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Diagnosis brings more caring toward others

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Diagnosis brings more caring toward others

Lisa DeGroot ponders a moment about her upcoming plans in helping others through supporting breast cancer research. Her eyes sparkle and speak of her drive to make a difference in the day-to-day l...

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin


POSTED November 1, 2009 1:57 a.m.
Lisa DeGroot is an amazing woman she’s determined to make a difference.

It’s her attitude and her love for life that underlines her concern for the multitudes of other women also victimized by breast cancer.

Lisa, along with the Main Street Café owner Jakkie Arellano, and I were sitting at one of the restaurant tables by the front window talking of DeGroot’s plans for a drive-up dinner cancer fund raiser on Tuesday, Nov. 10.

We were talking about that event and the upcoming 3-Day Walk DeGroot is supporting among others after her brush with the unthinkable.  As we sat there chatting, Lisa seemed to pause looking out toward the front window in what appeared to be in a brief meditation  on what she was about – an obvious portrait of a woman with definite peace of mind.

With my camera on my lap I couldn’t hesitate to capture the moment in time that was so evident right before my eyes – a woman, a fellow human being so very immersed in caring for others.

She’s doing her best to garner support for the mid-November 3-Day Walk in Arizona for the Susan G. Koman Foundation supporting breast cancer research.

It was just three weeks ago that Lisa organized a Bunco fund raiser at the Main Street Café with the help of owner Jakkie Arellano.  Some 50 women made a point to be there in support of their friend Lisa and her drive to make a difference for others.

They came – they had fun – and they enjoyed the hors‘d oeuvres.   Several women also got to their feet and spoke of their friend Lisa DeGroot and most importantly what she means to them.

Arellano said she got to know Lisa when she came into the café as she was going through her chemotherapy.  “People just love her,” she said, adding that she is very involved at St. Anthony’s School where one of her two daughters, Haley, is a student and Julia, a former student there.

The Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk is set for Nov. 13, 14, 15 and Lisa plans to be there for every step of the 60 mile trek.  It starts in Gilbert, Arizona on that Friday morning for the first 20-mile leg with walkers planning to camp for the night before setting off again the next day.

After walking 20 miles each of the three days the participants will end their effort in a Scottsdale, Arizona baseball stadium for ceremonies culminating the event.  Lisa DeGroot will be there – once again knowing she went the extra mile toward a cure.

It was just last year that Lisa’s sister sponsored events for her and she is now giving back from the heart.  She established a blog to keep family members up to date on her fight with cancer – calling it “Silver Lining Blogspot. Com” during her surgery, chemotherapy and six months of radiation.   The theme “Every Cloud Needs a Silver Lining,” seems to fit well.

Proceeds are targeted to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation that has spanned some 25 years since its founding by Nancy G. Brinker honoring her late sister – who died of breast cancer.  What evolved from a promise to her dying sister has become the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activitists fighting to save lives and to empower people to energize science to find cures.

The Komen movement has seen more than $1.2 billion invested in the effort to date.  The Komen Race for the Cure has been trumpeted as the most successful fundraising and education event for breast cancer ever created and spans more than 200 countries.

The overall movement has saved millions of lives and boasts 2.5 million breast cancer survivors – the largest group of survivors in the world today.
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