden cardiac arrest, and to Be Prepared to act in case of emergency. Jenine is most proud of the kind and remarkable young woman her daughter Grace has become, and credits Grace as her inspiration, reminding her through good times and bad that there is still work to do out in the world and love to give away.
Soozie Hazan is a remarkable teacher, former business owner, loving family member, and friend. Realizing how precious life is after experiencing the sudden death of her father, Soozie has faced grief, and years later, fought and beat cancer twice. Her life experiences have constantly reinforced the treasures that are both health and family. Soozie’s very own “miracle baby” David was born with a cerebral hemorrhage. Despite doctors’ warnings that David would probably never walk or talk, she persevered, nurturing him and loving him, always telling him that he was “perfect”. Miraculously, the hemorrhage dissipated through his blood without causing any brain damage, and two years later David was re-tested and officially declared a healthy baby. It is with this same love and care that Soozie gives to all who know her, including the lives of thousands of students she has inspired in her 45-years as a teacher in the Tucson community and the various community organizations serving those whose lives have been impacted by cancer. Of all her accomplishments and roles in the community, Soozie says that being a mom is the biggest honor and privilege of her life.
Native-Tucsonan Maya Luria wears many hats, but the most joyous and fulfilling is that of mom to son, Max, and daughter, Kelsey. Tragically, in 2015, Kelsey lost a hard-fought battle to Acute Myeloid Leukemia, just 6 days after her 18th birthday. Instead of crumbling under extreme grief, Maya has exhibited determination and strength by helping other families going through similar hardships. Inspired by Kelsey, Maya has brought to fruition the Bald Beauties Project, which shines with Kelsey’s spirit and love. Providing professional photo shoots to children diagnosed with cancer, the Bald Beauties Project helps children a with pediatric cancer diagnosis realize their own beauty and confidence, even in the face of serious illness. Maya says, “There is nothing like seeing a child light up in front of the camera for a photo shoot.” As the Director of Senior Services at Tucson Medical Center, Maya has touched the lives of many families in our community, providing comfort and compassion when they need it most.
At the young age of 10, Judy Wood vowed never to take life for granted after suddenly losing her older brother in a car accident. Today, alongside her husband Cliff, Judy lives life to the fullest by enjoying every person she encounters and relishing every experience. Judy, her two sisters, and most recently her daughter Jennifer are breast cancer survivors. The diagnoses have renewed her commitment to live each day to the fullest. These days she dedicates her time to helping make Tucson a better place by giving back to the community and serving on numerous boards in Southern Arizona. She also continues to play an active role as CEO of Contact One Call Center. The job she cherishes the most is that of mother to children Jennifer and Jeff and grandmother to Justin, Calvin, Owen and Noah. Judy also treasures her relationship with her extended family which includes Italian exchange student Cristina, her nieces and nephews, many of her employees and other young friends she has mentored through the years, so fondly known as her “rent a kids”.
Remarkable Moms photographed by Kris Hanning Photography at the Historic Hotel Congress