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Craine’s Cholangiocarcinoma Crew

Lisa continued her family legacy as both of her parents were graduates of STVM. Her memories of high school are filled with state championships, musicals, booster club, great lifetime friendships and an education that prepared her for life. Lisa was diagnosed with Stage IV Cholangiocarcinoma in 2010 and given six months to live. She credits her faith, her husband, an incredible team of doctors and the Cleveland Clinic for her survival. She has endured five recurrences, with treatments including multiple surgeries, chemotherapies and radiation, but this has not stopped this Fighting Irish Alum.

Lisa’s parents were known to the community as people who served others. She said she always thought philanthropy was something only the rich did, but as an adult she realized she inherited her giving spirit from her parents; and that giving your time, prayers and love to others is also philanthropy. Serving our community was a part of her life growing up, thanks to the incredible example her parents Frank V48 and Mary Marcella Salem V53 set. So, in 2011, while recovering from an 11 1/2-hour surgery to remove 78% of her liver and receiving chemotherapy, David and Lisa founded Craine’s Cholangiocarcinoma Crew, a 501(c)3 Fund through the Akron Community Foundation. Craine’s Crew mission is “Providing hope to cholangiocarcinoma patients by raising and investing in breakthrough research to prevent and cure cholangiocarcinoma, and providing support as they navigate their journey through mentoring, advocacy, love and prayer.”


Craine’s Crew has raised over $350K for cholangiocarcinoma research and has funded several promising research projects. Lisa spends her days mentoring other patients, helping them navigate second opinions, clinical trials and identifying the best treatment protocols. She has presented her story throughout the USA, because she feels by telling her story, it gives others hope. She even shared her story at a little baseball field called in Boston called Fenway Park. You might see Lisa sitting with a patient during treatment or taking notes for a patient during a medical visit. David and Lisa open their home to patients and caregivers for gatherings and dinners. Their life is led by a servant mentality. Lisa believes there is always HOPE, and that one person can make a difference. Volunteers are a sign of hope and compassion in our world. She wouldn’t trade her life, diagnosis or volunteer work for anything. Volunteering has allowed her to love more deeply and give more freely. She believes that Mother Teresa was right when she said “We can do no great things – only small things with great love.”

Craine’s Crew raises funds through their runners in The Akron Marathon. All are welcome to join the team as a marathoner, half marathoner, relay team, virtual runner or support cholangiocarcinoma research by visiting their website. You can read more about Lisa’s journey and Craine’s Cholangiocarcinoma Crew at

Thank you, Lisa, for all the work you are doing. Your strength, determination and service are amazing!

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