The Oregonian profiled student Robert Lisac ’12, whose battle with cancer has shaped his professional aspirations. The Dean’s List student hopes to pursue cancer research and serve as a physician, saving the lives of children just as his doctors saved his life.
Lisac’s life direction was born at age 12, when he was diagnosed with leukemia and, eventually, given a 2 percent chance to live. He spent his teens battling the disease, going to more than 1,000 doctor appointments and enduring 25 surgeries.
Once in a wheelchair, Lisac now bikes to class. He made the Dean’s List and collaborated on cancer research with a Linfield professor. As a child, he received his brother’s bone marrow at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital; he returned to their Bone Marrow Transplant Department as a college intern in 2010.
“Cancer makes you grow up fast,” Lisac says. “There are no guarantees in life, but I learned that it’s important to never give up on your dreams.” He would like to see his life come full circle, and is applying to medical school.
Lisac will be among 585 Linfield students who march in this year’s Linfield College Commencement Ceremony, to be held May 27.