On February 4th, 2004 I found a lump on my breast. On February 5th, I had a negative mammogram, an ultrasound and a surgical biopsy to remove it and was told it was malignant.
One woman, two breasts, eleven lymph nodes, eight chemotherapy treatments, five hospitals, eight surgeries, one stroke, two 10mm amplatzer asd devices in my heart, thirty-seven months, one arm, three casts, twenty one physical therapy appointments, six fills, two silicone implants, double nipple reconstruction. $591,846.33 in total (not including prescriptions).My life priceless!
That’s my story along with being a mother of three teenagers, public speaker, former police officer, spent nearly ten years on the ABC soap opera “All My Children” and now health activist as the founder of the grassroots non-profit organization, The Get In Touch Foundation.
Get In Touch’s cornerstone mission is the Get In Touch Girls’ Program & Daisy Wheel, a breast health initiative educating girls in grades 5-12 on the importance of, and how to do a breast self exam – for life!
The September 2009 launch of the Get In Touch Girls’ Program has already resulted in its implementation in 40 states, Washington, D.C. and 13 countries, with a goal to be in every state in the US by 2011. The program, available at no cost to schools, has already been made curriculum in the Milford, CT and New Haven, CT public school systems.
My message and challenge is one of wellness and breast health. For girls and women to “get in touch” with their bodies, information and each other and to live happier, healthier lives.
Be Positive: “In the middle of the most challenging moment of your life, you can discover grace when you realize that others can be inspired by how you respond to that challenge. Whatever you do, do it with faith and grace and style and show others that they can do it, too.”
Founder of The Get In Touch Foundation, Mary Ann Wasil Nilan recently won the Oprah Magazine CoverGirl “Giving Beautiful Back Award,” as well as honored by the WNBA New York Liberty as one of their 2010 “Women Who Inspire.” She will speak at The Women’s Conference 2010 spearheaded by Maria Shriver and is currently working on her book “A Diary of Healing.” www.getintouchfoundation.org
It was summer, and a young Mary Beth Wells, gave birth to a beautiful daughter, whom she silently and privately named Kimberly Caryn. It was her struggle to relinquish this baby to parents who could provide a home with love and stability. It remains the most painful decision of her life, to love this child enough to place her with a family who would raise her to be their own.
Years later, Mary Beth found her birth daughter and began to have a relationship with her. Part one of the healing had occurred. Her prayers were answered, yet again, when she became the mother to Sophia whom she adopted from Guatemala. At last, she had two daughters- the circle of adoption to adoption was complete.
It was now time to realize another dream - to give birth again, this time to a company that could bring precious dolls into loving homes. She knew, in her heart, that the Precious Baby Doll Company could help tell the stories of babies adopted all over the world, babies that now lived in America with their new families.
Precious Baby Doll Company’s mission to create a loving home for wonderful baby dolls through “adoption.” It was the dream of Mary Beth who experienced first-hand the pain of relinquishing a baby for adoption and the joy of becoming a mother to an adopted daughter. It was her vision to establish a company that would realize the story behind every adoption and breathe life into each by creating stories that celebrated the joy of finally bringing the baby home.
The dolls and their stories help any child learn the gift of adoption. Each doll comes with a book that tells the story about their country of birth and the love that brought them to a new world. The books that accompany these dolls tell the story of the journey that brought them home - these are stories of love with arms outstretched in two directions, one giving and one receiving. The stories of the first doll fondly named Kimberly Caryn from America, Sophia Allesandra from Guatemala, Katya Irina from Russia and Li Ming from China, tell how the children were wanted for such a long time and the supreme happiness in finally bringing these babies home to forever live with their new families.
By having the courage to heal, love again and shower joy to so many adoptive families and children through her dolls, Mary Beth Wells is someone who has truly “bloomed”!
Ann McDonnell overcame a health challenge as she followed her dream.
Stricken with Croan’s Disease at 25, Ann found herself in the hospital and unable to hold down a 9 to 5 job or any structured job. But, that didn’t stop her. A former model always in love with healthy skin, she followed her dream and founded Ecogenics, a natural skin care line made with active botanical ingredients. She also created a healthy lifestyle to manage her illness by eating very healthy foods and reducing stress through meditation.
Ann planted her Seeds for Success to love what she does, organized her life and then made it happen!
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Imagine not knowing if you were going to live 6 more months, 6 more years or 6 more decades. Instead of asking yourself if you would do anything differently, ponder about what you would do or perhaps not do at all.
I know what I’d do. I’d hand regret, guilt and anger at the door and enter a world filled with only good stuff like forgiveness, joy and harmony. Of course, I’d spend more time with loved ones, lots more time. And I’d probably order a chai tea more often instead of worrying so much about the calories and cost. Read more