A Profile of Lisa Boccard and Her Breast Cancer Fund
To look at her, you would never know that Lisa Boccard is living with metastatic breast cancer. She’s youthful, attractive, in top shape, and has an enthusiastic personality. Yet Lisa will always be on some type of treatment to battle her breast cancer. Currently, battling her fourth occurrence of cancer, she receives chemo treatments four times a month —but she has found a silver lining.
Lisa Boccard’s story with this disease began over twenty years ago when, at the age of twenty-nine, she was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer. The diagnosis came after nine months of visiting doctors and being misdiagnosed.
After enduring a mastectomy, chemotherapy, stem cell replacement, and radiation treatment, Lisa successfully defeated the disease and, after ten years, was declared “cancer free.” That’s why it came as a shock to her when, on September 5, 2003, eleven years and one day from her original diagnosis, Lisa was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer—and given five years to live.
But, from the beginning of Lisa’s journey with breast cancer, she made the decision to fight the disease and make a difference. In 2003, Lisa, her brother Vince (a Coral Springs City Commissioner), and his wife Terry developed the Lisa Boccard Breast Cancer Foundation and approached Broward Health Coral Springs to be their healthcare partner. Their goal was to help provide free screening mammograms to women in the community who could not personally afford them. Their initiative quickly grew, and, in 2008, it evolved to become the Lisa Boccard Breast Cancer Fund. The mission was then expanded from providing screening mammograms to providing further breast care treatment to financially needy women. To date, the Fund has raised more than $350,000, helping to provide more than 1,200 mammograms, identify nearly sixty women with breast cancer, and provide follow-up treatment for them. Best of all the women diagnosed through the Fund are alive today.
Lisa’s passion for life and helping other women is truly why the Lisa Boccard Breast Cancer Fund has had an immense success. Her ability to inspire those around her, just as she initially inspired her brother to create the fund, is what brings her to do what she does.
And about the five-year deadline that Lisa was given? It has been over 10 years since that prognosis, and Lisa is still as driven, determined, and optimistic as ever. It doesn’t mean that it’s easy, however. “If it wasn’t for cancer, I wouldn’t be doing any of this. Maybe this is how my life was supposed to turn out,” she says. “I have had twenty-five surgeries since 1991, but I find ways to get back on my feet every time. I do whatever I can to spread awareness about the disease. I encourage women to do breast self-exams, because early detection is everything.” With such positive determination, Lisa has pushed aside a terrifying diagnosis to become a truly terrific breast cancer advocate.