My life has been touched by some uber amazing women whose passion for life and the way they choose to live it have really inspired me. A few years ago, I started the She’s So Inspiring series to showcase these amazing stories because I knew that they would inspire others. Some of these inspiring women are bloggers, some are not, their lives are all different and they are all incredibly special. I am so honoured that they are sharing their stories and sprinkling a little bit of their awesome right here. May you be wom-inspired!
Meet Lisa Greissl.
My mum used to tell me that all good things come to those who wait and that’s certainly truer that true when it comes to this interview.
Lisa Greissl has long been on my To Interview List, not just because I can relate to so much of her experience with cancer and in particular, her approach to life after it, but how she has used that experience as a power for good to help support and encourage others who find themselves facing a cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Her not-for-profit The Big Hug Box doesn’t just help those dealing with cancer right now, it’s forward facing, donating all proceeds to Cure Cancer Australia helping to make this the last generation to die from cancer.
I’m so pleased Lisa is part of this series, it’s certainly richer for her being in it. So without further ado, meet Lisa, she’s so inspiring.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi Everyone! My name is Lisa Greissl. I am a Mum of two beautiful girls, a wife, a Founder of a Charity called The Big Hug Box and a rare cancer survivor.
When I should have been enjoying the time with my newborn when my daughter was only 5 days old, alarm bells started to ring in regards to my health. After 3 months of scans, testing and uncertainty I was diagnosed with a rare tumour on my spine.
To be where I am now I consider myself extremely fortunate and I am incredibly grateful to be giving back to the community through my charity work and supporting cancer patients and their families through their own challenges of cancer.
Tell us 3 things you are and 3 things you’re not.
Three things that I am
– Highly Energetic
– A BIG Dreamer
Three things that I am not
– Lazy (well most of the time!)
– Messy (well once again…. most of the time!)
Complete this sentence, ____________________ changed my life. How and why?
Cancer changed my life. It pushed me to my limits mentally and physically, it made me see a glimpse what nothing to lose really looks like. From this came an extreme feeling of gratitude and appreciation for the small things in life and making every moment count.
Lisa with Professor Martin Tattersall who saved her life.
What has been life’s greatest lesson?
Life will only ever be what you make it. If you want something, go for it, strive for it, stay determined and you will shine, I promise.
What is your biggest achievement?
Oh this is a tough one! I have three achievements
Becoming a Mum without a doubt has been one of my biggest, I have two incredibly caring, strong and resilient girls who I cannot wait to watch grow.
Secondly, Founding my Charity The Big Hug Box. Being able to give back and support cancer patients and to see the ripple effect that this has had which has driven so many to show their support through our care packages Australia Wide often leaves me speechless.
Thirdly, after such intense surgery and sacrificed nerves which left me learning to use my left leg again I recently raced my first single scull race in Rowing which once again challenged me both mentally and physically. I stayed above water, I made it to the finish line and most of all, I loved it!
What has been your toughest obstacle and how have you overcome it?
Surgery to remove my tumor was long and extremely challenging. It challenged and changed my physical capabilities and took away many things that I had loved doing in the past like running. It took away my ability to safely have more children (which we had planned), accepting this has been extremely hard, where your heart says one thing but your head says another.
I could always just continue to look back and see what cancer has taken away from me but instead to overcome it I made a conscious decision to only ever continue looking forward. Life after cancer continues to surprise me, opportunities continue to await me and I look forward to exploring what the future holds. Mindset is everything.
Viktor Frankl says “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how.” Everyone needs a purpose, what’s yours?
My purpose here is to continue to show and inspire others to embrace kindness and how important this is in every single day. It can turn a day around and it can make a difference.
What are your words to live by?
Nothing is worth more than this day – Goethe
If you could have any mentor, alive or dead, who would you choose and why?
Oh this is a tough one, I have met so many inspirational people come into my life who have also helped me to navigate how to start up a charity. Kemi Nekvapil is so inspiring and empowering and I would love to have her a mentor!
If you could play hookie for a day what would be on your list to do?
Sit down and read a book on the beach, go for a row and go out for a lunch with my husband.
You give so much to others, what do you do to take care of yourself?
To take care of myself I exercise and eat right every single day. Even if it is just a little bit of stretching I need it to recharge.
I love rowing on the weekend, I love to call it “Yoga on Water ”
Thank you for sharing, Lisa.
Be inspired by Lisa and find out more about The Big Hug Box
and check out her work on Facebook
and on instagram
Linking up with Denyse for Life This Week