Due to a family history of breast cancer, Lisa Williams started getting regular mammograms at age 35. In 2013 she missed her appointment that had been scheduled for the day after Christmas. When she received a postcard in the mail in January, she decided to do a self-exam and found a lump. She was diagnosed with Stage 2B Invasive Ductal Carcinoma in March.
Lisa lives in Rockledge, Florida, and is the mother of three: sons Kenly, 16, and Logan, 7, and daughter, Brianna, 23. This September she will join 10 of her Boober! sisters when they make their entrance at the Pink Carpet Gala to unveil A Calendar to Live By 2016. In anticipation of the big reveal this fall, Lisa spoke about the chance encounter that led to her involvement with BB!, her childhood ambitions for the White House, and what being a calendar model means for her.
How did you find out about Beyond Boobs!?
I had a different friend with me for each of my chemo appointments and one day in walked Jennifer, someone my friend knew from high school. Jennifer and I went to high school together but we had never “hung out.” I ran into her a few weeks later during another appointment and she mentioned the organization. At that time, I wasn’t ready for a support group. I thought “Who needs to sit around and cry and complain?” That’s what I thought a support group meant. Boy, was I wrong . . . I went to a meeting in January and was blown away by how empowered I felt afterwards. It was truly a gift to run into Jennifer and to become part of this wonderful organization.
What is your favorite date-night activity?
Stereotypical dinner and a movie. I love movies and want to watch them in the theater, not at home where the “magic” is missing. Nothing like watching a good movie with good company!
What are your summer plans?
To stay cool. I’m not especially fond of this time of year. Give me an autumn day and I’m one happy woman. Sweating is not my thing!
Who was your teenage celebrity heartthrob? How did you show your undying love?
I was a bit of an odd teenager because I didn’t really have a heartthrob. No one graced my walls (Dad wouldn’t have let me hang posters even if I wanted to) and I didn’t doodle names on my notebooks. I did like John Stamos, I remember that, I just wasn’t crazy over anyone.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be the President of the United States. Even back then, I thought a woman was needed in the White House!
What does being selected as a calendar model mean to you?
What a good question. I wanted to do this to show my kids that there is life after cancer. What I have found while I’ve been fundraising and talking to people about my “calendar girl” status is that there are a lot of people who are shocked by the numbers of young women diagnosed each year with this horrible disease. I’ve found I have a passion for telling the Beyond Boobs! story and sharing what it means to be a Boober! I hope I can help women and their families who are going through this disease by being someone they can approach to get information, support, and referrals. I want to put a real face to breast cancer. I’m far from model material and I hope that encourages women of all shapes and sizes to embrace their beauty, inside and out. We only have one life, so why not do what makes you happy and take chances that you otherwise wouldn’t have dared before diagnosis.
What was the most impactful moment of your calendar model photo shoot?
I would say that it was another time I had to give up control. . . again. Cancer has a way of making you realize you really don’t or can’t control many things in life. For us Type A people, that’s a hard pill to swallow, no pun intended. I had to once again relinquish control to the photographer, Mary Beth, and the BB! team. I had to trust they were going to make my picture the best it could be. Letting go is a very freeing and scary thing to do for any reason. I’ve begun to learn more about the freeing part of letting go and it’s a good feeling.