January Lashane Smith, better known as Lashane, is a member of Decorators Local 831 in Southern California. She has been servicing exhibitors for more than 10 years as an I&D worker and is considered a rockstar among her clients and peers on the West Coast. Starting out as an I&D crew member she quickly rose to lead, than traveling supervisor and finally to City Manager for Legacy.
Lashane was working at the Anaheim Convention Center in March of this year when tragedy struck. She collapsed while working and within 3 hours was paralyzed from the waist down. Her co-workers rushed her to the hospital where she spent 15 days in intensive care. She was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis, a rare disease that affects the spinal cord and has no known cure. The disease causes a great deal of nerve pain in her arms and legs which can be very debilitating. Lashane did months of physical therapy and is beginning to learn to walk again despite lack of feeling in her legs and feet.
Lashane is still unable to drive or return to work and has suffered a huge income loss. In addition to needing financial support for her everyday living expenses, her medical bills are already well in excess of $500k and continue to increase.