About L4L

Thank you for visiting LIVING FOR LIZ (L4L)! Established in 2012, L4L is a 501(c)3 organization in honor of Elizabeth Holman-Melde. In September of 2011, Elizabeth was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. She was only 25 years old, a non-smoker and a newlywed. Seven short months after Elizabeth’s diagnosis, she passed away.

Some of Elizabeth’s final words included the phrase, “it’s not ok“. That’s because shortly after Elizabeth’s diagnosis, Elizabeth and the L4L team learned some startling facts about lung cancer; facts that are “not ok“.

 

Some 'NOT OK' Lung Cancer Facts

‘Not OK’ Facts About Lung Cancer

1 Leading Cause of Cancer Deaths – Lung cancer is currently responsible for 29% of cancer deaths in the United States – more than breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer combined.

 

2It Is The Least Funded Among All Major Cancers – Even though lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women in the United States and throughout the world, it is the least funded among all major cancers. In fact, for every woman who dies of lung cancer, just over $1,000 federal dollars are invested compared to breast cancer at $26,000 federal dollars.

 

3No Test For Non Smokers – Presently, only 15% of lung cancers are diagnosed in an early stage, hence the five-year survival rate of only 15.6% – same as it was in 1971. Researchers are currently working on developing new less invasive screening methods for lung cancer.  However, a low dose CT scan is presently the only generally accepted method. Because of the risks that a CT scan presents, it is only used in older, heavy smokers. This is a major factor that results in nearly 24,000 nonsmoking lung cancer patients dying every year.

 

4The Majority of People Diagnosed Are Non Smokers – Although smoking is thought to be is the leading cause of lung cancer, the majority of people currently diagnosed with lung cancer do not smoke; 50% of these cancers occur in former smokers, and 15% in those who have never smoked at all.  In fact, The World Health Organization recently declared air pollution as a leading cause of lung cancer. In short, anyone with lungs — anyone who breathes — can get lung cancer.

 

Living For LizNOT OKAY

It’s time to change the way America thinks about lung cancer. It’s time to rid lung cancer of the “smoker’s disease” stigma!
Download the About Living For Liz Brochure – Click here!

Our Mission

The Living For Liz (L4L) Mission:

L4L hopes to take the “not okays” and change them into “okays”. L4L aims to raise money in order to aid in the awareness, prevention, research and treatment of lung cancer. With your help, we hope that lung cancer will no longer be the least funded among all major cancers. We hope that there will be a screening test available in the near future (that helps 100% of the people tested) to catch lung cancer in an early stage.

And of course, WE HOPE TO FIND A CURE. Click below to see what events are in your area, and help us raise money to fight lung cancer! L4L also aims to promote everyday living with proper cancer prevention education Click below and start LIVING every day!

Living For Liz

Visit Our Events Page Start Living Every Day Donate to Living For Liz
Download the About Living For Liz Brochure – Click here!

Our Board

 

JOSEPH LARSON

Health and wellness is something that runs in Joe’s blood.  With parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends in the medical field, it was just a matter of time before he joined in the business.  Joe is both a graduate from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and the Viterbo University nursing school.  The nursing philosophy of care and service to others is a philosophy that Joe shared with Elizabeth.  Elizabeth had a strong passion for serving others and also hoped to further that through a career in nursing even after being diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer.  Joe hopes that his work with Living for Liz will help educate others about preventing cancer and living long, healthy lives.

 

LAUREN MORRISON

With a degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Lauren currently works full time as an Event Manager at The Pacific Design Center of Los Angeles. Event planning has been Lauren’s passion since she was 11 years old.  When Lauren moved to Los Angeles from Wisconsin in 2007, she landed in movie production and distribution at Newmarket Films before officially launching her event career at Yifat Oren & Associates in 2010.  Lauren left Oren’s office when Elizabeth (Lauren’s cousin), was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer.  Lauren immediately began planning a benefit for Elizabeth and her husband, Matt.  The Elizabeth Melde Benefit was held on January 14, 2012 and drew over 1,000 people. When Elizabeth passed away in April of 2012, Lauren co-founded Living For Liz in hopes of putting her event planning skills to good use.  “I want to keep the spirit of Elizabeth alive through our events, and I want to raise money to help rid the world of this deadly disease.”

