Thorsby resident raising awareness for sister’s medical needs

Published 4:26 pm Wednesday, December 27, 2017

By EMILY REED / Special to the Reporter

Luke Henry is on a mission to raise awareness for those affected by endometriosis.

“I want women, young and old, to understand that they are not alone in their fight,” Henry, of Thorsby, said. “I have learned so much about this incurable disease. So many women go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, not knowing they have a disease at all.”

Henry’s desire to raise awareness began when his sister, Alithea “Ali” May Lynn Varner, 28, of Chilton County, was diagnosed with severe endometriosis in the summer of 2016.

The mother of two, Riley, 8, and Elizabeth, 5, is married to Jarrod Varner and has been an active resident of Chilton County for 10 years.

“After spending years in pain, constantly riddled with infection, sickness and fatigue, she had her first surgery in September 2016. She was misdiagnosed several times, with numerous doctors telling her she was ‘crazy.’”

Endometriosis is a disorder, where tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus.

In January, Ali will undergo surgery in Montgomery for her endometriosis by having a hysterectomy.

“The surgery will not cure her of endometriosis, because there is no cure,” Henry said. “Hormone therapy and tissue removal laparoscopically can help ease pain, but pain typically returns after an average of two years. The hysterectomy can help eliminate the pain and the chance of infection in the future. We pray these surgeries will give her full relief and heal her back to her ‘super mom’ self.”

Henry started a Go Fund Me campaign to help raise $10,000 by Jan. 10 to help cover expenses related to his sister’s surgery and recovery.

A total of $650 has been raised so far.

“Our greatest need right now is prayer,” Henry said. “No family with small children expects an expense like this, especially near Christmas. I would love to hear stories from other women going through the same thing. A fundraiser is being planned in the coming weeks with the host being the Texas Steakhouse and Saloon in Clanton. They have offered to allow us to invite live entertainment, have a silent auction, raffle and food. We are so very grateful for them. We look forward to the community turning out not only inn support of Ali but in support of Women’s Health Awareness.”

Henry said his sister has been active in church, local fundraisers, is a staple at cheer competitions, band performances, little league baseball games, and high school football games.

“She just wants to get back to the wonderful mother, sister, aunt, neighbor and friend that she was before she got sick,” Henry said.

For more information or to donate, contact Henry at (205) 245-4148 or by visiting