Valicia Patrice Chestnut
Through The Years
Valicia Patrice Chestnut
1968 - 2009
Valicia Patrice Chestnut or “LisaP” was born on February 8th, 1968 to Harold and Hazel Chestnut in Durham, North Carolina. The 6th of 7 children, Lisa grew up full of spunk, smarts and smiles, and placed her family and her education at the forefront of her life. Her outgoing personality and ability to incite excitement amongst her peers helped her to become a member of the Hillside High School flag team, where she shone as a spirit leader for the band. This love for camaraderie and the essence of the band would continue after her graduation, as she regularly participated in band alumni events.
Lisa’s focus on academics later earned her a BS in History from North Carolina Central University. It was around this time that she received her diagnosis for diabetes. For the next 21 years she would struggle with the disease while leading an active and full life. While friends and family were aware of her condition, Lisa’s personality shielded them from her true struggles. Such was the case with the Sunday School groups she taught at Orange Grove Missionary Baptist Church, who spent many Sundays engrossed in Lisa’s
lessons. Lisa was also a strong, independent, educated and motivating role model as a Girl
Scout Leader for Juniors’ Troop #3479, all with very little complaints regarding her condition. Lisa placed great emphasis on the bonds of family throughout her life. Her protective and loving nature helped her to become a wonderful daughter and friend to her parents and siblings, especially her youngest sister with whom she was both sibling and best friend. She was also a devoted aunt to her nieces and nephews, so much so that even the friends of her youngest niece thought of her as “Aunt Lisa”.
On November 2, 2009, after a battle that consumed half her life, Lisa succumbed to diabetes at the age of 41. The Chestnut family, friends, and the Durham community were devastated by this most unexpected loss. However, Lisa P’s passing helped bring to light the disparity in the public’s education on diabetes. That is how the Lisa P Angels Walk/Run came to fruition. It is the hope of the organization that the event will aid in raising awareness about diabetes, and will provide research and treatment funding through the American Diabetes Association to reach others like our beloved “LisaP”, their families, friends, and communities.
While LisaP’s passing created a great void in the hearts of those who loved her, comfort is found in the knowledge that her life will save others. We can only hope that these efforts make one of God’s most wonderful angels proud.