#girlcrush: Local woman fights cancer with a smile on her face

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - One Colorado Springs woman is celebrating her third "cancerversary" after originally being given almost no chance to survive just a year. 

If you met Lisa Moran before 2015 you would've seen a woman who loves to sew and cheer on her beloved Cleveland Browns; a devoted mama to her rescue pup Laynie; and for years she worked as a letter carrier in downtown Colorado Springs. 

"It wasn't 'I have to go to work,' it was 'I get to go to work,'" Moran remembered of her time with the USPS.

A smile is almost always on her face, even when tears are streaming down it.

"I'm never crying sad tears. It's always just because I guess it's so so much goodness that I can't keep it bottled up inside that everything comes out as happy tears."

Lisa is battling stage 4 lung cancer. When she was diagnosed in August of 2015 doctors gave her a 3 to 5 percent chance of surviving a year.

August will be her three-year "cancerversary."

"I wish everyone could look at life the way I do," she said.

Lisa got busy living, even running a 5k the next year.

"My motto is 'no missed opportunities.'"

She took the opportunity to go to Houston, where FOX21 caught up with her ahead of Super Bowl 51, but just a few months later Lisa had what she calls the medical apocalypse.

She thought cancer had spread to her brain, but she soon learned she had a rare brain disease called Moyamoya.

She went to Palo Alto for surgery and then had a hemorrhagic stroke.

If she survived, doctors thought she'd require round the clock care and never walk again.

Lisa proved them wrong.

A word that came up several times during a conversation with Lisa was "lucky."

"I got stage four lung cancer, but I was lucky because I had an EGR mutation. I was told I had Moyamoya, an ultra-rare brain disease, but I was lucky because at that point I hadn't had a stroke. Okay, I was unlucky because I had a stroke after the surgery, but how lucky am I that I regained movement on the left side my body?!" said Moran. 

Lisa refuses to believe her luck might be running out because after decades of almost no movement in lung cancer research, there was a breakthrough in 2015.

"That year there were six lung cancer drugs FDA approved. Five of them were after my August diagnosis."

So she believes in some lab somewhere there's a new drug that will save her life.

That's why Lisa is now in Washington D.C. pleading for more money for lung cancer research. 

"It's kind of out of my realm to go to Capitol Hill and meet with senators and meet with congressmen, but my life depends on it."

But until she draws her last breath, Lisa will keep fighting and of course, keep smiling.

Watch #girlcrush Tuesday night at 9 p.m. only on FOX21. 

Lung Cancer Facts

  • Anyone with lungs can get lung cancer. Age, ethnicity, their current or former smoking status is not a factor. MORE INFORMATION
  • 1 in 15 men will get lung cancer in their lifetime, 1 in 17 women will get lung cancer in their lifetime. 
  • Lung cancer kills more than the next three deadliest cancers, colorectal, pancreatic and breast cancer, combined. MORE INFORMATION
  • In 1987 lung cancer surpassed breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer death among US women. MORE INFORMATION 
  • Military personnel are at a higher risk of developing lung cancer than the general population. MORE INFORMATION 

Lisa is currently working on setting up a Colorado Springs lung cancer group. To learn more information click here


Trending Stories

Latest Local News