If you had to pick three words to describe the nominee, what would they be?
Passionate, Loving, Energy
How has the nominee coped with adversity in their cancer journey?
She had just finished her first year of teaching when she was diagnosed, and was in the process of changing schools. She had to talk to her new boss the first day of work and request time off for surgery, and then, a year later, had to do it again with chemo and radiation. During treatments, she kept working as much as she could, but also spent time with family and friends, taking trips to the "tourist" places near her home that she had never taken time to go to. Just a few months after she completed her treatments, her mother passed from colon and lung cancer, and a year later, her grandmother also passed from cancer. This led her to search for ways to help others dealing with cancer, which led her to volunteer with the American Cancer Society, and now her interest in Stupid Cancer. Now, she is facing some challenges with long-term side effects, and after a bit of prodding and help from the Stupid Cancer family, she is using accommodations and doing well! When she hits a roadblock, she find a way around it, and then a way to help others do the same.
In what ways does the nominee bring the mantra of "get busy living" into their day-to-day life?
She doesn't let anything get in the way of what she wants to do. She travels during the summer to see the country and attend workshops on things she is passionate about. She has been working this year on a curriculum committee to write curriculum for teaching computer programming to kids who are blind. She has just finished her second master's degree and she is already looking into PhD programs. She is a Girl Scout leader for two troops, one being made of girls who are blind. When they changed programming a few years ago, they were not going to make materials available in braille. She supported her girls in writing letters and calling Girl Scout officials to get the materials they needed. She has really jumped into connecting others to Stupid Cancer. She takes time for herself, too. Planning trips and activities to spend time with others. Sometimes the trips are to Civil War reenactments or Renaissance fairs in a near-by town with friends or trips across the country to spend time with family in Florida.
What is unique about the way the nominee gets busy living?
In college, she learned about servant leadership, and how to build others through service and making them great leaders. She does this in every aspect of her life. She devotes most of her time to helping others make the most of themselves. She turns her challenges, and what she has learned from them, around to help others.
How has the nominee impacted you directly?
Three years ago, she agreed to by my wife! She has shown me strength, and that you can make it through some pretty trying times. She has helped me find things I am passionate about, and supported me in them, even if it wasn't her first choice for "a good time." She helped me go back to school and get my teaching certification. And most recently, I have been dealing with a possible cancer diagnosis for about a year, and she has been there for me. Helping me understand test results and medical-eese that no one ever understands.