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Via Rider | Performance Artist | Amputee

In remembrance of Via rider Lisa M.

Lisa M. used Via’s paratransit service for over a decade, and through the years we became an integral part of her life; she considered many of our drivers to be a part of her extended family. Her love reached many on Via’s team, and she will be missed.

In 2016, Lisa was one of 25 individuals featured in Via’s Portraits of Ability photojournalism exhibit. Lisa’s story is featured below.

“I always thought dancing would be my life.”

What is my life doing right now? Lisa poses the question to the Tarot cards. Lisa started dance lessons at age 3 and has been a choreographer and stage actress. Diagnosed with type I diabetes at age 16, Lisa’s body has taken its own path toward multiple health problems, but it has not taken her spirit. In her mind she says you are still a dancer, just because you are in this body, doesn’t mean you can’t feel dance.

Lisa moved to Boulder from California to study herbal medicine, hoping she could have a more natural treatment of her diabetes. Not much is known about type I diabetes she says. She’s had so many doctors treating her and feels there have been many healthcare mistakes. Now she has good communication with her doctors, but diabetes has assaulted her body. Her vision is impaired, she is on dialysis and recently had her leg amputated.

Many years ago, Lisa’s father had a vision that something tragic would happen to her, but then something good would occur. For a long time, Lisa thought that meant she would recover from her diabetes, dance and get all the kudos, her name in the newspaper and all of those things that come along with fame. She realizes now that the good thing her father envisioned must have been about helping others; that is a focus of her life.

Lisa has been a rider for over 10 years. She loves Via drivers Maggie, Charlie, and Yoshi. I hope it’s Maggie this morning she says to herself after a particularly distressing event. She cherishes her relationships with the drivers; they are like family. Lisa is beloved by the Via drivers for her spirit.

I am a dancer. My mind goes there, where my body energy does not.

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