It’s been two years since 28-year-old Lisa Coristine passed away but her sisters have been working hard to give her one last gift — the gift of charity.
This September will mark the fifth anniversary of the Lisa Coristine Brave Heart Foundation which goes towards supporting targeted radiation at the Princess Margaret Hospital.
Jennifer Zelovitzky and Katie Coristine have been working overtime to make sure this is a year everyone will remember.
"It’s going to be the biggest and the best," said Zelovitzky from her Avenue Rd. area home.
The sisters are hoping this is the year the foundation will reach its $250,000 goal and to make that dream a reality, they are holding the annual Brave Heart Walk for a Cure on Sept. 10 at G. Ross Lord Park in North York.
The location has ample free parking, public washrooms and large park grounds for participants to enjoy music and a gourmet barbeque courtesy of Ebutcher.ca. But that’s not all.
Participants will also have a chance to win a trip for two to Los Angeles that includes VIP passes to universal studios and tickets to the tapings of Crossing Jordan, The Ellen Degeneres Show or The Tonight Show.
A gas barbeque worth $4,000, a weekend for two in Montreal, Dixie Chicks tickets and — the most anticipated prize of all — two tickets to the recently announced Barbara Streisand concert are also up for grabs.
This year will be a year to remember for many reasons, said Zelovitzky.
"This is the first time the walk will be held on Lisa’s birthday," she said.
The walk was first organized with Lisa’s help when Zelovitzky and Lisa’s best friend Jackie came up with the idea after Lisa was diagnosed with cancer for the second time.
She first became sick in 2000, suffering from intolerable migraines. A year later, Lisa was sleeping all the time and had completely lost her sense of smell.
In August 2001, an MRI discovered the young teacher had a tumour that had developed in her sinuses and was now pushing up against her brain.
When it came time for treatment, Lisa’s family discovered targeted radiation, which only goes after a specific part of the body, limiting the crushing side effects cancer patients often suffer.
In fact, Lisa was even able to participate in the first two walks and saw first hand how successful the foundation was quickly becoming. The first year, Zelovitzky said she was expecting to raise $5,000 but was thrilled when over 150 participants showed up and donated $30,000.
Lisa was incredibly happy knowing how much she could give back to the hospital that gave her life to hold on to.
Targeted radiation is what helped Lisa live life to the fullest in her last years as she climbed the Great Wall of China and jogged along beautiful Mexican beaches. That’s why her family has cho-sen to give back to Princess Margaret Hospital and its initiatives towards this new type of treatment.
To thank the family for its generosity, the hospital has offered to name a resource room the Lisa Coristine Brave Heart Foundation within the year.
"It’s the icing on the cake," Zelovitzky said.
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