Lori Beth Mays’ Journey

Lori Beth Mays’ Journey

Lifting It All in Jesus’ Name-Lori Beth Mays’ Journey

Deidra Bowling-Meade

The Ashland Beacon


“I pray for your healing

That circumstances would change

I pray that the fear inside would flee in Jesus' name

I pray that a breakthrough would happen today

I pray miracles over your life in Jesus name, in Jesus name”

Katie Nichole’s song “In Jesus' Name,” has carried Ashland Independent Schools Elementary Curriculum Coordinator Lori Beth Mays through her current battle with breast cancer.  Mays’ Christian faith above all else is what is seeing her through her recent diagnosis of invasive ductal carcinoma on June 27th, 2022… her 42nd birthday.  Invasive ductal carcinoma is a type of breast cancer that starts in the milk ducts of the breast and moves into nearby tissue. In time, it may spread through the lymph nodes or bloodstream to other areas of the body.

Mays had her first mammogram in May this year, and her doctor was concerned with the initial results.  More appointments were scheduled and a genetic test was ordered.  Mays stated, “My mom, Lena Rogers, was diagnosed in 2004 with breast cancer, and is a survivor of 18 years. She was 59 years old when diagnosed. Thankfully, we found out that I do not carry the gene. This was a relief as I immediately thought of my 11-year-old daughter, Raegan.” After much thought and prayer, Mays was scheduled for a bilateral mastectomy on August 18th, 2022.  The surgery lasted around eight hours with Dr. Legenza and Dr. Ray (reconstruction) involved. After all, reports came back from the double mastectomy, Mays was told she would need to undergo chemotherapy due to a high Oncotype score, meaning she was at high risk for recurrence.

Mays has been unable to work since her surgery, which she has found challenging. Most weeks are full of doctor appointments between her reconstruction doctor and medical oncologist.

Mays shared, “These last few months have been an emotional roller coaster for my family, and I know through prayer that God has helped carry us through the highs and lows we have experienced.  While being off work, I have been able to spend more time in my Bible and listen to music.  I have found that Jesus has been right there to comfort me through it all.  He has given me strength when I have been at my weakest.”  

The cancer journey is still a struggle even for a person of faith.  God understands this; it’s a growing experience in our relationship with Him.  Mays described her emotional journey: “I have had moments of fear throughout this process, the most recent when Jason had to shave what hair I had left on my head this past Sunday.  However, I have also felt an overwhelming sense of peace that God was at work in our lives.  Jason and I have tried to draw as close to God as possible over the last few months.  We have prayed more consistently as a family and have spent more time in our Bible.  God has been a part of this story from day one of my diagnosis, and I’m so grateful I can put my trust in Him.  He has blessed us immensely, even on our darkest days, we have felt His love.  We have also felt the love and prayers of our friends and family like never before.”

Mays has had an enormous support system to help her through this time. Mays proclaimed, “I feel so many people are praying for me and cheering me along each step.  It’s incredible to feel as loved and supported as I do now.  My family has been incredible throughout this entire journey. My husband has only missed one appointment, and a close friend, Christina Wamsley, was able to fill in that day.  My mom and sister have been able to join Jason on chemotherapy days and have been ready to fill in whenever needed to help with the kids.  My brother and nephew have driven to Ashland many weeks to make sure I get to sporting events, as Jason and I try to divide a conquer with two active children. My mother-in-law and father-in-law have stocked our refrigerator and pantry numerous times to make sure we are well-fed. My Life Group from Wildwood Church of God has covered me in prayers and prayed over me.  Family and friends from the Tomcat Basketball Team, Tomcat Baseball Team, Ashland Middle Cheerleading Team, and Tomcat Nation have gifted us with meals, gift cards, and love.  There are so many cancer survivors who have been there for all of my questions and are ready to help whenever needed, especially Jolinda Howard and Amy Lynch.  My hairdresser, Amy Gray, has been a blessing along with so many others in our community.”    

Mays is making progress daily and hopes to return to work as soon as possible.  She is driving again after waiting six weeks post-surgery and anticipates chemotherapy ending in early December. Mays is currently at the two-week mark from her first round of chemotherapy. Jason Mays, Lori Beth’s husband, added how proud his wife makes him, “She hasn't lost her joy.  Lori Beth has a huge joy tank that stays filled most time.  Her joy is derived from her faith, and she has been fervent in her devotions and her walk with God.  She hasn't missed much of Jayse and Raegan's activities.  Raegan is playing middle school basketball and Jayse is playing fall-league baseball with the high school - she has been to probably 95% of their games. Even in times like this, she always puts others above herself, especially her students and the student-athletes we are closely associated with.”

            Mays desires to positively influence others through her cancer journey.  Mays advises those who are hesitant about having a mammogram, “Please make the appointment, and don’t cancel it.  Find one to two friends that will hold you accountable… reach out to me, if needed. This is what it took for me.  Amy Lynch was one of two friends who held me accountable to make the appointment.  Amy would send me text reminders to make my appointment and she made sure I knew the phone number to call.  She was also there praying with me minutes after I received the call to come back for a second mammogram, and she’s been there ever since.  My cancer was caught early; it was stage one.  Thankfully it had not spread, and only one lymph node had to be removed.  I am forever grateful that I had friends making sure I did not cancel my appointment (this time).”  Above all, Mays is lifting praise in Jesus’ name.

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