he pain and discomfort is
ever-present. Ten surgeries,
including the removal of bone
spurs and an ankle fusion
operation, have been endured.
To help combat her
debilitating rheumatoid arthritis (RA),
which she has courageously battled for
the last two decades, 33-year-old Briana
(Lewis) Hassibi ’01 receives intravenous
infusions of the anti-tumor necrosis
factor inhibitor, Remicade, self-injects
the disease-modifying drug methotrexate
weekly and takes prednisone, duloxetine
and celecoxib on a daily basis.
For her most recent birthday
celebration in September, she took the
day off from work and enjoyed a morning
walk with her husband, Cyrus, and their
three Pomeranians. Then it was off to
yoga class. Later in the day, Cyrus led her
to their horse barn, where he had planned
a small surprise party that included a trail
ride on her Tennessee walking horse,
“After that, Cyrus and I watched a
movie and relaxed – just an enjoyable,
low-key, comfortable and fun day!”
Hassibi said.
That happy-go-lucky spirit has served
Hassibi well through the years. Sure, some
of her days are more difficult than others,
but they have never stopped her from
pushing forward.
“Each day I am inspired by the sun
rising,” said Hassibi, who lives in Delray
Beach, Fla. “I enjoy looking forward to
what each day has to offer. Life is truly a
beautiful gift, and I am very grateful for
the days that I can move and experience
different situations. The tougher days
make those days with fewer disputes
even more appreciated. Yoga has taught
me a lot, and I try to practice what I have
learned both on and off of my mat.”
Hassibi hasn’t let her physical
challenges stand in the way of her dreams,
including putting her art-commercial
design degree from Lycoming to good use.
From Williamsport, she made her way to
Georgia, where she earned a master’s in
fashion design from Savannah College of
Art and Design in 2003. She now serves
as the director of marketing and design
at Coldwell Banker Platinum Partners, a
full-service real estate firm with a focus on
Briana (Lewis) Hassibi ’01 with her Tennessee
walking horse, Whiskey.
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