"The rock of the family" is how Lorraine 'Lola' Perkins mother Lucette Perkins best describes her daughter.
Lorraine or as many of us know her as Lola was one to never fear anything that life threw in her direction and that included cancer. Lola was diagnosed with metastic melanoma in November 2007. As she went along with chemotherapy, radiation and surgeries Lola's vibrant personality and radiant smile never faded.
Lola herself posted a photo on her facebook page on May 20,2011 shortly after having surgery to remove her left deltoid, "kickin' cancers butt!!"
Lola gave the fight of her life, but in God's plan it was ready for her to come home. Lola left this earth on Sunday, February 10, 2013- she is now swimming backstroke in heaven.
The water was her life, Lola learned to swim in the ocean as an infant and spent many summers on the family sailboat. As she got better with her strokes, it was time for Lola to begin competitive swimming.
At the age of 8 Lola began tearing up the waters, her toughness and will to succeed allowed her to excel.
Lola attended Largo High School in Largo, Florida and was a 2-time state champion in '86 (100 fly and 100 back). Her talents caught the eye of University of Florida Head Coach Randy Reese and she received a full scholarship to swim for the Gators.
In college Lola earned 4 NCAA titles- 200 medley relay ('88, '89, '90) and 400 medley relay ('88). She was a member of the '91 Pan American Team and swam in the '88 and '92 US Olympic Trials.
But what made her swimming life complete was being apart of Swim Across America-Tampa Bay.
In 2012, the inaugural year Lola strived to swim a 1/2 mile open water to help raise awareness for "skin cancer" in Florida. Moffitt the swim beneficiary was also were Lola had been getting treatment during her diagnosis.
But Lola was thrown another curve ball, just 4 days before the swim she found out the cancer had returned. Unable to make the swim her mom and niece (Madisen) showed up on the beach to represent "Team Lola".
And this is what Lola wants.
She requested not to have memorial service, but instead a celebration of her life and the joys of being in the open water.
Lola has asked to please make donations to Swim Across America-Tampa Bay to help find a cure for metastic melanoma.
LOVE FOR LOLA
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