I am a life and career coach. That was not a career choice I considered when starting out in life, nor is it what I spent the first half of my life doing. Plans have a way of changing the longer you live. Life is funny that way.
I am also a speaker and an author...but more of that shortly.
Six weeks after I left my corporate job to go out on my own, I was diagnosed with cancer. I was blindsided by with this news and reeled for quite some time as I reached for something, anything, that would make sense of the chaos that ensued. Once I survived my ordeal I knew I had too much valuable experience not to share it and help others manage their journey. I began volunteering on a cancer helpline. That was nineteen years ago.
My experience taught me that cancer may be the crisis but it's your life that becomes the mess. There are many events, big and small, that upend our existence. How we handle them decides our future. This is when guidance and support become so important. After years of helping people put their lives on track after a life-threatening illness, and two years of personal-development and self-empowerment training, life and career coaching became a natural extension, and next step for me.
This lead to speaking engagements about how to let your life experiences guide you, not block or define you. To further share the knowledge I have gained I wrote The Upside to Everything, Even Cancer: Advice and Wisdom From Fifteen Years at a Cancer Helpline. Available in bookstores soon.
In addition, my cancer experience inspired me to start an all-volunteer nonprofit called City Santa with my husband seventeen years ago. We bring together volunteers to gather up all the generosity and goodness in people, put it in pretty boxes and deliver it to those who need kindness at Christmas. Below are links for a view of what we do:
For more information on The Upside to Everything, coaching or speaking:
Photo: Franklin Thompson, ULTA Beauty, Breast Cancer campaign 2017.