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Jodi Fisher, Cayucos woman dying of cancer, to meet President Obama

jmellom@thetribunenews.com

UPDATE: Jodi Fisher meets President Obama in San Francisco »

Today, Jodi Fisher gets to meet President Barack Obama.

It’s another wish fulfilled for the Cayucos woman who was diagnosed with inoperable cancer nearly two years ago.

A whirlwind of public support surfaced for Fisher after her battle with cancer and the wishes on her bucket list she had compiled with her family was made public earlier this week.

Just five days ago, Fisher was handing out free treats from an ice cream truck in Cayucos — another item on the list — to celebrate her 44th birthday and as a way of giving back to the community.

Now, in a serendipitous chain of events, her story has been shared across the country, and the compassion she continually shares with those around her is being returned.

San Luis Obispo residents Theresa and Pat Perry read Fisher’s story in The Tribune and decided on a whim to pass it along to their son, Seamus Perry, who works at the White House.

“I thought, wouldn’t this be something if this could happen,” Theresa Perry said. And then it did.

Fisher said she screamed in excitement when she received the phone call from the White House. And then she screamed some more.

As of Wednesday evening, she was planning to write a letter before she met the president — just to make sure she didn’t forget anything she wanted to say.

“What do you say if you have a minute with the president?” Fisher asked. “It has to be something good I haven’t quite figured out what that is yet.”

Obama is scheduled to start today in Los Angeles, then fly to San Francisco, arriving at 1 p.m. He will make a series of campaign appearances.

Seeing the president will be a memory that Fisher, her husband, Shawn, and her two children, Callie, 11, and Jonah, 9, will carry with them — adding to the fortitude of Fisher’s fight to survive.

Fisher’s first battle with cancer began seven years ago when a malignant cyst was discovered in her cervix. After two surgeries, doctors called her recovery a success. Two years ago, the cancer returned.

Fisher and her family put together her bucket list of things to accomplish as a way to spend time together doing things they hadn’t yet had a chance to do.

The list is a way of taking simple pleasures and carving out the time in life to make them happen. It is about living, not about dying, Fisher said.

For the Fisher family, that means letting the kids ditch school one day to go to the movies, spending a weekend in Yosemite and giving back to a community they love.

And as if by kismet, bigger hopes, such as meeting Obama and going to see “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” live, are now becoming a reality.

Fisher’s story inspired many when they read it — including Heather Hellman, a local marketing executive.

Hellman called on a close friend, Lydia Ash, who was able to get four tickets for Fisher to attend a taping of the show.

“We are our brothers’ keepers; I firmly believe that,” Hellman said. “If I could find a way to do it, I was at least going to try.”

Fisher also received a phone call from someone connected to DeGeneres’ show about the possibility of going on the program after friends and complete strangers contacted organizers to tell them of her wish.

Fisher said the outpouring of support has warmed her heart and continues to give her family strength.

“Of course none of us know when we will go, but I think it is important to give it some thought — you don’t want to wait until you are sick to prioritize what is important in life,” Fisher said. “I know people don’t think they have time to do this — or it is uncomfortable or scary for them — but really all we have is time. And it’s what we do with it that is important.”

Reach AnnMarie Cornejo at 781-7939. Stay updated by following @a_cornejo on Twitter.

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