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Lisa’s Story

I call this journal, “Dying to Know You Better.”
Thanks for reading and for caring!


In February and March of 2009, I began to notice I was getting tired sooner… I usually was full of energy, and enjoyed working intensely on everything I did.


I noticed a lump late April, visited a surgeon in May, and was diagnosed in early June with Stage IV lymphoma. Then after two more biopsies, cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer – in the liver) was discovered in August. This second cancer is very aggressive and doesn’t respond well to traditional cancer treatments. Chemo-embolization was attempted, but it was not successful, so I was told in October that I have a life expectancy of about six months.


My family has been marvelous. My two sons, Michael and Ralph, call every day, and have been with me for every major surgical/medical procedure. My brother Joe flew out for a weekend to meet my doctor, discuss options and help me run a session with the House of Peace Teen Leaders. My brother David and his wife Rosemary gave me three weeks of their life, talking care of me after my chemo-embolization. My brother Steven, my sisters in law, and my cousins call, email send notes and check in often.


I have had such a wonderful life, working with talented young people and adults during my years in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Grand Island, Nebraska; Saginaw, Michigan; Montgomery, Alabama and Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. I am thankful and proud to have been part of these vibrant faith communities. So many of those strong friendships are sustaining me today with hope and joy. I have loved my time on staff at House of Peace, and wish I could have stayed there for many more years.


The ministry of Tomorrow’s Present has been the focus of the last ten years of my life. Today, the work is more important than ever. Our methods are based on my three-year research study identifying factors that encourage young people to want to be leaders.


The Leadership Center of Cardinal Stritch University has begun The Legacy Fund for Tomorrow’s Present: A Lasting Tribute to the work of Dr. Lisa-Marie Calderone-Stewart.  This fund will ensure that Tomorrow’s Present will carry on.


Learn more about Tomorrow’s Present and the Legacy Fund at our website:


Thank-you for caring. Please write.

As you already know, I’m Dying to Know You Better.