ETA 6/13/11: I have updated information and a new link to share about LA Banks’ illness. A donation site has been set up for Leslie Esdaile/LA Banks that states she is suffering from late-stage adrenal cancer. The donation site has additional links should you be interested in donating, as well as a guest book for messages. Kick cancer’s ass, Leslie. Kick it hard.
Last Labor Day, I was one of the panelists for Heather Graham’s Writers for New Orleans weekend with Kayla Perrin, JA Konrath, and LA Banks. Let me tell you, it is not a good thing for Perrin and Banks to be on the same panel because they are hilarious. And I’ve said this before, but if you haven’t heard LA Banks’ “the Call” story, it is epic in its humor and its inspiration.
So I’m incredibly sad to read that, via a Facebook post from Tina Wise, Banks is “gravely ill.” She has been in the hospital since late May, according to this event cancellation notice, which is not a good sign, really. The longer you’re there, the worse it can get, in my experience.
I’m reposting the entire message in case you are not on Facebook:
It is with profound sadness that we have to inform you that our beloved sister and friend, Leslie Esdaile, (“L.A. Banks”) is most gravely ill. She is facing an uphill battle in her struggle with serious illness. Please know that as Leslie needs all of her energy in this fight, she is absolutely not able to receive visitors, answer emails, texts or phone calls, or receive flowers. What she is able to receive is your continued prayers.
Also, Leslie’s medical expenses are mounting at an astronomical rate. If you wish to assist Leslie, a fund has been established to help with these ever increasing expenses. If you wish to send donations (please note that donations are not tax-deductible) to help Leslie, please see the information listed below:
Leslie Esdaile Fund
Police and Fire Federal Credit Union
901 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107-2404
You may send good wishes and cards to*:
c/o Tina Ryan Wise
P.O. Box 37189
Philadelphia, PA 19148-9998
On behalf of Leslie, her daughter Helena, her sister Liza and all of her family and friends, we sincerely thank you for all of your continued prayers and support.
Tina Ryan Wise
It seems that Banks is the type of author who touches a lot of people’s lives in very different ways, because I received email about Banks’ illness and this Facebook post from a variety of different people who worked with, edited, or are avid fans of her books. I know Banks rocked my world last fall, and getting to know her and her daughter Helena in New Orleans made the weekend 243% better. I am more sorry than I can say to hear this news.
Her family is requesting that the nature of her illness not be divulged, per this Facebook conversation.
I hope that, whatever is ailing her, she kicks its ass most soundly, and soon.