Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:13 am
She has every right to feel cheated and to be bitter, but instead she's using the time she has left to help others.
Lisa Maree O'Hara, 22 is a stunning, statuesque model and a true inspiration. Having already beaten depression and an eating disorder, Lisa Maree is now living with terminal cancer.
"It's called adenoid cystic carcinoma, it is very rare – there are only three or four people in Australia that have it," she said.
Diagnosed in April last year, the disease has spread like wildfire through her body. Lisa Maree and her new husband Mani are now making the most of what will be their final weeks together.
"I know that I'm dying, I know that it is coming because I can feel it," she said.
"I got told by the Royal Melbourne a month ago they didn't think I was going to make Christmas - that was a big shock. But then again I think I'm going to make Christmas."
In her final stages of life, this extraordinary young woman has embarked on a new career as a motivational speaker.
"It's always something that I wanted - my dream was to inspire people to change their lives," she said.
Her father Shane says "she's very positive, very strong. I don't know how she actually does that sort of thing but I'm very proud of her."
Lisa Maree's heartbroken mother, Carmel, says "she was a very fit personal trainer, doesn't drink, doesn't smoke and each day that goes on she's stronger and stronger - but she's getting worse and worse."
Lisa Maree has over 100 tumours in her lungs, but even those haven't held her back.
A month ago she managed to walk down the aisle to marry the love of her life.
"I was always going to marry her, I so wanted to make sure that she had that whole day and got to have the whole planning and the bridesmaids and all the rest of it," Mani said.
She even managed one last modelling shoot, proudly displaying her many surgical scars.
"Right now while I'm here, I'm going to be happy," Lisa Maree said.
"No matter what you're going through you've still got a life to live.
It's a message not lost on siblings Melissa and Brendan.
"I couldn't think of anyone else in her position to accomplish as much as she has," Brendan said.
And Melissa agrees. "Everything she's ever said she wanted to do she's done."
Determined to leave a final legacy, Lisa Maree is gearing up for a public goodbye this Sunday.
"People need to understand that they can do anything, every single day is a new day. I'm still giving that gift of a smile, giving it to every single person in the world," she said.
"I have to think about the positives, about what I have now and beautiful moments."
Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:21 pm
I've heard plenty of cancer stories, but this is one of the saddest, by far. She's so young, beautiful and full of promise. Cancer truly sucks.....really !