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Lisa Freeman Brain Tumor

Organized by: Katrina Kenison

Katrina's Photo
Katrina's Photo

THE STORY:

Please help our friend Lisa Freeman, as she continues treatment for a brain tumor.

On a bright Saturday morning in July, our beloved friend and kindergarten teacher Lisa Freeman felt her legs giving way beneath her.  In her head was a sudden sound of rushing water, a sense of pressure building in her ears, the feeling of short circuits firing across her brow.

Lisa's son Brendan got her in a car and drove her to the hospital, a few miles away. Within hours, she found herself being transported by ambulance from Peterborough to Boston. There, what had begun several days earlier as odd, intermittent headaches was quickly diagnosed: a large, inoperable brain tumor crossing both her frontal lobes. A biopsy confirmed the worst – Lisa’s tumor was malignant, a glioblastoma.

Not surprisingly to all who know her, Lisa has accepted the mounting challenges posed by her illness with remarkable courage, grace, and faith. On the morning the hair around her forehead began to fall out from the radiation, she simply said, “Well, I guess I better figure out how I’m going react to this before I have to react to it.” That day, on the way back from treatment, she stopped in and made an appointment with her hairdresser.

A month later, Lisa marked the end of six weeks of daily radiation treatments by bringing a tray of cookies to the staff that had been so kind to her all through August and September. She has made friends with a wheelchair, reluctantly, for the bad moments. And, at the same time, when her legs are steady, she savors every step of a walk up the hill by her house, taking joy in autumn’s glorious display.

Now, after a brief break from chemo, Lisa and Kerby have the results of her first MRI, which suggest the treatment is having a positive effect. Steroids, carefully monitored, are relieving some of the pressure and swelling in the brain – although not without side effects. Lisa’s oncology team at Dana Farber is hopeful that with continued chemotherapy, the growth of this particularly aggressive tumor can be slowed and that there will be better days ahead. But they can’t really tell her what to expect, acknowledging that they are in unknowable, unpredictable territory. Life with a brain tumor is, above all perhaps, a challenging course in learning how to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

Just four short months ago, Lisa was concluding a wonderful 14 years of teaching at Pine Hill and eagerly anticipating the challenges of beginning a new job this fall at the Monadnock Waldorf school. Instead, for the first time in over 30 years, she finds herself with no lessons to prepare, no children eagerly gathered around for story time, no parents awaiting her reports on life in kindergarten. Meanwhile, Kerby is juggling the demands of a full-time teaching schedule and care for Lisa.

There is no getting around the fact that this diagnosis abruptly and irrevocably changed every aspect of their busy, healthy, productive lives.

In the meantime, two things have become clear:

1. Cancer doesn’t just impact one person’s physical health, it ripples outward, affecting the lives of family members and loved ones, undoing the structures that hold a life together, unraveling plans for the future, and creating a mounting burden of stress, both emotional and financial.

2. People want to help.

Hence this website. Over the last couple of months, many people have asked how they might ease the burden of day-to-day life for Lisa and Kerby as they manage this new reality. Now, as the impact of Lisa’s illness sinks in, so has the need for financial assistance.

In June, they were two hard-working teachers earning extra income by running a summer camp (Lisa) and doing an annual summer building project (Kerby ). With careful management, they were living within their budget. Four months and one brain tumor later, and with Kerby’s project derailed by Lisa’s illness, they find themselves facing rising costs, with highly reduced income.

Lisa’s treatment at Dana Farber is covered by Kerby’s insurance, although every weekly blood test and doctor visit requires a co-pay. However, there are many medical bills that aren’t covered. Renowned for their integrated health care approach, Lisa’s doctors at Dana Farber have advised her to continue with chemotherapy for the foreseeable future, and to supplement her treatment with additional care to support her immune system. Lisa plans on working with specialists in such care, in concert with her oncologist. This care includes regular appointments to monitor her progress, nutritional counseling, vitamins and supplements, massage, and other methods for supporting the immune system – additional costs that are not covered by insurance.

In her many years of teaching kindergarten, giving riding lessons, and running her popular summer camp, Lisa has touched the lives of literally hundreds of children and adults. My own sons, now 22 and 25, look back on their kindergarten years with Lisa as the most magical time of their lives. Once, many years later, as a moody teenager, Jack said, “I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever be as happy again as I was in kindergarten.”

Now each of us has an opportunity to give something back to help this special friend who has given so much of herself to so many over the years. Every dollar given here will ease this difficult journey for Lisa and Kerby, helping them pay the expenses associated with Lisa’s illness, and relieve some of the enormous stress of their situation so they can enjoy the most precious gift of all – time just to be together.

Considering the duration of this hardship, we’ve set a goal of $65,000, which would allow Kerby and Lisa to pay some overdue bills, meet ongoing expenses, continue Lisa’s integrated care and provide some much needed financial security in the months to come.

Thank you so much for sharing this path with Lisa and Kerby, and for any help you are able to give.

Finally – please pass this link on to anyone you know who knows Lisa or Kerby. Share it via email, on Facebook, and on any other social media you use. May the ripples of friendship, love, and community extend even beyond our wildest imagining.

