Lisa was a bright and shining star and her light was a rainbow of colors that touched us all. Six years ago Lisa was diagnosed with melanoma and in 1995 had a full blown outbreak of the disease. She battled back after being given less than a one percent chance of survival in 1995. Lisa was under the care of DuPont Guerry, MD, Chair of the Pigmented Lesion Clinic at the hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, which is one of the country’s foremost centers for prevention and treatment of melanoma. Their relationship was very close and unique, as Lisa had such confidence in Dr. Guerry and Dr. Guerry was taken with the personality, fight, courage, and the will to survive that Lisa showed to other patients from all over the country, for herself, and especially for her two young sons.
Lisa entered Dr. Morton’s program at John Wayne Cancer Center in California, and was able to be in complete remission for three and a half years. Unfortunately, Lisa’s melanoma recurred and yet Lisa was with her boys skiing in the spring, and celebrating her son’s Bar Mitzvah in May. Lisa returned from a trip with her mother and youngest son on June 27, 2000 smiling for everyone and yet fighting the battle of her life. She passed away July 5, 2000.
The Friends of Lisa Neiberg started this Fund in in her name to bring about awareness of the insidious disease of malignant melanoma. This disease increased in frequency from 1 in 750 in 1970 to 1 in 70 in 1998. The number of people who develop melanoma is increasing faster than any other cancer. In the United States the number of new cases of melanoma has more than doubled in the past 20 years.
Malignant melanoma is the fastest growing cancer in the United States and is the fifth most common cancer among Americans. With education and public awareness, we hope to prevent and combat malignant melanoma and assist those with melanoma in receiving the best treatment and support available.
When Lisa was fighting the fight of her life, we wanted to be strong for her, but she was the one who was strong for us. Her light, her rainbow of colors, and her strength continue to inspire us. With her in our hearts, we hope to make sure that in the not-too-distant future no one will ever again have to lose their friend to melanoma.