When the Newport Beach and Orange County volleyball communities learned of Liz Lord's harsh diagnosis of brain cancer, they came together to help and support the former Newport Harbor High standout.
Now those people are mourning for her. Lord died Wednesday morning.
She learned of her diagnosis on April 1, 2011, when doctors told her they found an inoperable and incurable tumor.
She was told the type of brain cancer she had carried an average life expectancy of 12-14 months. But she chose to fight. She did her best to remain positive throughout her final days, showing her usual upbeat personality with her friends and family.
Lord's spirit motivated the community, which came together to raise money at the Battle of the Bay boys' volleyball match in May. Newport Harbor, with help from Corona del Mar, raised $10,000 for Lord in May.
"She got to see a lot of people," Newport Harbor Coach Dan Glenn said of Lord's final nine months. "With all the things that happened she realized how many people she had an impact on.
"I was so proud of the community and the money we raised and that everyone came together. It was really nice to see."
Glenn discovered the news of Lord's death from his assistant Taylor Govaars, a close friend of Lord and her family.
News of Lord's death was also posted on Facebook, on a page for her, Liz Lord Fundraiser, Orange County Chapter. Friends left condolences there.
"She made it to her 28th birthday, which was something she really wanted," Glenn said. "She was way too young."
Lord, who graduated from Newport Harbor in 2002, was known for being highly competitive when she played volleyball for the Sailors. She earned a full-ride scholarship to the University of Portland. She continued to live in the area after she finished college.
Growing up in Newport Beach, she also played soccer and softball. She was part of the Newport Harbor girls' volleyball team that won a state championship in 1999. She was named a first-team All-Sea View League player in 2001 before moving on to Portland.
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