Monthly Donation - Help Liz Beat Cancer By Ben Hayes on February 08, 2021

Each and every month Stubbs Dental donates the proceeds of all new patient exams to a deserving member or organization within our local communities. December's recipient is the Elizabeth Zavala.

The Situation:

This young beautiful family is in need of blessings at this time. Their beautiful mother, Liz was recently diagnosed with intraocular melanoma in her right eye. What is this you ask?  It is a rare disorder that affects ONLY 2,500 people in the United States each year. Unfortunately, Liz is one of them.  This was a shock to all but especially to her beautiful young children and hard working husband.  As we move towards the season of giving I pray that those who read this may be able to help in any way possible. Every little bit helps.

The diagnosis came after she developed vision changes, including black outs and pain. This lead her to schedule an appointment in mid January and by mid February she was scheduled for surgery.  Surgery is the most common treatment for intraocular melanoma. This includes a resection (tumor removal), enucleation, surgery to remove the eye and part of the optic nerve, followed by PRK to optimize her vision in the left eye in the unfortunate case she loses her right eye. This opens up a potential option for a prosthetic eye should she need it.

Liz underwent surgery in May (postponed from March due to COVID) and through a rough recovery is still fighting! In her own words, "the fire in me burned brighter than the fire around me!"  If you know Liz, you know this is true! She underwent additional surgery in July after a neck mass was discovered. At this time she had reconstruction of the base of her tongue.  During this time her her husband, Daniel took time off work to care for her.  She is now back to work with her determination and positive attitude towards life. Liz is a medical assistant for an ENT at the University of Utah and loves what she does. She thrives in this environment striving daily to make a difference through a simple smile, a hello or listening to patients and their concerns. 

She is a fighter and is determined to beat this and to be present for her children. They are her life, her world, her everything ( Aaron 9, Alonzo 7, and Adalie 3).  Her children currently carry the weight of the world on their shoulders as they see their mother struggle with this illness. It is difficult for her children to understand why this has happened to their mommy. They cry for their mom. They cry with their mom. They hurt with their mom.  

Liz has always been the backbone of her family in one way or another and to see her this vulnerable has really taken a toll on everyone including her wonderful husband, mother and siblings. The increased financial stressors have sadly contributed to all the heartache. This financial burden continues as additional findings come to light such as the recent surgery on Sept 9th secondary to salivary gland problems and an unexpected submandibular mass. She has a follow-up in December where it will be determined whether the entire gland will be removed.  

Liz's cancer journey is certainly not over as she faces 16 radiation treatments and and additional surgeries however, I know that by sharing her story and her bravery it will help some one else who may be dealing with similar circumstances. 

Below are her words. Let us unite and help her and her beautiful family during this very difficult time!  

"Cancer doesn't discriminate... it doesn't matter if you are young or old, female or male, poor or rich, it simply attacks! Even with this very hard journey of mine, I continue to have faith! I keep telling myself that everything happens for a reason, and I may not understand now but one day I will. God wouldn't give me a battle I couldn't handle and my faith is bigger than my fear!!! The UNKNOWN is the biggest fear! I may not know if I am going to survive but I KNOW I will not leave without a fight. I fight and push myself every single day for my kids, because at the end of the day their are my world, my biggest motivation. Although there are days I simply can't deal with the situation and want to give up I have the very best love and support with family and friends! Thanks to all of them, here I am fighting what I consider the battle of my life!"

Stubbs Dental was able to donate $4,185 to help Liz cover medical expenses, however she still need help, and anything counts. 

You can donate to her gofundme page here. All donations, big and small, are greatly appreciated and will add up to mean more than you can imagine to this wonderful mother of 3. 

Remember, when you become a patient at Stubbs Dental not only are you helping yourself by taking care of your teeth, you are helping a deserving organization of your local community! If you would like to nominate someone to receive the Stubbs Dental donation please send an email to

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Your smile is one of your greatest assets. Give it the dental care it deserves to stay beautiful and healthy for years to come. At Stubbs Dental Implant Center, our dentists have the training, technology, and services to treat your entire family's needs in one office. Our dentists are some of the most awarded in Utah, and their accomplishments include:  

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