Jones, a breast cancer survivor, wants the best for patients and the best in research, so she also volunteers to help with UNC Lineberger fundraising events. For the past several years she has helped with the Tickled Pink events that raise money for women's cancer research and for patients’ support.
One year she donned a pink leotard and feather boas, and for several events, a bright pink wig. "It's a way to create a fun and different event. People can laugh, have a good time, and provide much needed funds for research."
Mary Seagroves, special events coordinator for UNC Lineberger, said, "Lisa understands that events are about fun and fundraising. She's an energetic volunteer, and we greatly appreciate her help." Jones says, "Volunteers are important financially and vital to patients' happiness and well-being. It's nice for patients to know there are people who want to support them."
Jones' cancer was detected early, thanks to regular mammograms. She underwent surgery, and was treated with Tamoxifen. Six months later, a tumor appeared on the right side and because of its location, a surgical biopsy was needed. "And since I was going to have a surgery anyway, after talking it over with my surgeon, Dr. Nancy DeMore, we decided to go ahead and perform a second mastectomy. Even though the second tumor was benign, I am very happy for my decision."
Jones has spoken about her breast cancer experience with numerous patients facing the diagnosis. "I'm glad to share what I know and what I have learned. I urge newly diagnosed patients to contact others who have been through this experience. When you're diagnosed, you're learning so much info
that it's hard to accurately download everything. Talking it over with someone who has been there can help you process the information and figure out what's best for you. It makes you comfortable with your decisions."
Jones counsels a new patient that "it's important to keep one piece of something you really identify with, as 'you' — such as painting, running, golf, or whatever. It is something powerful that helps define who you are. When you aren't able to do that thing, you can talk to those whom you shared this with or watch them…it keeps you active in that part of your life and is still empowering."
For Jones it was her family and her need to exercise. She was out walking two days postsurgery with her drains still in place. "I talked about my cancer with my children because I didn't want them to be frightened. They needed to see the mom they knew."
Jones and husband, Steve, have been married for 26 years. They moved to Chapel Hill in 2003 when Steve, a Tar Heel alum, came to serve as dean of the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. They have four children: Alex,24; Lindsey,23; Sam,18; and Michael, 9. Jones is a native of Cincinnati.