SAANICH -- Although she has power-bars for energy and her kids’ hugs for inspiration — Lise is not feeling completely prepared for what she committed to a week ago.

“But we Googled, ‘how to run a marathon,’ and it says we’re ready,” Lise laughs. “What more can you do, right?”

Lise has never run a marathon before. But her friend Grace has.

“She’s going to crush it!” Grace says. “It’s a gift to run with her energy, spirit, and presence in life.”

Before they began running 42 kilometres around Elk and Beaver Lakes Friday morning, Lise and Grace were training for the GoodLife marathon in the fall. But then Lise’s stage-4 cancer spread from her heart and lungs to her brain.

“Every time there’s a progression, its a blow,” Lise says.

Those are the times she starts thinking about leaving her young children. Thinking about — more than the moments she’ll miss seeing when she’s gone — the moments she won’t be able to make better because she’s gone.

“It’s that fear,” Lise says, fighting back tears. “That pain of hurting the ones you love.”

But instead of focusing on what she can’t do, Lise is celebrating what she can.

“To really be present in my life,” she says. “And appreciate the things I have in my life while I have them.”

To appreciate the friends and family who’ve placed supportive signs along the trail and gathered for encouraging cheers beside the beach.

Lise is also running to raise money for the Callanish Society. Donations are being accepted — under Lise’s name — through the charity’s website,, or through Canada Helps online here.

Lise credits the non-profit with helping her learn to navigate around living with a terminal illness.

“Callanish has this saying that death is the end of life,” she says. “But not the end of a relationship.”

And when the marathon finally ends, Lise and Grace are greeted by the exuberant cheers from friends and family — their most meaningful relationships.

Many of the well-wishers helped raise more than $33,000 so far. Lise’s goal is $42,000 ($1,000 per kilometre run).

Lise also hopes that seeing everybody’s efforts has inspired her children.

“I hope they see how much community we have around them,” Lise says. “To help support them and carry them through some pretty tough times.”

And to never stop living fully, loving boldly, and giving-back abundantly.