Last year, with your support, I was given a great sense of pride to see myself and my team meet and exceed our fundraising efforts in such an uncertain and scary world. With your help I was able to raise $1,750 and the BIA-MA team raised an impressive $15,805. For the second year in a row, I am committing to lead my team by example, committing to fundraise as an individual and to run alongside them IN Falmouth this August, which will be my first time running this iconic race in-person!
The reasons I run again this year are still very much the same: my aunt Judy, my brother John, and my dad! But the growth I have found within myself from this past year and going forward has been life changing.
About 22 years ago, my aunt Judy was taken from us far too soon. I was barely a teenager when her brain tumor came back. Her death had a major impact on our family and things have never been the same.
About 16 years ago, we nearly lost my brother John when he suffered a seizure during a canoe race caused by a brain tumor. Thanks to the swift actions of his fellow paddlers and his doctors' aggressive treatment coupled with John's determination he is still very much with us today and back to his old tricks of paddling and biking; we are so lucky!
On New Year’s Day 2020, my dad suffered a minor stroke leaving him with partial blindness. We have all adjusted to support him daily and are very lucky that it wasn’t more debilitating. We were thrilled to celebrate his 91st birthday with him this past May by dining outside at a restaurant for the first time in 15 months! I very much hope this was just a small bump in the road as he has promised me to be here until he is 103!
On March 2, 2020, my world came crashing down at age 33 when I was diagnosed with early-stage uterine cancer and then the world shut down for COVID-19. Over a year later, I am still not in remission, and we have increased my treatments in hopes to see the end of this soon. But not is all lost, while I am still dealing with this unfortunate bump in the road, there are so many things to be grateful for from this past year. Because of my diagnosis, I have been able to take back other sectors of my health, I have lost over 60 pounds (and counting), I have renewed my love for running, logging over 150 miles a month and counting and I have learned to live in the moment and focus on what I can change and less on what I can’t. Nothing ever seems to go as planned but my hope is that some way and somehow, Ray and I will be able to finally have the family we want, and I will be healthy. Training for and running Falmouth last year and this year has helped me mentally and physically as I navigate through this thing called life.
I am trying to think outside the ‘shoe box’ so I have started a statewide sneaker recycling drive, combining my passions of running and the environment. I am meeting new friends and generous strangers who are making shoe donations to my cause all over the state. For each pair of athletic shoes that I recycle, I will get a small donation to my fundraising efforts. I am currently at just over 100 pairs to recycle, and I am hoping to recycle hundreds of shoes to keep them out of our landfills and spread brain injury awareness.
While I hope to raise support and awareness from my sneaker drive, I still need your support to help me meet my fundraising goal of $1,500. I hope you will consider making a donation to my efforts to support my work while I continue to work on being the best version of me, personally and professionally.
I am proud to work at the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts. BIA-MA is a wonderful organization that provides crucial brain injury awareness, advocacy, education, support, and prevention through our programs and services throughout the commonwealth of Massachusetts. All funds raised through my campaign will go directly toward supporting our mission to create a better future for those affected by brain injury.
Thank you for your support,
Lisa D.S. Gonzalez
|Donation date||Donor name||Donation amount|
|Jul 01||Kevin Matson||$55.35|
|Jun 28||Lisa Pierce||$22.65|
|Jun 25||Lindsey Glode||$109.85|
|Jun 24||Anonymous||Undisclosed amount|
|Jun 24||Kathy Colacchio||$28.10|
|Jun 08||John Dutton||$50.00|
|Jun 08||George & Camille||Undisclosed amount|
|Jun 08||Colin Butler||$55.35|
|Jun 08||Betsy Taylor & Tony Jackson||$109.85|