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Lori Lynn Wallace-Pushinaitis: Always with Us, Always the Activist

Lori Lynn Wallace-Pushinaitis will be forever missed after her passing Saturday night, October 20th, 2018. She died peacefully at home after a 7+ year, hard fought battle with breast cancer. Lori was a caring person who touched the lives of so many, but first and foremost, she was a fiercely loving Mother, and a supportive and loving Wife.

Always the activist, Lori was first, deeply committed to caring for the environment throughout her tenure with the City of San Jose, Environmental Services Department. If you decided to throw recycle in the garbage, or let the water run too long in Lori’s presence, you did so at your own risk!

When, in 2011 Lori was diagnosed with Stage lla breast cancer her focus turned to advocating not only for herself, but also for her fellow cancer sisters, of which there are many. She was an active member of the support group BAYS (Bay Area Young Survivors) where she both gave and received endless support to and from young women who were going through similar struggles. As the years passed, so did many of the women she grew to love so much, from a disease that she felt received more funding and attention for Awareness, than a Cure. This is where her activism took wings.

Two organizations that she felt properly addressed metastatic breast cancer and the funding needed for finding a cure are Metavivor, and Metup. She traveled the country extensively attending various conferences to bring attention to their cause.

As Lori’s cancer progression started to take its toll on her mind and body she decided to make sure she had the opportunity to pass with dignity, and on her own terms, when the time came. A fierce supporter of the California End of Life Option Act, she was asked to take part in the documentary Altered States BBC documentary, “Death”, produced by the BBC’s Louis Theroux. Louis and his film crew traveled to our home, visited with us while on vacation, and followed Lori through some of her daily trials, to shine a light on how the California End of Life Option Act can give people some comfort and control as they near the ends of their lives. Lori was extremely passionate in advocating for the End of Life Option Act in California, so terminally ill patients like herself would have the right to die with dignity, and on their own terms. This film is a parting legacy of Lori’s heroic activism and passion for what she believed in. Lori has also published two short stories, “Fuck Silver Linings and Pink Ribbons”, found in the book Shivering in a Paper Gown and “100% a Mom”, found in the book, Agony and Absurdity: Adventures in Cancerland.

Lori is survived by her father Robert, sons Evan and Braden, husband Mark, extended family, and so many friends that have been touched by her Love and Kindness.

Patient advocacy and cancer support groups that were important to Lori’s cancer journey and require special thanks, BAYS (Bay Area Young Survivors), Metavivor, Metup, First Descent, Commonweal, and Young Survival Coalition.

100% of donations to METAvivor go to research with the goal of ending death from metastatic breast cancer.

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