Desert road at sunset

Love's Legacy
Story 20

A grandmother’s love continues to guide the trajectory of Stacy Laciste’s life.

Stacy Laciste’s grandmother is, in her own words, her hero.

“I was in and out of foster care quite a bit when I was young,” recalls Stacy. "I would spend holidays with her, every weekend I could with her, and summers with her when my biological mother couldn't take me. She was my hero because she took me out of a tough situation so I could experience stability.”

Stacy as a baby and her grandmother

Stacy’s most vivid memories from this time are of holidays and summers with her grandparents. “I remember trying to spend as much time as I could with them,” she says. “I bonded with them, because they were my safe place to be.”

Stacy remembers a grandmother who she had a hard time keeping up with, even then.

“She had a lot of energy, and she was always doing more than I can ever do,” she recalls. Then, when Stacy was 16, everything changed.

Stacy and her grandparents

“I found out through my biological mother that my grandmother was not well,” she remembers. “When I went over to her house in Sacramento, the grandma that I knew was completely different than the grandma that I remembered.”

It had been about four years since Stacy had seen her grandmother, because at 12 she was adopted. Her grandmother had been diagnosed with ALS and already lost the ability to move her hands, her arms and her legs.

“The disease deteriorates the muscles, so she couldn't talk – but you could see it in her eyes,” Stacy explains. “I would sit with her for hours and read to her, talk to her about my day, tell her how things were going, and tell her that I loved her.”

Stacy and her grandparents

As a teenager, Stacy says these moments had a profound impact on her.

“Every once in a while, Grandma could move her hand,” Stacy recalls. “I remember sitting on her bed one time, and she moved her hand a little bit closer to mine to hold my hand. I think that was the moment when I knew it was going to be okay.”

"I think that was the moment when I knew it was going to be okay."

Although her grandmother died over 20 years ago, Stacy says an idea she planted in her mind continues to influence the trajectory of her life today.

“My grandma used to tell me that she wanted me to either be a teacher, a nurse, or an airline stewardess,” Stacy recalls with a laugh.

Stacy Laciste portrait

When she was 18, Stacy entered the field of healthcare, beginning her career at a retail pharmacy before going to night school to become a medical assistant.

For a time, she worked in health information management. “After I finished medical assistant school, I just kept going,” Stacy explains.

For the past two and a half years, Stacy has served as director of operations for ambulatory care at Adventist Health and Rideout. She gives all credit for her motivation to her grandmother – her hero. 

“If I can create a positive experience for someone and support them so they can better take care of patients who are going through something similar,” she says, “then that empowers them to change somebody’s life.”