Lisa Joy

So, here I am, on my 46th birthday, creating a Go Fund Me page. 

Mainly because the need is real. 
Secondly because cancer really sucks hard. 
Thirdly because I feel so helpless to do something for my friend Lisa. 
And that's what's up.

There are two stories here.  One is pretty much irrelevant, that's my story.  The other is pretty much the most relevant and compelling story.  Ever.

If you don't know me, I'm Katie.  I've run one marathon in my life, four half marathons and four ten milers--and I have NINE medals to prove it!  But, in the end, who cares.  I'll tell you who.  Me.  I care.  I'm an active participant in LIFE, not an observer.  I set goals and I achieve them.  I hope you can relate to that and eventually understand why this is important.

Last year I threw out my back and have been virtually inactive since.  I mean, I've tried to hit the gym but the injury has caused the left side of my leg to go completely numb when I work out.  Weird, eh?  Yeah, can't run through it.  Kinda gave up on it all, gained a few (a whole hell of a lot!) of pounds, it slowly was eating away at my psyche. 

Around the same time, one of my very best friends, Lisa was on vacation with her family.  Lisa experienced a dizzy spell.  Upon her return, and after seeing a few doctors over the course of the next few months, a diagnosis was finally determined.

Brain Cancer.

You're kidding me, right? 

You see, Lisa is a force to be reckoned with.  She's one of those people who, want to or not, you will know her if you share a room with her.  She is THE most alive person I know.  She's funny as hell.  She's real.  She tells you how it is, she's not one of those sugar coated fakies that will tell you look great in a dress that makes your butt look huge.  And if Lisa sees a challenge, she sets her mind to accomplish it.   That's just who she is.  She's our Lisa and she's the best!  She's one of those girls who's an active participant in LIFE -- not just an observer.  She sets goals and achieves them, too.  :)

So, last December, while watching all the stuff Lisa was going through, I made a decision.  Here's where these stories collide.

For the past, I dunno, maybe four years, I'd registered for the Chicago Transamerica Triathlon -- Oh don't get too excited!  Because for the past, I dunno, four years or so, I've allowed LIFE to get in the way of ACTUALLY TRAINING for the triathlon!  I've never actually completed the damn thing.  Yeah.  What the heck, Katie.  Quitter.  Looser.  Lame-O!

For those of you who don't know, here's the course:
.9 mile swim in Lake Michigan in a wet suit,
26 mile bike ride on Lake Shore Drive,
6 mile run along the Lakeshore,
Done!

So, I set a goal in 2016.  I decided to go get the help I needed through physical training, get back to work in the gym and complete an Olympic Distance Triathlon in August.  The thing about it is that at every turn in my training, there is self-talk (see above) -- you know what I'm talking about.  We all have that little pesky inner voice that says, "Um, Hello, what do you think you are doing here?  You can't do that!  You aren't that strong!  You aren't 26 anymore!  Just stop it!"  Am I right?  You know that voice ...

Yeah, so, compared to Lisa's deal, don't I sound like a real jerk for all that inner self talk that's just so irrelevant in the grand scheme of life, eh?  The thing is this ... I can quit.  I mean, I have before, right?  I can choose not to complete my training.  I can choose to not get up at 4:15AM to get to physical therapy.  I can choose to meet for happy hour after work vs. hit the gym.  I have a choice.  And I really like red wine and gin martinis.

But. 

Lisa.

She does not have a choice. 

So that inner voice of mine has changed its tone.  Believe me, it's still there, but it kinda cowers in the corner with guilt and shame just as soon as it speaks up.

When I'm tired, I think about Lisa and her accomplishment of moving herself from her bed to her couch and that's all for the day.  When I don't want to get out of bed for an early morning training session, I think about Lisa having to get out of bed to get to a doctor's appointment that she does not want to HAVE to go to.  When my leg hurts, I think about Lisa's brain hurting.  When I want to quit, I remember that Lisa can't.  When my eyeball muscles ache and I want to complain, I remember Lisa and her aches and pains.  When I step on the scale and want to scream because I've only lost seven pounds, I think about Lisa and who the hell cares about pounds anymore?!  Don't give me that 'you’re losing inches' crap either!  Because I'm not!  Oh, never mind this doesn't matter anymore.  Because ... Lisa.

