A West Linn High School student who was part of the state champion girls lacrosse team during her freshman year was then kept off the field due to cancer and ACL surgery.
But Liz Lofurno made it back to the field and her team adopted the motto, “Liz Strong,” which also became a hashtag on social media.
In the first week of her sophomore year, Lofurno was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“As terrible as it was to hear that and as horrifying as it was, there was a comfort just to know there was a name for what I was going through,” she said.
Lofurno lost her hair to chemotherapy, but she never lost her team.
“To see her not there, it really sucked. She has the most drive, the most composure and the most strength I have ever seen in a person,” said senior Abby Manley.
Lofurno was declared cancer-free in January of her sophomore year, but a blood clot continued to hold her back. Then, on the fourth day of her junior year, she tore her ACL.
After nine months of recovery, she looked forward to her senior year, but then she tore the same ACL.
Surgery would have to wait, however, as Lofurno notched 11 goals and eight assists in eight games this spring, while wearing a bulky brace, before undergoing her second surgery.
“I knew I wanted to play, I knew I wanted to be out with my team. I just spent two years watching them from the sidelines,” she said.
Now three weeks removed from her second surgery, Lofurno hobbles her way to every game and every practice, but she said there’s no way she’s using crutches at her graduation.
The 4.0 student will then attend Oregon State University. She said her health struggles inspired her to study pre-med and bio-medical engineering. She may even tryout for the Beavers lacrosse team, once she’s fully healthy again in 2020.
Copyright 2018 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.