The Catalyst Church is where you would find Lisa Chandley every Sunday morning.
But any other day you would find her volunteering in the many missions of Catalyst Church, including the food pantry sprinkling in some life lessons and good advice.
“She said to me ‘it is our responsibility to be gentle and loving to all people,” said Lisa’s stepdaughter Megan Chandley. “‘That is our calling from God.'”
“‘Stick to the straight and narrow to make sure you’re true to yourself and true to God’s word,'” remembers Lisa’s friend Jodi Staley. “It was important to her to give to people who were less fortunate to make any impact she could.”
Darryl Chandley says his wife grew up among the working poor.
“There was times where she would have to go without,” said Darryl.
But she learned early on how to succeed.
“She showed me how she knitted these little pot holders and sold them for a dime and a quarter each so she could buy her first bike at age 10.”
He says that drive pushed her to better herself in school, college and eventually landing a job in the medical field.
“Wanting to make people better.”
Running studies to find treatments for illnesses, including the disease that took her mother’s life years ago, and recently took her life too. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018, after a double mastectomy and reconstruction, Lisa recovered.
“She was very blessed.”
But the cancer came roaring back last year.
“She just started getting too tired, and she started having a rattling cough.”
Even then, during her cancer treatment, she continued her work. But this time, to help all of us.
Darryl says she was on Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine team.
“In her sickness, trying to save us all from what we’ve been going through the past two years.”
That work is highly confidential, but in an unusual move, her boss sent us a statement about what she called Lisa’s unwavering faith and strength of character, adding:
“Lisa dedicated her career to supporting advances in medical research. Her particular diagnosis remains a significantly unmet need and an area of intense research focus. Labcorp is supporting a number of clinical trials for this disease, and we continue to carry Lisa with us as we continue this important work.”
Lisa died last June.
As hard as it is to lose her, Darryl says she prepared them all to live without her.
“It was like she was handing me the baton and said, now run,” he said. “I knew she had 100% faith in her salvation.”
And in time, he knows where he’ll find her, in heaven, sitting on the front row.
“I love her and I miss her.”
Lisa’s remarkable legacy lives on in the many good works her family and friends continue.