Who is this Lisa girl, anyway?  Lisa Joy Bell.  She is happily married with four children.  She and her husband, enjoy hanging out with their kids at soccer games and with their friends when she's able.  She's just like you and me and all of us just living our lives and having fun doing it.

Lisa has a Master’s Degree in HR.  Yeah, she went back to school, grabbed that masters to live out her dream, got that dream job and ... within of a year of being hired, this brain cancer BS hit.  A real pisser, eh?  It just isn't fair.  :(

Some facts that might help you put it in perspective the costs for Lisa's journey.  This is just an outline and how I arrived at my arbitrary GOAL amount.

Lisa's Current-Immediate-Future Expenses
$ 4,500 -- out of pocket max for 2015
$ 4,500 -- out of pocket max for 2016
$ 4,500 -- out of pocket max for 2017
$     350 -- co-pays for specialist Dr. visits 2015
$ 1,200 -- co-pays for specialist Dr. visits 2016
$ 1,200 -- co-pays for specialist Dr. visits 2017
$ 1,614 -- COBRA for 2015
$ 6,456 -- COBRA for 2016
$ 1,076 -- COBRA for 2017
----------
$25,396 -- Lisa's total medical expenses.  In early 2017, Lisa's COBRA will end. 

Here's Where I'd Like to Help
$4,500 -- a summer of mortgage payments
$2,800 -- a summer of groceries
$1,400 -- a summer of something nice for/with the kids
-----------
$8,700

I have no idea where to set this goal, but I've just randomly selected an amount.  If I raise more -- WOW.  If I raise less -- I'll be grateful for every single penny.

This campaign means the world to me -- it's difficult enough to fight brain cancer.  Fighting brain cancer and worrying about finances -- well, you can only imagine.  Or, maybe you know.  Maybe cancer has hit you in some way.  And if it has, then you know.  You know how this goes.  Cancer sucks.

I would be incredibly thankful if you would help reach this goal as soon as possible -- let's work together to help relieve the stress in Lisa's life so she can completely focus on fighting!

-----------------------------
THE BEST PART!

Need more of an incentive? 
Here we go ...
Keep reading ...

In my quest for the finish line at the Chicago Triathlon, I am selling my BODY PARTS.  Yep.  I'm selling my body for Lisa -- do you see this Lisa?  She is going to have a hay day with this one ...

How to buy my body: (laughing out loud, for real!!!)
You can buy individual body parts and place anything you want in writing on my body during the race--words of encouragement for Lisa, your company logo, anything!  I will create Sharpie tattoos!  The night before the race I'll place the outlines on my body and have a Sharpie party where all my friends and family will color in the tattoos.  Fun, eh?  Get on board!!!

Here's the cost:
Random little areas of exposed body parts = $50
Back of my hand = $100
Calf = $100
Forearm = $150
Bicep = $250
Front Thigh = $500
Outer Thigh = $750
Cheek Bone = $1,500
And, yes, I'll sell my FOREHEAD = $5,000

So giddy up and get on board and GET ON MY BODY!!!  Okay, that's weird.  
But hey, you only live once. 
And this is funny stuff! 

PS you do not have to buy my body.  You can donate any amount and just leave it at that.  The $3, $7, $12 donations add up big time, so please know that even the smallest amount is GREATLY appreciated -- to the moon and back appreciated.  XO 

Now ...

Are you going to be an observer or an active participant?  :)

LOVE and PEACE and HOPE and JOY to everyone!
Katie

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Organizer and beneficiary

Katie Colgan Martin 
Organizer
Belleville, IL
Lisa Bell 
Beneficiary
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