I learned how important family is when in January, 2018 I found out that I had breast cancer.

Sadly, when I heard the news, I was a long way away from my birth family who live on the other side of the world and this was a scary time for me. But never did I feel alone. From the support of our CEO, Dr. Julia Harper, who went to every appointment with me as I figured out a plan, to the company as a whole supporting me. My family of co-workers supported me the whole way, whether by giving me rides or keeping me company at chemo or bringing me food for lunch at work, putting food in my refrigerator at home or cooking for me. My co-workers cleaned for me, they painted my nails and did my laundry. They gave me care packages, love, laughter, hugs in the hallways and my work family donated their time off for me to heal.

I’m very grateful to work for a company that expresses their values not only to the families that we provide support and services to, but also to those that they choose as family to work with. This support allowed me to be present in the midst of one of the most demanding and stressful experiences of my life. I was grateful to know and have the W.A.Y. tools, which we all live by here at TheraPeeds, to keep me afloat. I was grateful to have shoulders to lean on.

In turn, I was able to be connected and present in the midst of this all, so that I could then be present to support the families that I worked with. It was a circle of support. I could only give what I got. Each time I stood in our therapy gym speaking to parents, working with kids, holding a hand or hugging someone in a struggle, I knew what it meant for me to be on the other side of that. So, I openly offered the support as a thank you for the love and support that I received. Support that took me through a year of hospitalizations, chemo therapy, multiple surgeries and thankfully, a full recovery from breast cancer! I gathered with my TheraPeeds family in December 2018 on a roof top in Miami, celebrating life.

Miguel Corniel, our COO, quotes his grandmother as saying “you don’t get to choose the family you are born into, but you certainly can choose the family you live with.” I am blessed. I love the family I am born into and I am ever grateful for the family I get to live with. We don’t just say the word ‘family’ at TheraPeeds Family Center, we live it.