Stacey Deiter says her cousin, Lisa Chapman, had a smile that would light up a room. She says they were best friends, close as sisters might be.
Not a day goes by that Stacey doesn't think of her. Lisa lost her battle against breast cancer September 29, 2013. Lisa was the regional sales manager at WIBW-TV.
Stacey's children, Kaylee, Brody and Karys also remember the woman they called Aunt Lisa. Kaylee recalls Aunt Lisa was always took time to talk to her and do fun things.
Stacey says Lisa's diagnosis with breast cancer would have been harder to take - if it weren't for Lisa herself. Stacey says everyone thrived off Lisa's positive attitude, saying she never let on if she was feeling scared or sick.
After Lisa's death, Stacey and her husband brainstormed how they could pass along to their children Lisa's desire to make the world better for those around her. They thought of giving them money to hand to strangers, but Kaylee had a different suggestion. It was one that involved children, who, like Aunt Lisa, had cancer. Kaylee said she would notice when Lisa seemed to be in pain and thought that it must be hard for her, so she wanted to make it easier for young cancer patients.
To do that, the Deiter kids went shopping. They came up with a load of blankets, movies, activity books and stickers, along with a Wii system and games, all for the pediatric patients at the Stormont-Vail Cancer Center. Kaylee said she hoped it would help the children forget about their sickness and have fun.
Dr. Youmna Othman, pediatric oncologist at Stormont-Vail, says cancer treatments can be especially tough for kids. She says they can last several hours, if not all day. She says having something to distract them during all that time confined to a treatment room, like video games or coloring books, can lift their spirits. Studies show improving how children feel mentally can actually have a physical benefit. Othman says the less traumatic and more normal of an experience treatment can be, the better the outcomes.
Her family says that is exactly what Lisa would want -- to make things easier for someone else. Stacey says Lisa's legacy is to brighten someone's day, just like she did for all of those she left behind.
Lisa also served on the board of directors for the Race Against Breast Cancer, which provides free and low-cost mammograms to help women catch cancer early and have the best chance at survival. She is survived by her husband, Jesse and their two sons as well as all her extended family.