Select Page

Lisa Greissl: Inspiring cancer patients one Hug at a time

As we continue our celebrations of National Careers Week, Rowing Australia profiles Lisa Greissl, Australian Rowing Team member, mum, charity founder and small business owner.

Lisa Greissl describes herself as “very lucky”. In the coming days, she will be presented with her first Australian Rowing Team uniform and June 9-11, will represent Australia at 17th International Para Rowing Regatta on Lake Varese in Gavirate, Italy.

Seven years ago, following the birth of her second daughter Lisa, was diagnosed with a rare cancer. Surgery and subsequent treatment saved her life but resulted in a spinal cord injury.

Lisa feels enormously lucky to have been treated by the late Professor Martin Tattersall AO. His life-saving treatment and world-leading research into ways to improve clear, empathic, and empowering communication between doctor and patient led to many conversations that would change her journey forever.

Professor Tattersall was a talented rower at Cambridge and rowed with Sydney University Masters Rowing, where his wife Sue rowed, before joining North Shore Rowing Club. It was Professor Tattersall that tuned into Lisa’s determined and competitive spirit and encouraged Lisa to aim high in all her rowing endeavours, which has since become an integral part of her daily motivation.

The balance needed for rowing mirrors the  balance Lisa strives for in her busy life. Her two girls are now nine and seven, she and her husband run a local catering company in the Lake Macquarie area and Lisa is also the founder of a national charity The Big Hug Box.

With formal studies in business administration, management and human resources and a strong personal conviction of care and gratitude towards life after cancer, Lisa established The Big Hug Box, which creates practical and comforting cancer care packs that family and friends can send to loved ones when the words seem hard to find.

Her goal is to make a positive impact towards better outcomes for those affected by cancer with a Big Hug and support cancer support services and organisations with profits from every sale. To date, Lisa has raised more than $70,000 through fundraising and donations made through sales of her Big Hug Boxes.