gmhTODAY 18 gmhToday Feb March 2018 - Page 60

Kassi Lieberman, owner
of CrossFit Gilroy, and
her mom, Konni Thomas, the former
owner of First Street Coffee, have the
kind of mother-daughter relationship
found in Hollywood movies. Their close-
ness allowed them to have a harmonious
working relationship working together
at the coffee shop during the nine years
that Kassi managed it.
Working together, they turned the
café into a thriving scene and “a fun
place” for Konni to spend her days.
However, after Kassi left to start her
CrossFit business three years ago, Konni
said, “I was happy for her, but instead of
going to work and having fun with my
daughter, it became a really hard job and
the business kept getting busier.”
In March, 2017, Konni sold First
Street Coffee, ready to begin a long,
luxurious retirement full of travels in her
RV. Instead, what happened next took
mother and daughter by surprise. Konni,
just 53 at the time, suffered a left-
hemisphere stroke with a brain bleed,
leaving the left side of her body partially
paralyzed and putting her retirement
dreams on hold.
“She didn’t have
the typical symptoms,
nothing that showed us
she would have a stroke.
No bad diet. She was
super healthy and fit,”
Kassi explained.
It was Kassi who first
noticed that something
was off while training
her mom at the CrossFit
gym. Konni was holding
onto an exercise bar
when she told her
daughter, “This bar feels
wonky.” Kassi took a
look at her mom and
knew something was
wrong: the right side
of her face had begun
to droop.
“One of my trainers
is an ER nurse, and she
was here. We grabbed
Kassi Lieberman & Konni Thomas
A Daughter’s
Love Helps Her
Mother Recover
Written By
Jordan Rosenfeld