my story

‘I looked out at my husband and 4 kids swimming. They looked so happy and free. But I was in prison, writing my goodbye letters.’: Woman shocked by breast cancer diagnosis after getting second opinion, urges us to ‘trust our intuition’

“On the day of the results appointment, I walked into the office sipping iced coffee. I even took a few selfies in the exam room while I wore the breast-cloak. I was gearing up to announce my relief of a positive result on social media to my followers. The doctor came in, iPad in hand. She settled on a wheeled stool and cleared her throat. Then she said, ‘I never want to tell patients this, but it’s breast cancer.’ Just like in the movies, I went into a fog.”

‘At 6, I learned what pure evil is. I knew something was wrong.’: Abused young woman ‘adopted’ by teacher who ‘actually got to know me’ during traumatic childhood

“My teacher was so nice and friendly. He would talk to me, and actually get to know me. I would go to his office during lunch because I didn’t have friends, money or a lunch to eat. My mom jerked us all the way across the country to live with a man she met on the internet. It took me 2 months to finally save money to go back home, and when I did, I went back to that same high school.”

‘No one else will love you besides me.’ It was like looking in the face of the devil.’: Young woman’s unexpected pregnancy gives her courage to leave abusive boyfriend, ‘never look back’

“One day it all changed. I peed on a stick and it said positive. I was pregnant with my son. My maternal instincts kicked in. The next time he beat me, I was done. I may not have loved myself enough to leave, but the love I had for my son was so big, I could not allow someone to hurt him.”

‘I needed to tell, in case I went ‘missing.’ I was terrified. ‘You’ve been talking again, haven’t you?’ I ran into the bathroom. ‘Mom, please come.’ It was now or never. It HAD to happen NOW!’

“I snuck my younger children out. My 10-year-old and I grabbed the only belongings I had hidden. As we walked quietly to the door, his music stopped! I whispered, ‘FREEZE, DONT MOVE.’ With tears in my eyes I thought this was it, he knew I was escaping. ‘Run, run now!’”

‘We had only 90 days to get married. I’d be marrying a man who has never met my family. We both questioned what we had gotten ourselves into.’: Woman takes leap of faith in marrying man who had never met her family

“I remember talking to my Dad after the fact and him saying, ‘Ronnie called me to ask my blessing. I couldn’t understand half of what he said, but I told him yes, my daughter could marry him.’ Although not everyone had encouraging comments. I had frequent questions like, ‘What if this guy just wants a green card’”

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