Lisa’s Tribute to Her Mother

In Breast Cancer, Creating Happiness, Recent Posts by Barbara Jacoby

I first met Lisa Koch-Howell here a few months ago shortly after her mother lost her life to breast cancer.  At that time she wrote to me the following:

“Well I was wondering if you could give me some advice. My sister did the 3 day breast cancer walk 2 years ago. She really enjoyed it. Our mama met her at the finish line. This last year in June, Mama was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. I went down to Oregon the next day & stayed & took care of her & daddy. Mama then past away on 9/26/09. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. I held her in my arms as she took her last breath.

My sister, who by the way is my best friend, wants me to go to Seattle & do the walk with her. The walk has always been the 1st of Sept. but this year it is on mama’s 1 year anniversary of losing her life on 9/26/10. Can we do this? I don’t know. The other thing is how do I raise enough money to do it? I live in a little community of 75 in the bush here in Alaska. I am just feeling this out as I am also very out of shape. Could you please give me some suggestions?”

Lisa and I wrote back and forth for awhile and the next thing I knew, she had sent a notice out to all of her Facebook friends to let us know that she had set up a website for donations to the Susan G. Komen Foundation so that she could do this walk.  And despite the challenges that she faced in order to raise that amount of money, she has successfully been able to do so.

I have been in touch with her recently and know that among other things that have happened to her since she undertook this challenge, a recent foot injury has caused a major setback to her training.  However, she is not letting that interfere.  In her last post to me she said:

“I talked to my sister & she encouraged me & told me it would be fine. I can walk a while then catch a ride, then walk. So I will be there with my swollen foot, limping across that finish line. With the support of all of you who have prayed & supported me financially, I will make it.”

This is the face of one very courageous lady who is truly an inspiration to anyone who knows her and knows her story.  She is a true representative of each of those who walks for the cure.  She is one who puts a real face on what this deadly disease can do and does do on a daily basis.  She, to me, is a real hero.  I also want to thank another hero in this story, her sister, for all that she has done and is doing personally and in support of Lisa.  I, too, have a wonderfully supportive sister and know what a difference that means to me. 

And although I will not be there physically when these two women cross that finish line on September 26th, the one-year anniversary of their mother’s passing from breast cancer, you can be sure that I, along with all of their supporters, will be there in spirit to celebrate their accomplishments.  Thank you both for everything that you are and everything that you have done.  You have shown everyone exactly how one person can make a difference and we are all the more fortunate for knowing you and knowing about the tribute that both of you are making to your mother.

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