Lisa lives in positivity every day. She insists that, “Negativity will kill you, and I have no time for it.” In the spring of 2012, Lisa was diagnosed with breast cancer. That year, her 49th, she had been worried about turning the big 5-0. Now, she is grateful to have made it to 50. She says that God, love and family got her through her double mastectomy and reconstruction. And, throughout the entire journey, she felt nothing but peace, knowing she would be fine. After her doctor delivered her initial diagnosis, she did wonder out-loud to her husband, “Am I going to die?” — but this was the one and only time she ever allowed herself to go there.
During this scary period in her life, Lisa relied on other women — specifically, a group of women she calls her “Gilda sisters” that she met through Gilda’s Club of Rochester, NY — to keep her going. These “sisters” helped Lisa to make tough treatment decisions such as chemo or no chemo, to remove one breast or two, and what to expect and feel after surgery. Gilda’s Club meets on the second Monday of every month, and you can be sure to find Lisa there mentoring her newest sisters — “I know that the reason I got breast cancer was to help other women,” she says..
Lisa also relied on a high school friend (who had had a double mastectomy with reconstruction herself) for much needed advice. This friend was counseling Lisa over lunch one day, when she pulled Lisa into the bathroom at Panera Bread of all places, lifted her shirt, and said, “Look at these, touch these!” After all, what are friends for? Lisa is grateful every day for the community of women who walked this journey with her. She believes, “There isn’t anything we can’t do as women in a sisterhood!”
While healing from her cancer, Lisa was determined to start eating cleanly. She wanted to remove as many toxins from her diet as possible. She googled Cancer Healing Foods and she found Danette May – a motivational speaker, author, celebrity trainer and mother. Lisa says taking Danette’s 30-day food challenge changed her life — not only did she lose 12 pounds, but she also found Danette’s, online support group, Fit Rise Tribe – and it rocked her world! Through her subscription to Fit Rise Tribe, Lisa gets access to daily workouts and meal plans complete with grocery lists to prepare meals using only about 5 whole ingredients! But, the best part is the Fit Rise Tribe closed Facebook group through which the women connect in sisterhood, providing support and mentorship to one another. Danette’s program is a combination of clean eating, exercise and meditation – and Lisa strongly believes that successfully embracing all three is the key to a healthy, balanced life. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQK7XCjpvIA
Lisa loves feeling beautiful — “When you feel good about you, it transfers to others,” she says. And, she believes that if you can make just one person happy today, you have done your job. “So, always say a nice word to others and love, love, love because you just never know who’s suffering.” Her husband says he can see how excited she is for the opportunity to become a Heartfelt Role Model — and, Lisa, we are too!