Six years ago, my Aunt Lisa was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  I started this post with the intention of writing about a fundraiser for the Celma Mastry Ovarian Cancer Foundation but instead I sit here struggling to find the words to express how much she means to me.  Because the thing is, I don’t just want my friends to donate to her cause, I want my friends to know her.  I want every woman I love to be blessed by the knowledge of who she is.

It’s impossible to adequately express what Lisa means to me.  There just aren’t enough words in one short blog post to convey what kind of person she is.  Not enough words to impart her warmth and light on those I wish to see and feel it.  For years, my own immaturity kept me from being as close to her as I wish I had been, but even during my darkest times, she served as a silent inspiration to me.  When faced with a difficulty a quiet voice inside would ask “how would Lisa handle this?”  When challenged with a hardship: “what would Lisa do?” Knowing her blood ran through my veins made me hold my head a little higher, enabled me to face life’s difficulties with just a little less fear. Her courage made me courageous.  Her strength made me strong.

Lisa is one of those rare people who is truly an inspiration to everyone blessed enough to know her.  She is a woman that every woman can be proud of, that every woman can look up to, that every woman can learn something from.  She is one of the most kind, courageous, compassionate, stubborn, strong-willed, considerate, generous, relentless, loving people I have ever known… that probably anyone who knows her has ever known.  She is the essence of what it means to be a “phenomenal woman” and one of those rare souls who touch the lives of everyone she meets.  Lisa has been an inspiration to me my entire life and her words of encouragement and guidance have served as a beacon of light on my path. She’s my own personal Maya Angelou, Anne Lamott, Cheryl Strayed.  In short, Lisa is who I want to be when I grow up.

And now I’m hoping you’ll help me to give back.  Lisa has been battling ovarian cancer for 6 years.  She has never given in, never given up.  She is a board member of the Celma Mastry Ovarian Cancer Foundation which has been able to provide approximately $546,000 in financial assistance to Tampa Bay area women in need who are suffering from ovarian cancer.  Last year, Lisa’s family and multitude of friends helped her to raise a little over $10,000 for the foundation and this year her goal is to raise $15,000.  This is incredibly important to her and to all those battling ovarian cancer and I’m asking all my friends to please consider signing up as a virtual participant under Team Alfonso.  I’ll be participating this year, and if you’ll let me know you’ve signed up, I’ll wear your name and take you with me.  Please help me to give back to this incredible woman.  It would mean so much to her and to me. Please help us touch the lives, in some small way, of those who are battling this disease.  From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

If you would like to participate (please do) here is the link:

One Step Closer to the Cure

Virtual participation in the race is $30.  If you’d like to donate a different amount you can donate at this link:

If you use this link, please enter “Team Alfonso” in as the name of the person you’re donating in honor of.

NO amount is too small, and please let me know if you’ve donated!  I don’t need to know the amount, but I’d love to wear your name and take you with me!


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4 Responses to Lisa

  1. Anonymous says:

    Inspiring story, Rina…Lisa IS an amazing woman.

  2. Al Padrón says:

    Wow, beautiful photos of a great family and of course a wonder person(Lisa). So much to say of a great friend, who even though we fought like cats and dogs, we were great friends. It’s funny because we would not let no one else mess with us. We can challenge each other, where no else could. The love of friends is so great. Lisa was my go to girl at the US marshals Office. My hand of confidence in warrant entries. I knew my back was covered. As a person she is second to none! She is my Hero, she was my idol at the Marshals, and she was the lightning in the office!
    As children we hung at the park with her brothers. Always fun and she never knew I had a crush on her.
    Lisa you are and always will be the go to person! Tku for you!
    Lots of love
    Al Padrón

  3. Nancy says:

    Beautifully said by our precious daughter about her wonderful Aunt, our sister and a blessing in all our lives. Strength, perseverance and blessed has a name and it’s our HERO ….. Lisa Alfonso

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well said baby girl she is one of kind she amazing friend