This page is dedicated to the Marissa Alexandra Norwood Legacy of Kindness Charitable Giving Fund, a fund of Akron Community Foundation. Akron Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity.

For nearly three years, Marissa fought her brave fight against malignant brain and spinal tumors. With courage and a legacy of kindness, Marissa received her angel wings on Dec. 19, 2009. Throughout her fight, Marissa never became stranded in self-pity. Instead, she dedicated her time to helping neglected dogs and victims of domestic violence. Additionally, Marissa gave researchers permission to study her MRIs, CT scans and other information regarding the rare form of brain cancer she was fighting. Her hope was that a protocol would be developed so another child might be cured. Marissa once said, “Never give up until life gives you what you want.” With this guiding principle, she never gave up, even during her most difficult moments. Marissa was an inspiration to everyone around her, and her memory lives on in the hearts and minds of those who were blessed to have known her.

Marissa loved dogs. She loved the dogs of the Doggie Brigade at Akron Children’s Hospital, as seen in the second photo on the right. They comforted her while she was receiving treatment or recovering from surgery. Her own dogs, Lizzy and Bentley, brought her so much joy (see the third photo on the right). Lizzy is the passive beagle, and Bentley is the energetic golden retriever. Both dogs are rescues and loved deeply. As a matter of fact, Marissa pleaded with her mother, Rosalyn Lee Norwood, to add Bentley to the family so Lizzy and Mom would have another family member in the house once Marissa received her wings. What a girl! Marissa always thought about others’ happiness before her own. During the Change Bandits radiothon on 98.1 WKDD, Marissa provided encouragement to other children (and adults) who were dealing with the realities of cancer in their own lives. You can see her working with the radio station in the fourth photo on the right. Marissa Norwood was a strong advocate of leading by example.

Thank you for your interest and support in continuing Marissa’s legacy of kindness. We invite you to view our collection of videos and learn more about Marissa’s journey and her vision for the Legacy of Kindness fund.

 Why is the Legacy of Kindness logo 

the pi symbol?

The mathematical constant pi fascinated Marissa. She often asked questions like, “Is pi an even number?” and “Does it go on forever?” There are many similarities between pi and Marissa. Pi is unique and never-ending. It is a constant that never repeats. Pi is such a special number that it cannot be accurately expressed in a fraction or decimal – it is a mystery. Marissa Norwood was truly unique, and her spirit remains with us.

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