Cancer Survivor Gives Back With 'The Big Hug Box'

Cancer survivor Lisa Greissl has started 'The Big Hug Box', as a way to support cancer patients through treatment and raise funds for cancer research.

What you need to know
  • Lisa Greissl was diagnosed with cancer just days after giving birth to her daughter
  • After battling the disease she started 'The Big Hug Box', as a support for cancer sufferers going through treatment
  • All proceeds are donated to cancer research

cancerA cancer survivor is using her new lease on life to give back to those battling the insidious disease by creating The Big Hug Box.

Lisa Greissl was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive tumour on her spine when her daughter was just four-days-old and from there, instead of doting on her newborn, she was thrust into a world of hospitals and chemotherapy.

“Not knowing what the future brings for you is a really dark and challenging time,” Greissl said.

Her oncologist, Professor Martin Tattersall started treatment immediately with three very intense rounds of chemotherapy and major spinal surgery, eventually declaring the new-mum ‘cancer-free’.

Image: The Big Hug Box

“I use the word miracle rarely, but I have no other explanation as to why Lisa has done so incredible well,” Tattersall said.

“The outcome for her treatment was amazingly unique.

“The treatment was heavy and has been used in other patients where the outcome has not been as favourable.”

Image: Lisa Greissl

The unimaginable outcome has inspired Lisa to give back , so she’s started ‘The Big Hug Box’ -- a gift for cancer patients to support them through their grueling treatment.

“It’s filled with practical and beautiful products to help the patient through their treatment and all products have been selected based on experiences of those who’ve been through treatment, including myself, “ Greissl said.

“It includes anti-nausea teas, ginger cookies, all-natural beauty products, a silk pillow, crystals and uplifting messages -- things that you don’t necessarily think you’ll need while battling cancer.

“The Big Hug Box is all about kindness and we’ve been fortunate in not only supporting cancer patients... but we’re also supporting family and friends through the uncertainty and feeling of helplessness when someone receives a cancer diagnosis.”

Carolyn Young was diagnosed with breast cancer four-years-ago and today -- on her 76th treatment at the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse -- she received a Big Hug Box.

“What’s in that box is what you need, when I lost my hair my head got very hot and I think that (silk pillow) would have been lovely to put your head on,” Mrs Young said.

“When you have treatment your skin is very sensitive and things you’ve been using for years just don’t work anymore so you have to use natural products.

“Anything like that, that gives you a lift – anything out of the ordinary, a surprise does wonders for your morale.”

The boxes can be purchased for a loved one for up to $65, or you can invest in a ‘Random Hug of Kindness’ which will be delivered to a deserving stranger going through treatment at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.

All proceeds from their sales will fund cancer research through Cure Cancer Australia, whose grant program lead to the live-saving treatment Lisa received.

Image: Lisa Greissl

“Cure Cancer Australia has been a very useful ally to Lisa and now she’s giving back,” Professor Martin Tattersall said.

“Knowing cancer research actually saved my life… that’s another rewarding component of The Big Hug Box,” Mrs Greissl said.

“I just hope that this funding will mean no will ever have to go through a terminal cancer diagnosis in the future.”