 

MATT MELDE

Matt’s life changed on September 23rd, 2011, when Elizabeth, his wife of 13 months, was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. Elizabeth fought a very courageous battle, but passed away on April 7th, 2012. Inspired by his wife, Matt co-founded Living For Liz in an attempt to limit the number of families in the future who have to deal with losing their loved-ones to this horrible disease.

 

MONICA LISA HOLMAN

Elizabeth’s highly motivated and extremely organized mother, Monica, graduated from Western Technical College with a degree in Secretarial Sciences.  Empowered by her daughter’s valiant fight against lung cancer,  Monica is very passionate about the possibilities for growth of  the Living For Liz non-profit and the effects the non-profit will have on the future of lung cancer research.  She is committed to bringing this disease to the forefront of all cancer research initiatives.

 

RUANNA HAYES

Ruanna, friends with Elizabeth since high school, is the newest addition to the Living For Liz Board.  She currently resides in La Crescent, MN and works at Kwik Trip’s corporate offices. Ruanna has taken a very active roll in LizFest since it’s inception in hopes of bringing much needed awareness to lung cancer and ridding it of its smoking stigma… and also to get her fellow board members in the dunk tank. Ruanna’s quarky sense of humor is a huge asset to the L4L team!

 

STEVE HOLMAN

Lieutenant Colonel Steven Holman has been a career nurse for over 30 years. While mobilized for duty helping the wounded soldiers with remote care in their home towns, Steven learned of his daughter’s lung cancer diagnosis. After years of comforting patients and families with terminal and life changing diseases, he found himself on the other side of the fence. Elizabeth’s family witnessed Elizabeth’s courage in battling this illness and maintaining her grace with others around her to the end. This has given Steven the desire and drive to push Living for Liz forward to make others more aware of this killing cancer and to help in the fight for prevention and earlier detection. His hope is that others will not suffer as his daughter and family have.

 

 

Our Friends

Who are our friends? They are the people, non-profits, groups, websites, WARRIORS that we draw our inspiration from. Thank you to all our friends. You keep us going EVERY DAY.

If you are a friend that we have not met yet and would like to introduce yourself, please head on over to our contact page to introduce yourself – here.

 

100 Days of Real Food

100 Days of Real Food

100 Days of Real Food

The idea behind this series of posts is what inspired me to start this blog in the first place. From May through September 2010 our family of four – including our daughters who were ages 3 and 5 at the time – pledged to go 100 solid days without eating a single ounce of highly processed or refined food (that means no white flour or sugar!).

Visit Their Website

American Cancer Society

American Cancer Society - Friend's of The Family, Living For Liz

American Cancer Society

For nearly 100 years, the American Cancer Society (ACS) has worked relentlessly to save lives and create a world with less cancer and more birthdays. Together with millions of our supporters worldwide, we’re helping people stay well, helping people get well, finding cures, and fighting back against cancer.

Visit Their Website

Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation

Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation - Friend's of The Family, Living For Liz

Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation

BJALCF has grown into the first international collaborative entity of its kind, raising over $9 million for Lung Cancer research. BJALCF plans, with your help, to become the global leader for Lung Cancer.

Visit Their Website

Designing Jewelers

logoDesigning Jewelers

Living For Liz approached Designing Jewelers to sponsor an event.  We quickly learned that an owner lost a loved one at a young age to lung cancer as well.  L4L’s mission is close to Designing Jewelers hearts, and with Designing Jewelers help, we were able to produce our keepsake heart necklace.  Designing Jewelers commitment to their customers and community continues to drive their business and life.

