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Life In Focus

Posted Nov 03 2010 11:16pm

Surrounded by amazing people everywhere I looked, it was one woman I met while at the Women’s Conference that affected me deeply.

I was milling around the EmpowHER booth as I was to be interviewed by the lovely Michelle King-Robson , CEO of EmpowHER.  As I was standing there, watching the crew arrange the set, a woman approached the booth.

She must have mistaken me for an employee of EmpowHER because she asked, “What an interesting idea for a booth!  What does this company do?”

Feeling like part of the family, I responded, “Well, let me tell you!” With that I began to tell her of all the wonderful things EmpowHER has done, and will continue to do, for people on it’s website.

I detailed the ‘Ask A Health Question’ aspect of the site and told her how it helped me.  We talked about the interesting concept of hosting a live Health and Wellness TV Program and I told her of the professionals being interviewed.  I then mentioned that I was to be interviewed shortly in their segment about heart health.  She was intrigued.  That’s when the conversation turned personal.

What Brings You Here? “Heart disease!”  The look of shock could be seen a mile away.  Although she didn’t say it, I could see it in her eyes.  Somehow, she understood.  And then she began to say; “I lost two close friends of mine to heart disease.  It’s a terrible thing.” 

Standing maybe five feet tall, a rolling bag behind her, I was amazed to learn that this vibrant woman had lupus .   I was shocked!  She seemed so healthy.  I asked her about her condition, as I was unaware as to what it all meant.  Slowly she explained, “I have a difficult time breathing.  Most days I have to use oxygen”.  She told me of how she has good days and bad.  How family members almost get it and of the incredulous looks she gets from onlookers when she uses her disability placard. 

A Universal Truth I tried to prepare myself for any contingency at this conference.  The idea of being interviewed in front of a live audience, being star-struck by meeting Michelle King-Robson and the sheer size of the conference.  In all of that, I found myself completely taken with this wonderful lady who happened to be passing by.

Her story is my story.  No matter what the condition, we all face the same challenges.  Although I can’t remember her name (thanks, stupid Lipitor), I’m eternally grateful for the opportunity to meet such a courageous person. 

It’s a big world out there.  Don’t forget to focus on who’s right in front of you.  It might change your life.

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