International Women’s Day 2019

What a powerful night!!!! A room filled with women from different walks of life come together as one to hear and talk with these women with such powerful stories and an inspiration to many. A compelling conversation as they discuss the ways that being a woman has impacted their experiences, challenges, and successes in media, journalism  and much more.

With the two award-winning journalists, Lisa LaFlamme a trailblazer for women in Canadian news, and has led the country’s #1 newscast as chief anchor and senior editor of CTV National News and Michelle Shephard a journalist, author and filmmaker who as covered issues of terrorism and human rights since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. During her two decades at the Toronto Star she reported from more than 25 countries. Formerly of the Toronto Star and now an independent documentary filmmaker

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Lisa LaFlamme is a trailblazer for women in Canadian news, and has led the country’s #1 newscast as chief anchor and senior editor of CTV National News since 2011. From her hometown of Kitchener, she went on to become a national and international correspondent, covering 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, the G20 riots, the Haiti earthquake, Hurricane Katrina, and every Canadian federal election since 1997. She has earned multiple awards, including Canadian Screen Awards for Best National Newscast in 2018 and Best National News Anchor in 2017. She was appointed to the Order of Ontario in 2016.

Michelle Shephard is a journalist, author and filmmaker who as covered issues of terrorism and human rights since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. During her two decades at the Toronto Star she reported from more than 25 countries, including Yemen, Syria and Pakistan. Her 2015 documentary Guantanamo’s Child premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and won Canadian Screen Awards. She has written two books: Guantanomo’s Child: The Story of Omar Khadr, and Decade of Fear: Reporting from Terrorism’s Grey Zone. She is a three-time winner of the National Newspaper Award and has also earned the Governor-General’s Michener Award.

The event couldn’t have started better with such fun meeting and chatting with these ever so lovely and talented hosts Tara Connors from CHYM-FM, 96.7 FM, a Canadian radio station broadcasting and Lisa Drew from 570News, it was an absolute pleasure.

All it took was a skype call

IMG_20190308_125532_056Finally we meet, what a lovely start to my day on International Women’s Day 2019 with this beautiful woman and friend Kelly Zemnickis. We met over a skpye call a few months back and in sharing and talking about our stories, we realized there was more than just a bond of a writer and storyteller.  So glad our paths crossed and the more I get to know her, the more our friendship gets stronger.

Kelly a writer, documentary filmmaker and co-producer of the documentary film, No Responder Left Behind. A feature documentary on 9/11 activist John Feal, who fights for First Responders with terminal illnesses caused by Ground Zero Toxins and the lack of government support they have received in the years following the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001. 

Click on the trailer below and check out the film trailer, share and support this film

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Trailer

What Facing My Own FEAR Taught Me

From being this fearless, confident young girl, a teenager to a woman ready to take on anything, somewhere along the way in this journey of life, I didn’t realize that fear had started to slowly take over. Fear set in after I had multiple miscarriages, the fear of losing another child and then the fear still continued as a mother after I had two beautiful children.
Before I knew it , the way I started to look at the world around me changed after a very dear friend was murdered, my fears were much stronger and scarier and I had forgotten what it was to be fearless. 

Early 2017, this life changing journey I was embarking on after being diagnosed of a rare spinal cord tumor in the cervical spine taught me to be FEARLESS again.
Thank you kpl for this platform where I will share my story, my journey, my highs, my lows, the power of communication & acceptance, the role of family & friends that made a difference in my outcome as I continue my journey

Registration Required

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April 9, 2019 Talk Poster

 

Blessed Mom I am

My 10 year old came home with this that’s left me emotional & speechless. Typed on her school computer during a paragraph writing class, from the 4 topics she picked – My Hero
When I gave that talk on grit & perseverance at a school with 300 odd students, she went around saying that’s my mom, little did I know, I was her Hero.
I wasn’t sure if I should share this, I am no expert on parenting but I know this, it’s not the expensive, fancy clothes, shoes or toys that kids remember or even care about in their crucial growing up years. At the end of the day, all your kid will remember is they were loved, they felt safe & they have all those beautiful memories of the time you spent together with them
Motherhood is a constant learning process for me & there are good & bad days. No matter what, they teach me to live in the present moment all the time for tomorrow is a day I haven’t seen yet

