An Angel Pin in Memory of a Lady with The Heart of An Angel

Vivian Shepherd’s Family Honors Her Memory through “Team Viv’s Angels”

Vivian shepherd

Two young women purchased an angel pin at our booth at a craft fair. They wanted this angel in memory of their mother. Although I had never met them before, I have learned to love this entire family and I know you will too.

Vivian Shepherd was known as “Mom” or “Viv” to those who loved her. However, even on earth, she had the heart of an angel. Her daughters Shala Rios and Alissa Roberson put “Team Viv’s Angels” together. Vivian Shepherd passed away on February 2, 2008 from a rare blood disease called Amyloidosis. It is not a cancer, but the treatment for the disease is much like the treatment for cancer.

Prior to diagnosis, Vivian had been feeling badly for quite some time. Many trips to physicians’ offices yielded no answer. Shepherd’s gastroenterologist felt that she had cancer. A polyp was removed and sent for a biopsy.

The tissue surrounding the polyp was also tested. In March of 2007, the findings from the test revealed Amyloidosis. Shepherd was immediately sent to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and was treated in the Myeloma Department. Chemo treatments and a stem cell transplant at M.D. Anderson was prescribed for her course of treatment.

Unfortunately, a few weeks later, she was told that the stem cell transplant did not work. Her physician discussed additional outpatient chemotherapy and possibly another stem cell transplant. However, Vivian just simply ran out of time for those treatment options.

Following Vivian’s death, Shala and Alissa decided that their mission in life was to bring light to the disease of Amyloidosis. They also want to educate the community about the need for cancer awareness. Their father is a two time cancer survivor, surviving both prostate and colon cancer.

Both of their grandfathers passed away from cancer – one from lung cancer in June 199 and one from lung and stomach cancer in May 2001. Many patients suffering from Multiple Myeloma also develop Amyloidosis. It is such a rare disease and so few people know about it – including those in the medical community.

Shala and Alissa have joined with Relay for Life. They hold garage sales, bake sales, and other events to raise money for this cause. The “Vivian Shepherd Angel Pin” can be ordered directly through them and all proceeds will go to the non-profit organization called Amyloidosis Support Group. Contact alvinrios2@aol.com.

VivianShepherd5.jpgThese two photos were taken of Vivians family prior to her diagnosis. Standing Alex Rios, son-in-law, Shala Rios, daughter, Alissa Roberson, daughter, and Ron Shepherd, husband. Middle Jade Roberson, granddaughter, Louise Shepherd, mother-in-law, and Vivian. Front Row are grandchildren Michael Rios, Paul Roberson, and Chyna Rios Vivianshepherd6.jpg


An Angel Pin for Vivian Shepherd

angel-pin-sbw-054Pictured at the left is the Angel pin with a dark red dichroic angel face that was chosen to be a memorial for Vivian Shepherd.



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