Spirit of Hope

Meet Lisa Considine

Race for Research: San Francisco 5K Walk/Run 2012
Spirit of Hope Honoree

The MMRF will honor Lisa Considine at the April 29, 2012 MMRF Race for Research: San Francisco 5K Walk/Run.

Lisa's Story:

Lisa Considine has been living with multiple myeloma since November 2007, and had a stem cell transplant in April 2008. She was in remission for almost two years but today is back to twice weekly clinic visits and a regimen of four drug therapies.

Lisa is the Associate Vice President at City of Hope, an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center, and has dedicated her professional life to raising funds for cancer research, clinical care and the facilities that house these activities. Prior to her current position, she was the Development Director for the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, where she raised close to $100 million for programs and buildings. One of these programs was based in the Hematology Oncology Department, so Lisa had the benefit of knowing many of the doctors (including Dr. Tom Martin, her oncologist) and nurses long before she became a patient in the clinic herself. At City of Hope, Lisa works alongside Dr. Stephen Forman, Chair of Hematology Oncology and the Director of the Stem Cell Transplant Program. Both Dr. Martin and Dr. Forman consult on Lisa’s treatments and well being, so she feels incredibly fortunate to have these experts on her side.

In 2008 and 2009, at the request of Dr. Martin, Lisa spoke to over a dozen fellow patients preparing for transplants. Her experience of getting advice from a patient who had undergone a transplant before she was hospitalized had been invaluable, so she was thrilled to be able pay it forward. “Let's face it, the doctors come in and out once a day. We are there for weeks on end. What advice could I give them for getting through it, what made it tolerable, how did you get strong. Some of these conversations went on for hours and some of these relationships continue to this day,” said Lisa.

Lisa has been a captain and co-captain of Team UCSF for the MMRF Race for Research for the past two years, and Team UCSF has raised close to $50,000 in the last three years with plenty of support from Lisa and her huge network of friends and supporters. Lisa jokes that she is famous for asking EVERYONE she knows to support her at the Race, so hopefully her friends and colleagues will not run when they see her coming!

Lisa continues to work part time and finds that this provides a productive distraction to the emotional energy and time that the disease occupies in her life. She uses everything in her arsenal to maintain a positive outlook, remain as healthy as possible and enjoy every day with friends and her family, including her husband and two daughters. She credits weekly acupuncture, a multitude of supplements, Chinese herbs, daily meditation, a robust yoga practice, walking, and her huge support network with helping her continue to live in the moment and love life. “We have the MMRF and institutions like UCSF and City of Hope, both members of the MMRC, to thank for the hope we patients have. With personalized medicine and genetic profiling, it’s going to play a big part in customizing treatments, especially for people who have the chromosome deletion that I have,” said Lisa. “What all of us with this disease can do is support research to find cures and better, less toxic treatments. With all the drugs in the pipeline, the outlook is so much better than even two or three years ago.”

The MMRF is inspired by Lisa’s strength and optimism, and proud to be honoring her with the Spirit of Hope Award.

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