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Lisa Russell’s Untimely Passing

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  • Lisa Russell was a Post-Bar Law Clerk with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, who was assigned to the Major Crimes Division. Six years ago, before she started law school, Lisa was diagnosed with breast cancer which at the time had spread to her lymph nodes. Her prognosis was tenuous, but she was a fighter and after undergoing a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation, she managed to beat the disease. Last year, even though she was not supposed to be able to have children, she miraculously became pregnant and gave birth to the love of her life, her 1-year-old son, Constantine. This month before her diagnosis, after passing the bar, Lisa took her oath as a licensed attorney and found herself one step closer to her long-term dream of becoming a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney. 

Unfortunately, after having what she thought was an orthopedic issue with her knee, Lisa received the devastating news that her cancer has returned full force. The cancer was now Stage 4, having metastasize  to her bones, pelvis, lungs and liver. Despite this an absolutely devastating diagnosis, Lisa met that latest challenge with the same grace and positivity that is a hallmark of her personality. She continued to work full-time as she battled this formidable disease.

Lisa HMO was extremely slow in responding to her illness and for six weeks after her diagnosis received no actual treatment while awaiting authorization from her HMO to obtain a second opinion from City of Hope, the leading cancer treatment center in the area. It was our expectation that City of Hope would have more experienced oncologists who had better access to the latest clinical studies and experimental therapies to treat her disease. That being said, the delay in treatment was extremely concerning and Lisa ended up deciding to pay out of pocket for an evaluation at City of Hope rather than have the disease progress any further as she awaited an authorization that may have never come.

Lisa was originally extremely resistant to the idea of allowing this GoFundMe to be formed. However, after experiencing tremendous pain and difficulty breathing while working at the office awaiting the initiation of treatment she was directed to the emergency room over concerns that she might be suffering a pulmonary embolism, a life threatening condition. Although that ended up not being the case, Lisa remained very weak, having difficulty breathing and needing to begin her treatment immediately. For these reasons, she finally relented and allowed us to start this fundraising page.

Lisa's prognosis and medical expenses were extremely concerning from the start and it was our desire to raise enough money so that she could receive treatment from whatever institution had the most experience and showed the most promise in dealing with her specific disease.

The help you all gave to Lisa and extended her life and provided a sense of relief for Lisa and her family. It was greatly appreciated and allowed her more precious time with baby Constantine. 

Now that she has passed it is our hope to provide Constantine with a trust fund that will help with his care and future educational expenses.  


  • Jessica Jeanty
    • $20 
    • 6 mos
  • Julie Maravilla
    • $100 
    • 1 yr
  • Charles Villanueva
    • $50 
    • 2 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $50 
    • 2 yrs
  • Arielle Aquino
    • $50 
    • 2 yrs

Organizer and beneficiary

John Lewin
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Lolita Russell

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