 

 

$22,572

 

35% Raised of $65,000 Goal

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  • Christine, Deanna and Michael McNamara

    $50

  • Hillary Maharam & David Pill

     

  • Annie Stubbs

     

  • Katrina Hall and Family

     

  • Richard and Joyce Raymond

     

  • Patricia Smith and family

     

  • George + Sheila Mandragouras

     

  • Dave and Kathi Bond

     

  • Stephen and Claire Capraro

     

  • The Hinkles

    $50

  • Anonymous

     

  • Claudia & John Dufresne

     

  • Joseph & Cecily Gruce

     

  • Carolyn and Bob Evans

     

  • Patti Flynn

     

  • Michele Houle

     

  • Laura and Tom DeRosa

     

  • Jennifer Farley Smith

     

  • Anonymous

    $50

  • Susan Petersen Lubow

    $500

  • Chris Balch

    $50

  • The Young family

    $50

  • Bertie Case

    $100

  • Dave and Gail Agans

     

  • Anonymous

     

  • Anonymous

    $25

  • The Cloyds

    $50

  • Samantha, Nicholas, Evelyn & Zachary Brown

    $50

  • Anonymous

    $25

  • Nancy

    $25

  • Long time reader of Katrina

    $25

  • Sherry & David Kahn

    $50

  • Pam McCormick

     

  • Pat Marquette & Family

     

  • Chris & Shannon Kolb

     

  • Reader of Katrina's Blg

    $25

  • Sharon Novak

    $100

  • Anonymous

    $50

  • longtime reader of Katrina

    $25

  • Anonymous

    $25

  • Sarah Bay

     

  • Tom and Sallie

    $200

  • Dianna & Steve Normanton

     

  • Aidan Earle

     

  • Anonymous

    $100

  • Phil & Ginny Brooks

    $500

  • Connie Hellwig

    $100

  • katrina and lisa supporter

    $100

  • one of Katrina's readers

    $50

  • Whit and Molly Porter

     

  • Paul White

    $100

  • Carmen Del Castillo

    $20

  • Joe and Elizabeth Hare

    $100

  • Anonymous

    $50

  • Pam Nation

     

  • Andrea and Ralf Faber and friends

    $400

  • Matt, Gina and Nora Plasse

     

  • Two more of Andre's friends

    $100

  • Noah Cooper-Hauser and Family

    $50

  • Heather Hauser

     

  • Peadar and Rosalinda Devereux

    $50

  • Regine & Gary Shemroske

    $100

  • David and Colleen Forrest

    $100

  • Maude Odgers

    $50

  • Bethe and Marcel Dufresne

    $200

  • Patti Smith and Rob Swanson

    $250

  • Reader of Katrina's blog

    $50

  • Katarina Mitchell, Zoe & Oliver Noyes

     

  • Anonymous

     

  • Jan Kingsbury

     

  • Karen Simmons

     

  • Kaeli Sutton

    $25

  • Stephen and Faith Bloomquist

    $25

  • Kara, Andrew, Avery, and Kellen

     

  • Curtiss Hannum

     

  • Sue and Jim Callihan

    $100

  • Lisa Gwiazda and Matthew C. Donahue

     

  • One of Katrina's readers

    $100

  • Anonymous

     

  • Anonymous

    $25

  • Ken, Denise, Ryan, and Caden

     

  • Anonymous

    $100

  • Wendy Bruneau

    $20

  • The Conley family

    $25

  • A former Lexington Kindergarten colleague

    $500

  • Joisan (Decker) and Rob DeHaan

     

  • Ted & Courtney Trafton

     

  • Anonymous

    $50

  • Robin, Reader of Katrina's Beautiful Blog

    $20

  • One of Katrina's readers

    $25

  • Andie, Tucker, Kasey & Lee Ormiston

    $500

  • A reader of Katrina's blog

    $25

  • Anonymous

    $50

  • D. J. L

    $20

  • anonymous

    $50

  • another grateful soul walking the earth

    $100

  • Anonymous

     

  • The Kane Family

    $200

  • Carolanne Sargavakian

    $100

  • Anonymous

    $100

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Organized by

Katrina Kenison

This is a direct to organizer fundraiser.

Donor Comments

Anonymous

ANONYMOUS

DONATION: $100

Lisa sparkled and made you feel loved, as she was. I will carry that with me. 2 years ago

Carolanne Sargavakian

Carolanne Sargavakian

DONATION: $100

Praying for you daily! 2 years ago

The Kane Family

The Kane Family

DONATION: $200

Still grateful, years later, for a wonderful kindergarten teacher and special person 2 years ago

Anonymous

ANONYMOUS

3 years ago

another grateful soul walking the earth

another grateful soul walking the earth

DONATION: $100

3 years ago

anonymous

anonymous

DONATION: $50

reader of the blog posting "Thank you" 3 years ago

D. J. L

D. J. L

DONATION: $20

3 years ago

Anonymous

ANONYMOUS

DONATION: $50

I was wondering what to do with some spare cash I found! 3 years ago

A reader of Katrina's blog

A reader of Katrina's blog

DONATION: $25

Thank you for sharing your story. Sending you love and prayers for healing. 3 years ago

Andie, Tucker, Kasey & Lee Ormiston

Andie, Tucker, Kasey & Lee Ormiston

DONATION: $500

We love you, Lisa. 3 years ago

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