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Inspiration Series

I am honoured & excited to be the speaker at the Inspiration Series by Holistic Parent Magazine on April 25, 2019

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Check out the details below !
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ANNOUNCEMENT
Welcome to the inspiration series! Three Events. Three Speakers. Infinite Inspiration.
Grab your calendars right now and save the dates:

March 21 – Featuring Speaker – Amanda Case
April 25 – Featuring Speaker- Rashmi Sanjay
June 13 – Featuring Speaker – Azra Gregor

All events are being held at The Causerie in downtown Kitchener (run by Marit Collective Coffee/ Tea & Treats included). Are you ready to be inspired?? Registration opens soon!

Option I am not sure about…

Keep moving forward & don’t give up attitude makes this part a hard one

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My assessment at St Michael’s Hospital’s pain clinic was painful

-New medications given didn’t work
-Nerve damage is extensive
-Nerve shocks in the body is extensive
-Random parts of the body go numb off & on

For the extent of nerve damage the possibility of Spinal Cord Stimulator was discussed. Similar to a pacemaker, this device is surgically implanted in the body & the wires are secured in the space above the spinal cord to send electrical current to the spinal cord to manage pain.
Just the idea of surgery & dealing with spinal cord again is not sitting well with me. This is not the end of the line yet for me, yes it’s a challenge every single day to do what I do, but I am not ready to go this route. I will continue to search & keep trying everything possible for better ways. I am not ready to surrender yet.
While the specialist & neurosurgeon discuss and review all my reports & other treatment plans in weeks to come, I continue not to survive but THRIVE and keep with my meditation, visualization, exercise, focus on nutrition, try alternative treatments & much more …

 

Discovering Myself – A Life Changing Journey

October 26, 2018

You know its been such a fulfilling day when they tell you how much your story has helped them see life differently today….

You know you made a difference in their lives when people line up to come speak to you and give you a hug after your talk. 

You know you have touched lives when the cleanex box gets passed around…

HUGE thank you to everyone in that room who spent their morning with me. Thank you @kitchenerlibrary
Gratitude fills my heart as I am so honored to share my truth & letting vulnerability inspire and not frighten you. Whenever I speak before an audience, it is not to prove I am fearless; but to show that it’s ok to be vulnerable, it’s ok to feel the emotions, because that’s what makes you strong.

 

 

 

Creating Magic

When Kelly, who’s writing my story for the magazine mentioned I was going to have a photo shoot in Toronto for the Future Female Magazine’s winter edition, I was excited. But immediately my first thought was, how will I pull this off with everything that’s going on. With all the medications I am on, I have also gained a lot of weight. 

Will I be ok in my own skin ? Will I be comfortable doing this shoot ?Will my pain, nausea, headaches, shocks interfere with the photo shoot? Will my pain be visible in the pictures?

But before I went any further with my thoughts, I asked myself, how does any of this even matter…I know I am not flawless or perfect, but this I know – I am strong, worthy and beautiful. I am having fun and living each moment to the fullest.. which I clearly did.. Loved every moment💖

When I met Katherine Leroux (owner of future female magazine) and Kelly for the first time, it felt like we knew each other for a long time, we connected instantly. Makeup Legacy Studio’s make up and hair artists Michele @makeupbymichelexo worked her magic on me and made sure I was ok and comfortable while she dolled me up. It sure was a long and tiring day for me, but it was all worth it and just felt magical while they made me feel like a queen 👑 It was more than just a photoshoot… new friendships developed, like-minded, driven and talented people to come together to create this magic!!!

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