For years, Lisa Loonstyn and her Lower Merion Township family have aided the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation. Today, as Loonstyn battles ovarian cancer herself, the foundation is returning the favor.
"We feel like she's given our organization so much. We wanted to help her with her medical care costs at least," foundation co-founder Robin Cohen said.
Launching Saturday at in Manayunk, fundraiser Lisa's Army will go live to help the 22-year-old mother and Narberth resident. The initiative empowers people to send text message donations to a charity that benefits Loonstyn's cancer battle.
"Lisa's Army is really a group of people made up of family and friends who are supporting and fighting along side her," Cohen said.
A graduate of Harriton High School, Loonstyn will attend the fundraiser who fiancé, Michael, and 1-year-old son, Mikey. Currently enrolled at Neumann College for marketing, Loonstyn has taken a medical leave to fight the disease.
Cohen said Loonstyn has been integral in the charity's success, which was founded 10 years ago. Sandy Rollman, the foundation's namesake, was a patient of Cohen's, who is a nurse. As Loonstyn has creatively helped supported the foundation, Cohen wanted to return the favor.
"Because Lisa is so young, we chose texting. It's something all of her friends are already doing. It's at their level," she said. By texting the word "teal" to 20222, $10 will automatically be donated to the charity.
Manayunk itself is a familiar place for the foundation, and Cohen said it was an appropriate setting for the launch party.
"We've done a lot here, worked with the and helped with the mural on the ," she said.
The event tomorrow costs $25 for an open bar and buffet from 7 to 11 p.m., with all proceeds benefiting Lisa's Army. A big screen will be setup to monitor donations as they come in.
Though the fundraising angle is the event's main goal, Cohen said the community aspect is important, too.
"It shows that everyone is supporting her. For anyone who is on this ovarian cancer journey, it is important to have support," she said. "They are not alone."
For more information, visit the Lisa's Army Facebook page.