Lizzy, aka SassEsnacks, was born on January 16, 1970. She was the youngest of four children and she grew up in Southern California with her mother and siblings.
Lizzy and Jane, her sister closest in age, spent a lot of time together as children. They were normal girls of the 70s, playing with dolls and making mud pies for fun. She was a good student, a fast learner and she also loved to be creative.
After high school, Lizzy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development. She obtained her California Teaching Credential and was hired to teach elementary school. After only one year, Lizzy decided that teaching was not for her. The parents were torture to deal with. So she began working for a shipping company and did that for a few years and then decided she wanted to do something more, so she obtained a Paralegal Certificate and began working in the field of law.
Lizzy did very well at her 9-5 job, but she also had other things going on. One of her favorite things to do was to travel. She went on many adventures with her friends and with her sister, Jane. Being a single person in California, Lizzy had to save and spend her money wisely in order to travel. She also enjoyed painting, gardening and baking.
At a young age, Lizzy decided she didn’t want to have any children. It just wasn’t for her. She dated for years, but in her late 30s, she decided that marriage wasn’t on her list of priorities neither. Lizzy got herself a lovely kitten and named him Widget, Widge for short. Although she lived only 2 blocks from Jane, and enjoyed spending weekends and holidays with her and Jane’s family, Lizzy wanted something more. She wanted to make a difference.
One of her friends started watching ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response – sounds that cause a tingling on the scalp and spine) videos with Lizzy and they found them relaxing. Another friend sent her a treat to try from the east coast. For fun, Lizzy made her own ASMR Video of herself eating the treat and posted it on YouTube as a joke. Then, she ate something else and posted it as well. Before she knew it, she had 30,000 subscribers and a part-time job. This was the beginning of Lizzy’s ASMR career as Old Lady ASMR.
When the show “Outlander” began, Lizzy decided that she liked the term “Sassenach.” She then changed the name of her ASMR channel from Old Lady ASMR to SassEsnacks. Over then next few years, “SassE” would make over 100 cooking, eating and other videos, for her ASMR channel. Before she knew it, she had over 100,000 subscribers to her YouTube channel and 12,000 followers on Instagram.
Through the years of filming her show, SassE (Lizzy) would often complain about stomach issues, pain, eating problems, food and drink aversions that prevented her from making videos and eating the foods she wanted. But SassE was a very private person and preferred to keep most of her health issues off of the camera. Her family and friends knew her struggle with her stomach and sent her to see the doctor often. Unfortunately, the doctors did very little to help her and misdiagnosed her on several occasions.
In May of 2017, she felt back pain and went to the doctor thinking it was a kidney stone. They did a CT scan without contrast and didn’t see a stone. The pain subsided and Lizzy went on vacation to Scotland with Jane. Then in the summer of 2017, Lizzy told Jane that she felt a tumor in her stomach. Jane told her to go see her doctor immediately. Lizzy did, and was told that there was no “lump,” and to let them know if the “lump” returned.” No tests were given to look for a possible tumor.
In August of 2018, Lizzy moved to Georgia to be closer to her sister, Jane. Her beloved cat, Widget had passed away in February, so she was free to do the things she wanted to do and not have to worry about pet care. They made plans to travel the east coast and around the world over the next 30 years. But those plans never came to pass. After moving to Georgia, Lizzy’s stomach pain became worse and began radiating to her back. She made one “final video” for her subscribers from her new home in Georgia here:
where she said she had an endoscopy that found nothing and that she was having stomach cramps while filming. She was prescribed anti-anxiety medications and muscle relaxers. The pain became so bad that she was unable to sleep, so she began working from home. By late October, SassE’s older brother passed away from complications of diabetes. Lizzy, Jane and their older sister were devastated. Lizzy’s pain became worse, so bad that she wanted to die.
Finally, in late November, a doctor ordered a CT Scan with Oral and IV Contrast. Lizzy was driving to Jane’s home for Thanksgiving on November 20, 2018, when Lizzy’s doctor called her and told her to pull over to the side of the road. She explained that they found pancreatic cancer and that it had already metastasized to her liver. She then told Lizzy to drive to the nearest emergency room because she had blood clots in her stomach due to the cancer.
It was too late. There was nothing any doctor could do but give her chemotherapy. The tumor was in a place that could not be operated on and because it had gone to her liver, her chances of survival were reduced. Lizzy was 48 years old when she was diagnosed.
Jane and Lizzy’s mother moved in with Lizzy to care for her. Lizzy’s pain could not be controlled with the normal pain killers. She was in and out of the hospital for IV pain killer because that was the only thing that worked until the methadone kicked in. Lizzy couldn’t drive, so Jane took her to every appointment, to the emergency room and often stayed overnight with her in the hospital. During these hospital stays, doctors would ask Lizzy what her symptoms were. They all concluded that the symptoms were common for pancreatic cancer, yet had no explanation as to why she wasn’t tested for the cancer earlier if she had telltale signs. Lizzy and Jane were angry beyond words, but there was nothing that they could do, except fight the cancer now. Sadly, due to the Christmas and New Year Holidays, everything was delayed, including the start of her chemotherapy. She finally was able to start a clinical trial in January of 2019.
Lizzy was only able to take rounds of chemo before she decided to stop. After the chemo she had constant diarrhea, her blood pressure came down so far that she was collapsing, she got pneumonia and her bile duct got clogged, again. She was hospitalized for a week with jaundice until they were able to get the bile duct replaced. At that time, the doctor who replaced the bile duct told Jane that Lizzy did not have long to live.
In March, Jane had a trip already planned to Prague. Lizzy insisted that Jane go on the trip, but Jane knew Lizzy’s time was short. Jane took Lizzy on a trip to the ocean. Although Lizzy’s legs were swollen and heavy from blood clots, she was able to gather the energy to search for sea shells. This would be the final fun trip for this sisters. Jane went to Prague, and when she returned, Lizzy’s organs were starting to fail.
In less that five months from the day she was diagnosed, our SassEsnacks, was gone. Lizzy passed away on April 10, 2019 at the age of 49. She would never get to see more of the east coast of the U.S. as she desired. She and Jane would never see more of Europe as they had hoped. And SassEsnacks fans around the world had lost “a friend” that they could count on to help them through dark and sleepless times.
This website was started by Jane, in memory of SassEsnacks and in honor of every victim who has died of pancreatic cancer because it was found too late. Jane’s mission is to educate the world on the early signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer so that no one will EVER allow a doctor to wait to give them the proper test.
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Subscribe to SassE’s crafting ASMR channel.