Liz Minter ’13, an exuberant Denison communication major with a contagious personality from Bronxville, N.Y., died last spring of a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer, gliomatosis cerebri, but not before she made an indelible mark on her many friends, family, and even her doctors. Minter’s tumor was the first gliomatosis cerebri to be sequenced, and although she lost her two-year battle with the disease in May of 2012 it was her hope that ongoing research will find the answers that spare future children and their families.
Determined to make a difference in other’s lives even after she was gone, Minter helped to found Elizabeth’s Hope, a nonprofit dedicated to finding cures for inoperable brain tumors in children and adolescents.
Liz also was the inspiration for The Children’s Brain Tumor Project, founded under the direction of one of her doctors, research scientist and neurosurgeon Dr. Jeffrey Greenfield. The organization will utilize a state-of-the-art gene sequencer to identify each tumor’s unique genomic profile, and it will provide research scientists and technicians to interpret the data. Elizabeth’s Hope helps to fund these efforts.
It comes as no surprise that Denison students remain very much involved in the philanthropic efforts that honor the memory of Liz, and they are holding several fundraisers to support the cause. Just this week, a favorite local gathering place, River Road Coffeehouse, was the site of a “Lattes for Liz,” a student-organized event. The next event takes place this Saturday, when Snapshots Lounge in Granville has graciously signed on to donate 25 percent of the proceeds from the entire day’s sales to Elizabeth’s Hope.
Meg Cronin, one of Liz’s best friends, remembers her this way, “Liz was the most courageous person that I knew. She never let the disease define the person she was. She did not lose herself throughout her illness, and her spunky, upbeat personality always shone through.”
She adds, “It is very important to both Liz’s family and friends to continue to spread her love, even though she has left us. As we are closing in on our graduation, we want to continue Liz’s legacy and hopefully touch the hearts of others.”
Everyone from the Denison and Granville communities, and beyond, is encouraged to stop by Snapshots Lounge (925 River Rd., Granville) this Saturday, Dec. 8, to join in the celebration of Liz’s life and support the great work that Elizabeth’s Hope is doing for current and future cancer patients.