Cairns real estate agent and cancer survivor Lisa Griffiths is the 2019 Face of the Cairns Relay for Life. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
Cairns real estate agent and cancer survivor Lisa Griffiths is the 2019 Face of the Cairns Relay for Life. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

Devastating diagnosis for young real estate agent

THE face of Cairns' Relay for Life cancer fundraiser and real estate agent Lisa Griffiths is in a last-ditch race against time to save her life.

The 26-year-old was told by doctors this week cancerous lesions on her lungs could not be treated and she had only months to live.

Friend and colleague Megs Whiteside and partner Troy McGuane have launched a GoFundMe campaign and hope to raise $150,000 to get Ms Griffiths to Mexico for potentially lifesaving treatment.

Cairns real estate agent and cancer survivor Lisa Griffiths is the 2019 Face of the Cairns Relay for Life. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
Cairns real estate agent and cancer survivor Lisa Griffiths is the 2019 Face of the Cairns Relay for Life. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

 

After receiving the all-clear after a scan of her brain in July, Ms Griffiths, who has battled brain cancer since 2015, learned the cancer had spread aggressively throughout her lungs and skull this week.

Ms Griffiths was in Brisbane receiving treatment when the Cairns Relay for Life event was held and sent a message of support which was read out at the event.

Troy McGuane and Lisa Griffiths at the Cairns Central premiere of Ride Like a Girl.
Troy McGuane and Lisa Griffiths at the Cairns Central premiere of Ride Like a Girl.

 

"Anyone that has had the privilege to have this Lisa in their lives is nothing short of blessed," said Ms Whiteside.

"We don't remember our life before Lisa and we sure as hell do not want a life without her, and we are confident in saying most of you would feel the same.

"We are not going to accept this prognosis, which is why we need your help.

"We are now at a stage where we are looking at all available options to save Lisa's life.

"What we know is the next form of treatment is going to be a costly exercise.

"This involves sending Lisa overseas to a medical treatment facility in Mexico.

"There is no government assistance or anyway of subsidising this cost. This is why we are asking people to help in the form of donating funds.

"This is not a cheap option, but our only one. We need a minimum of $150,000 for this treatment which will cover intensive therapy, future supplementation and medication to save her life.

 

Lisa Griffiths, who was diagnosed with brain cancer around the same time as former classmate Courtney Robinson. Courtney sadly passed away in 2016 but Lisa was still fighting the disease when this picture was taken in 2017. Picture: Marc McCormack
Lisa Griffiths, who was diagnosed with brain cancer around the same time as former classmate Courtney Robinson. Courtney sadly passed away in 2016 but Lisa was still fighting the disease when this picture was taken in 2017. Picture: Marc McCormack

 

"As you can understand, cancer does not work to a timeline.

"This is why we need these funds immediately as every day we wait, Lisa's cancer progresses. Time is of the essence."

Ms Griffiths, who was first diagnosed with the disease at 22, has lost her eyesight, had her drivers licence suspended, suffered memory loss, learned to walk again and experienced difficulty with speech and cognitive functions during her four-year health battle.

"She hid all this from the world with the people only closest to her knowing what she was dealing with. Through every grim diagnosis and only weeks after each surgery she turned up to work every day personality with a positive attitude, always looking to make others smile," said Ms Whiteside, who works with Ms Griffiths at The Industry Estate Agents.

"This is why it is now time for the community to get behind Lisa and help save her life."

The GoFundMe campaign was launched this week and has already raised $3800.

 

LISA'S TIMELINE

July 2015 - diagnosed with brain cancer; brain operation

September 2015 - radiation

September 2015 to May 2016 - chemotherapy treatment

December 2016 - cancer relapse; brain operation

September 2018 - cancer relapse; brain operation; radiation

July 2019 - cancer spreads to lungs

August 2019 - new treatment commenced but was unsuccessful

October 2019 - cancer spreads to skull; seven lung tumours continue to grow despite treatment; terminal diagnosis