Alternately described as a creative intellectual and a polymath, I don’t fit into a box. (People have tried). A former gold medal ballerina and robotics scientist, I share an equal love for science, technology, design, and the liberal arts. After 20 years of working in a wide range of technology and entrepreneurship roles, I got hit by cancer and my life came to a halt.
I started to write my cancer journey. Through the process, I discovered a new voice I hadn’t heard before. My authentic voice. Buried for so long. The voice of a person who can articulate the profound layers of the human experience with astonishing clarity. The voice of a person who can see beauty amidst the devastation. The voice of a person who can give voice to the unvoiced suffering in the hearts of others.
As I woke up from cancer, I realized that amidst the losses, I had been given a front-row seat in the drama of the cancer patient play. I had been given a chance to observe the players and characters up close. I realized that my years of meditation practice enabled me to mindfully observe the deep layers of the cancer experience.
I realized that I could use my writing skills to document and meticulously describe this experience. Thus allowing people who never had cancer to discover what it’s like to be a cancer patient. And allowing cancer patients to make sense of experiences they hadn’t been able to articulate.
Writing took me on a whole new adventure. I had no idea when I started blogging that my blog would resonate so strongly –– let alone become viral! My posts are now among the top 1% most shared content on the web, reaching 60 countries!
Beyond writing, I realized that my first-hand cancer experience coupled with my human-centered design experience could be instrumental in helping oncology providers and medical equipment and drug manufacturers design a better cancer experience. And thus was the start of my advocacy career.