When Lisa was a senior at Santa Clara, I was a sophomore. That year, she had to take a science class called, "Water, water, water.". Lisa was super smart, but she insisted that I be her tutor, which meant that we met weekly at various locations around campus to "study". Really, it turned into just a great chance to talk and hang out together.
And then, later that summer, Lisa and I were running up at Priest Lake. She asked me whether I thought that the pain she was feeling in her abdomen could be due to a hernia, you know, based on having had major reconstructive surgery after her mastectomy. It sounded logical to me, and she agreed that she was going to go to the doctor to have it checked out. What happened within the next month just completely changed our lives forever.
On September 6, 2005, Lisa's doctor called to let her know that the breast cancer had become metastatic, and that it had traveled to her liver. Her doctor informed her that she was terminal. She might live through Christmas, but after that, they could not guarantee T-I-M-E. For anyone and everyone that knew and loved Lisa, time stopped that day. The days and weeks and months that followed were filled with agony and so much sadness. Lisa was a warrior through it all. Heartbreakingly, she remained so selfless during this time.....thinking of everyone else instead of herself. But, that was just who she was. Lisa celebrated another Christmas. She got to ride in a limo with friends and family to see all of Spokane's Christmas lights. But, shortly after the new year in 2006, things started to rapidly decline. Chris and I spent the last week of her life with family and close friends visiting and taking care of her at her house, with Hospice guiding the way. In the early morning hours of January 22nd, 2006, Lisa took her last breath. She was only 36 years old.
In the days following Lisa's death, I think we were all just in a fog. My husband's desire to keep Lisa's memory alive (especially for her three boys), led him to the Race for the Cure and the formation of TEAM LISA. That April, 2006, over 800 people donned bright yellow t-shirts and helped us raise money for the fight against breast cancer......all running for TEAM LISA!
|Record breaking first year in 2006!|
|More Team Lisa 2009|
Lisa was an amazing person. We remember her every day, and miss her so much. Her life was too short here on Earth. And her death has taught us to remember that tomorrow is not a guarantee, so we must live today to its fullest. Missoula Marathon, 2011, here I come....and Lisa will be with me, every step of the way!