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Burn My House Down and Give Me Cancer

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

Nine years ago, amidst a life of blessings and joy, a sudden sequence of horrific events quickly attempted to overthrow Mary's state of affairs and state of mind. In April 2013 the Burch family home suffered a devastating house fire. Their entire house was destroyed and the family was forced to find a new place to call home. The next month Mary was diagnosed with breast cancer and faced an uncertain prognosis. She felt she was facing a potential death sentence. By June Mary was on the operating table undergoing a double mastectomy to save her life.

The five months following her surgery she gave all of her physical, mental, and spiritiual energy fighting for her body and her mind. Trying to ensure the cancer didn't resurface and to close pandora's box.

In December of 2013 the end seemed to be in sight. Mary seemed to be in remission and was about to undergo a double reconstructive surgery. Life seemed to be getting back to a normal. Suddenly life threw another massive right hook at Mary and her family. The fight wasn't over... her dad had now received his own cancer diagnosis.

Mary's father would later lose his battle with cancer.

A year like this would bring most people to their knees, and spiral them straight to rock bottom. Mary will be the first to tell you it was the most challenging time she's ever faced. "Lizard Licked saved me from losing my mind" Mary testified to me in our interview. She explained that Lizard Licked had always been an idea, but was always put off for another day. Until something told her now was finally the time.

Mary detailed that the message she kept getting about the brand was that there needed to be something good she could focus her energy on, and Lizard Licked was it. If life was choosing to give her rotten lemons she was now determined to find a way to make some damn lemondade!

In early 2014 Mary began constructing the brand from the bottom up. From designs, to manufacturers, to branding, to digital infrastructure, to event planning - she saw to it that Lizard Licked would be like a pheonix that rose from the ashes of the her year of tragedy. The brand, and it's story of overcoming adversity, would be a symbol of hope for her, and for hopefully many others.

This goal was soon actualized when Mary was at one of her future events.

"The events are always more like a social hour than a pop up shop. People come who have been fans of the brand for awhile and just talk and hangout with us at the store" Mary says. Due to this type of comradery someone came in, began to chat, found out about the brand's story, and was inspired to purchase some shirts for a friend who was also about to undergo a double mastectomy.

It was then that Mary was convinced the brand was having the impact she'd always hoped it would.

Today Lizard Licked stands for strength, determination, and perseverance. There are hundreds of people that can say Lizard Licked is more than just a t-shirt or a hoodie. That the brand has made them feel like they can be fearless when life makes them feel like they can't.

The Lizard with it's tongue sticking out doesn't represent an animal, but rather, Mary explains, "that whatever is going on your life, you've got it licked."

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