I grew up in the beautiful state of Florida, a sixth generation Floridian. My family goes back to the Creek Indians who settled in Florida. Growing up in Florida I was naturally a water bug!! Living in a town full of lakes, at the young age of 5 my Father, Ken taught me how to waterski which lead to becoming a competitive skier throughout my youth. My ability to ski at such a young age was a life lesson that taught persistence, tenacity, grit and endurance which shaped my personality over the years.
Skiing not only taught me that “the more I fell the more I learned and this was instrumental in progressing”. My strength from skiing which lead to being published in Health and Strength magazine at 6 years old squatting 85 lbs. and becoming one of two women to earn a 1st degree brown belt by the 11th grade. As an adult I got interested in running and ran and completed the NYC Marathon 3 times.
I had a very successful career in Architecture but I knew there was something bigger and better for me that I could help other people that would make a difference in their lives. I have always been interested in sports and nutrition. Although I chose a professional career in Architecture and Interior Design it has come full circle to what I am doing today, creating nutritional ice pops in hopes of making other’s lives better.
My Father was my best friend. He was a survivor and a fighter his entire life. At the young age of 39 he was diagnosed with an aggressive melanoma cancer and was given 6 months to live. He opted to try an experimental drug where he took 144 shots (at one time) every week for a year. He SURVIVED and led a healthy life.
Unfortunately, in 1998 the cancer returned and took his life. I watched him deteriorate from a healthy 215 LB muscular man to an 85 LB skeleton. This was a wake-up call in my life. He was basically starving to death and I could not help him. Feeling “helpless” has to be the absolutely worst feeling in the world!!
Four and a half after my Father passed I was at Rotary International and Ron Farb came and talked to us about his foundation, “Climb for Cancer” where he was recruiting people to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for cancer research, medical equipment and new programs to help Cancer patients, their caregivers and families.
I knew by the time his speech was over I wanted to do this!! I wanted to climb Mount Kilimanjaro!! Now being a girl that grew up in Florida and had NEVER seen a mountain there could be some issues here, but it did not stop me from doing it. Five months later on the 5th year of my Father’s death I submitted and stood on the Crown of Africa! I had reached the pinnacle and I knew my Father was there with me!
After Kilimanjaro, two years later I went to Nepal and trekked to Mount Everest Base Camp where I raised funds again for Climb for Cancer, also as a tribute to my friends that had gone through Cancer.
In 2012 my life took a major turn. Four persons, friends and family became ill will cancer and I became their caregiver. Talking about feeling “helpless”. All of them had eating issues and one would repeatedly be hospitalized for dehydration and malnutrition. I knew there had to be a solution to get them to eat but I had not figured it out.