Benefit show set for former KTNN DJ

WINDOW ROCK

Loren Lee Sekayumptewa

Lori Lee “Dawayesnium” Sekayumptewa was kicking butt and taking names until one day in January of 2011 when her world was completely altered.

It started with a sharp pain in her lower back and escalated to the point of debilitation for the former KTNN disc jockey. At that time, the mother of three was working with the Navajo Nation film office and was overseeing projects that would be filmed on the reservation, and she loved it.

“I remember being shut down by immediate pain and being brought down to my knees,” said Sekayumptewa. “It took awhile for them to figure out what was wrong with me.”

Many major health issues resulted from that sharp pain, such as a degenerative disc disease. Six years later, after countless surgeries and procedures, Sekayumptewa is still fighting the good fight to find comfort.

But, because the pain is so severe and some of these operations have not worked, she reluctantly resigned from her job. With more treatments coming, she lacks the money to help her get through these tough times.

Knowing of her health condition, friends and family, such as comedian and singer James Bilagody and Geraldine Kee-Yazzie, planned a benefit concert at the Goen Cinema in Window Rock.

It will be two days of artists including Joe Tohonnie Jr., Bill Crawley II, Radmilla Cody, Sihasin and Ernest Tsosie III and many more. They will perform with the proceeds going to Sekayumptewa’s medical expenses and other expenses.

“She’s a very caring person for the people she worked with and worked for,” said Bilagody. “I remember her on air and would do the Drums of Summer. I admired that she really helped up-and-coming artists.”

Bilagody said he remembers a vivacious Sekayumptewa and when he found out about her illness he was in shock. For a few years now, he has been wanting to set something up in order to help his friend, not only with medical costs but also the cost of living and anything else.

“A couple years ago we tried to do something but it didn’t work out until now,” said Bilagody. “We are trying to help with medication because it’s expensive. She has a series of operations coming up, she has travel expenses, she has children she’s raising – it’s a tough time. We are hoping to raise money to put a dent in these.”

The Lori Lee Benefit Concert will be May 12 to 13 from noon to 4 p.m. both days at the Goen Cinema in Window Rock. Proceeds will go toward Sekayumptewa’s medical and general expenses. There is also a GoFundMe account and Wells Fargo account.


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Categories: News
Tags: KTNN

About Author

Arlyssa Becenti

Arlyssa Becenti reports on Navajo Nation Council, Business, Fort Defiance Agency, New Mexico State politics and Art/fashion. Her clans are Nát'oh dine'é Táchii'nii, Bit'ahnii, Kin łichii'nii, Kiyaa'áanii. She’s originally from Fort Defiance and has a degree in English Literature from Arizona State University. Before working for the Navajo Times she was a reporter for the Gallup Independent. She can be reached at abecenti@navajotimes.com.