Lisa Thompson

When Lisa was 3-mo old her mom took her to the pediatrician b/c she was concerned that Lisa was not reacting to movements in a room. After many tests the doctor confirmed she had congenital cataracts. Her left eye is completely blind & she has very limited, cloudy vision in her right eye. When Lisa was 3 her mom read an article about a teacher of handicapped children named Mary Gordon who lived in Lawrence, KS. The entire family packed up & moved to Lawrence & Lisa met w/ Mary 5 days/wk for the next 15 yrs. Mary insisted Lisa was not allowed to say “I can’t.” She could choose to say, “I won’t” or “I choose not to,” but the words “I can’t” were not permitted in Mary’s classroom. Shortly after graduating from Rice University in 1989, Lisa was selected to receive the Scholastic Achievement Award, which was presented at the White House. After she returned to Houston, Lisa wrote a letter to the President recounting her thoughts about the dinner. A month later she received a call from Washington saying the President’s staff thought her letter was hilarious & offering her a job as a White House intern. At first she thought the caller was a friend playing a joke on her so she hung up. But the staffer called back & convinced Lisa she was serious. In DC, Lisa managed the Thousand Points of Light campaign, which honored individuals & organizations that volunteered their time to improve the lives of fellow Americans. In 2007 she was going through a rough time in her personal life & was exhausted from working 16 hours every day. Her good friend, Mary Catherine insisted Lisa take time to run w/ the Bayou City Road Runners. At first Lisa was nervous, but over time she realized that her personal life had been refreshed by the runs & she enjoyed being w/ the other members of BCRR. Today she is one of the club’s most active members. In addition to attending 4 group workouts per week, she meets for dinners, hosts parties, holds garage sales, & even organizes hurricane relief efforts for the club. She is also one of the most celebrated Visually Impaired female athletes in the country having won the VI division of the Houston, Boston, & California International Marathons.