Get to know Leesa and her family…
Leesa lives in Olathe with her husband of almost 24 years, Craig, who has been a Sprint employee for the past 16 years. They are transplants from the St. Louis area who met in high school and have been together since 1986. They actually lived in the same subdivsion, not realizing it until Leesa transferred to a public high school after attending a parochial school for her elementary and middle school education. Both attended Central Missouri State University – now UCM – and have lived in Olathe since 2005 after moving from Liberty, MO.
Leesa and Craig have two children – Alex is a senior enrolled in the 21st Century eCommunication program at Olathe Northwest High School and Ashlee is a seventh grader at Santa Fe Trail Middle School. Both kids are active in school sports – Alex is a varsity football player and wrestler at ONW. Ashlee is looking forward to trying out for the school-sponsored basketball and volleyball teams at SFT. Both kids are also active scouts – Alex is a Life Scout working on his Eagle rank. His Eagle project will benefit KidsTLC in Olathe. Ashlee is a Girl Scout Cadette. After earning her Bronze Award as a Junior scout, she is now working towards earning her Silver Award. Both Leesa and Craig have active roles in their kids’ scouting life – Craig currently serves as Troop 315 Scoutmaster, and Leesa has enjoyed being Ashlee’s troop leader and now mentor that her daughter switched to the Indy Girl (an independent Girl Scout) program this year. This is a family who loves the outdoors and s’mores! Leesa is a provisional member (that means it’s her first year) of the Olathe Junior Service League. Leesa is also a considered applicant to fill a seat on the Olathe Human Relations Committee – which has given her first-hand experience in learning about the diversity opportunities in Olathe.
The C word
In 2008, Leesa was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia – a treatable, but not curable blood cancer. After diagnosis, she found her passion for advocacy – taking her voice to both Topeka and Washington, DC. Leesa is an active volunteer with local and national cancer organizations. It was volunteering that provided her first taste of advocacy work – attending One Voice Against Cancer Lobby Day in DC for the first time in 2010; her fifth OVAC lobby day was in June 2015 with her entire family in tow. She keeps up-to-date with state and federal legislature that impacts the lives of cancer patients. Leesa says that living with an incurable cancer can have its struggles, but she has managed to thrive in the face of adversity thanks to her faith and an amazing support team.
What pays the bills
Leesa is a lover of the written word – a writer. She has been making money off the written word in one form or another since 1996. Currently, she is a technical writer employed by FireMon, an Overland Park technology company. Past involvement on a project gave her a behind-the-scenes look at health care just as the Affordable Care Act began to take effect. She knows it’s a complicated process, but her experience as a technical writer helps – she’s able to make complicated processes easier to understand.