Visit Their Page

Full Circle Supply

Full Circle Supply - Friend's of The Family, Living For Liz

Full Circle Supply

The mission of Full Circle Supply is to provide the community with products that leave the least amount of impact on our environment. Full Circle Supply is a way to reduce waste by not only refilling natural personal care & cleaning products, but by providing you with every day products that are innovative, safe and sustainable.

Visit Their Page

Gundersen Lutheran Hospitals of LaCrosse, WI

Gundersen Lutheran - Friends of The Family, Living For Liz

Gundersen Health System

We distinguish ourselves through excellence in patient care, education, research and improved health in the communities we serve.

Visit Their Website

Livestrong

Livestrong - Friends of The Family, Living For Liz

LiveStrong

Since 1997, we’ve been working to improve the lives of people affected by cancer. We started as a small group trying to raise money to fight this disease. As cancer has quietly become the world’s leading cause of death, our work has expanded and now reaches every corner of the globe.

Visit Their Website

Lung Cancer Alliance

Lung Cancer Alliance - Friends of The Family, Living For Liz

Lung Cancer Alliance

Founded in 1995, our first priority and founding hallmark is to meet the needs of lung cancer patients and those at risk. As the largest lung cancer advocacy organization in the world, we work tirelessly to improve outcomes, eliminate stigma and secure public health research dollars.

Visit Their Website

LUNGevity

Lungevity - Friends of The Family, Living For Liz

LUNGevity

The mission of LUNGevity Foundation is to have a meaningful and immediate impact on improving lung cancer survival rates, ensure a higher quality of life for lung cancer patients, and provide a community for those impacted by lung cancer.

Visit Their Website

Mayo Clinic in La Crosse, WI

Mayo Clinic - Friends of The Family, Living For Liz

Mayo Clinic

Starting as Western Wisconsin’s first hospital in 1883, Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare continues to put the needs of our patients first as we deliver safe, high-quality patient care to the 7 Rivers Region.

Visit Their Website

National Lung Cancer Partnership

National Lung Cancer Partnership - Friends of The Family, Living For Liz

National Lung Cancer Partnership

Our mission is to decrease deaths due to lung cancer and to help patients live longer and better through research, awareness and advocacy.

Visit Their Website

Organic Valley

Organic Valley - Friend's of The Family, Living For Liz

Organic Valley

Organic Valley helps people who want to buy and eat local organic food. The site allows you to put in your region/area and find the nearest farm of COOP approved growers in your area.

Visit Their Page

People's Food Co-Op

People's Food Co-Op - Friends of The Family, Living For Liz

The People’s Food Co-op

People’s Food Co-op is community owned. That means that we have a special understanding of how we must nourish and respect not only our shoppers, but our community and our environment as well.

Visit Their Page

Team Elizabeth on Facebook

Team Elizabeth on Facebook - Friend's of The Family, Living For Liz

Team Elizabeth

Started by Elizabeth’s cousin, Team Elizabeth quickly became a source of strength for her when she needed it. Even after her death, Team Elizabeth’s numbers never fell below 1700. Join today!

Visit Their Page

Team Vogel Vs. Cancer

Team Vogel - Friend's of The Family, Living For Liz

Team Vogel Vs. Cancer

Team Vogel vs. Cancer is a group of people, connected in a fight against cancer, started by Joe and Rachel Vogel. Joe began his battle with cancer in May 2006, and he and his family were overwhelmed with the love and support shown by Joe’s friends, family, coworkers and community.

Visit Their Page

The Gerson Institute

Gerson Institute - Friends of the Family, Living For Liz

The Gerson Institute

The Gerson Institute is a non-profit organization in San Diego, California, dedicated to providing education and training in the Gerson Therapy, an alternative, non-toxic treatment for cancer and other chronic degenerative diseases.

Visit Their Page

Whole Foods

Whole Foods - Friend's of The Family, Living For Liz

Whole Foods

Whole Foods Market is a dynamic leader in the quality food business. We are a mission-driven company that aims to set the standards of excellence for food retailers.

Visit Their Page