By Jeannie Blaylock
First Coast News
JACKSONVILLE, FL -- A Tribute to Lisa:
She had enough energy to fuel 100 people. She was always beaming, always busy, and always worried about everyone else.
Lisa Fewox had no cancer in her family, but she had a big heart for people fighting cancer.
Lisa called me about a year ago and volunteered to make beautiful, beaded bracelets for all our Buddy Check 12 survivors. She was willing to donate them.
She spent hours at her home on the Westside combing the internet looking for extra pretty beads.
Her husband, Vern, an ex-marine, says he would find Lisa up at all hours of the night making the bracelets.
"Does this put you out financially?" I asked Lisa. She laughed and said, "Oh, where's my husband?"
Turns out Vern was putting in a few extra hours to help pay for the beads.
Lisa expanded her giving to people fighting any type of cancer. She did research and found teal-colored beads for ovarian cancer and amber yellow beads for sarcoma, to name a few.
But then a shock.
Just as we were airing her stories, I got a phone call. It was Lisa's friend saying an emergency had suddenly cropped up.
Lisa had been rushed to Baptist with seizures. She had been having headaches, but thought it wasn't that serious.
Then she started having odd visions off to one side and the seizures.
I saw Lisa just before she was going into surgery to find out if the mass in her head was brain cancer.
"I'm prepared," she said with a smile. She still had 1000% pep and had even asked for her bead supply in the hospital because so many people were waiting on her bracelets.
Lisa was in surgery for seven hours. The news wasn't good. She had brain cancer, one of the most vicious types.
Dr. Doug Johnson, a radiologist at Baptist, said Lisa's chances of living more than a year were very dim. Statistically, he said, the sad fact is, out of every 100 patients he sees fighting Lisa's type of brain cancer, only 9 are alive two years later.
But Lisa was determined to fight and went full speed into her treatment. She even said at one point, "I'm excited." That was no surprise for people who knew her well.
Lisa had a teenage boy at home and two young children. She loved to read stories to the younger ones and play flute for her family and her church.
Lisa went through radiation and chemotherapy. Bit by bit she was slipping, though. The notes on the pages of music were blurred and she said her ability to play her flute just became weaker and weaker.
Nine months after she was diagnosed, Lisa was in Hospice.
In her clear moments, Lisa still was joking with her fun sense of humor. She told everyone to make sure they didn't delete any email without looking carefully at it. That's because she planned to email them from Heaven.
Lisa family painted a picture for her about her flute. They said she'd be playing a golden flute in Heaven.
The family has a very strong Christian faith. Vern, at Lisa's bedside in Community Hospice, said, "It doesn't matter how much money you make or how big a house you have. What counts is your personal relationship with Jesus because when you leave here that's all that matters--that you know where you're going."
Lisa's funeral was a time to pay tribute to her huge heart and even her famous carrot cake. But mixed with the memories were many tears.
Still, though, you could see Lisa's legacy wrapped around many people's wrists. Family members and cancer patients wore the bracelets Lisa had made them.
One lady, Ann, had received a pink bracelet from Lisa. Ann said with tears, "She was my first cancer friend." The two had met at a wig store and, of course, Lisa personally delivered a bracelet to Ann.
Lisa's children cried during the service. But some tender moments happened, which most of us will never forget.
Lisa's little boy was sitting on Vern's lap. He took a tissue and wiped his own eyes and then gently wiped his Daddy's eyes. Vern whispered, "Thank you, Buddy."
And after the service, Vern told his children about their mother. "She's up in Heaven now looking down on us and she's with Jesus, probably playing her flute up and down the streets." He explained that Mom would always live in their hearts.
Lisa had just turned 41.
On her birthday from now on, Vern plans to show the TV story in her honor to their family and maybe release balloons toward Heaven. He says they'll look up and say, "Catch, Mom."
For those asking how to help the family, there is a fund set up to help cover medical costs.
Lisa Fewox Memorial Fund
Atlantic Coast Bank
Account # 91210419
For more information:
First Coast News