APO was a start to a lifelong recognition that helping others was a way to help myself. My start in APO showed me that by volunteering, I could hear what others had to say and give it a voice. In 2010, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and spent time in a wheel chair, blind, deaf and had bouts of cognitive dysfunction. I had no faith in my ability to continue with normal life. If it weren't for my husband and the organizations that allowed me to volunteer my time as I could to help them, I would not have been able to see that I still had some value.
In 2014, I went on to Capella University to complete my doctorate in business, and while I was there, I published three books. My last book, "My Best Day Journal," was just recognized by the National MS Society for their recommended book list. I have volunteered for the National MS Society for several years, and I know how much patients struggle to be heard. Just like when we volunteered at Westminster in the senior homes and gave those individuals our time, here I was giving others my time on a much larger scale. It really changed my reality.
In March 2017, I walk on the stage to receive my DBA and some of my peer mentees are driving from around the U.S. to be there for me, because I volunteered my time to be there for them over the last two years.
Favorite quote: "Is that what the instructions told you to do, or is that what needed to be done?" Dr. Vinny Caraballo.