I was born in Mt. Clemmons, MI and then moved to North Carolina in 1973. I have a 26 year old daughter, Dana and “the light of my life,” my 5 year old grandson, Jeffrey!
I have survived nine previous cancer diagnoses and under-gone 33 radiation treatments for cancer before and after becoming a laryngectomee in January of 2002. Most recently I have undergone surgery for what is my 10th cancer diagnosis since age 30.
I currently serve as Secretary with the Western Piedmont Speak Easy Club of Winston-Salem, NC. I do pre- and post-op visitations at local hospitals and in the homes of new laryngectomee patients. For the past five years I have worked with the American Cancer Society as the Team Captain for the Relay for Life, and last year I had the privilege of representing my legislative district as a Legislative Ambassador at “Celebration on the Hill” in Washington, DC.
I am a member of SAVE (Survivors and Victims of Tobacco Empowerment); I travel throughout the state of North Carolina speaking about tobacco education and advocate anti-tobacco issues. I tell my story to students and teens, and lend a first-hand experience as to how tobacco-use has affected my life, and how it can affect theirs.
In December 2005 I was honored by Lt. Governor Beverly Perdue when I received the Distinguished Service Award in the preventive health area for sharing my story and for my advocacy. Because of this award, I am featured in four commercials shown on NC statewide TV networks for TRU (Tobacco Reality Unfiltered).
Currently I am into my second 2-year term on the Board of Directors for the IAL and have recently been voted in as Secretary. I also served on the Executive Committee. I am the Chair of the Nominating Committee and also the Vice-Chair on the Rehabilitation & Medical Affairs Committee. I am a member of the Annual Meeting Committee and the Prohaska Fund Committee. I have also enjoyed serving as the vendor ad contact person for the IAL News. In addition I am serving as the Interim President for the IAL Auxiliary.
My hobbies include working on the computer, (trouble-shooting, typing etc.). I enjoy bowling, reading Danielle Steele books (when time allows), spending precious time with my grandson and I love to people watch. Finally, I enjoy helping out with my family owned car repair and sales business.