As today is international women’s day, I wanted to ask you a very simple question – “Who inspires you?”
But I realise that before asking this question, in order to be fair, I should also tell you who inspires me.
Now this is always a challenging question for me, as I am very very lucky…I find inspiration all around me.
So here are just a few of the many amazing women who I am lucky enough to be inspired by on a daily basis.
Kris Hallenga – Founder of the breast cancer awareness charity “Coppafeel!”
Kris was just an ordinary 23 year old in 2009 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Because she was so young, it had taken a monumental battle with the medical profession just to get the diagnosis completed. By the time this happened Kris was (is) at stage four, the most advanced type of cancer (there is no stage 5).
But as Kris began to cope with her routine of radiotherapy, chemotherapy and yet more radiotherapy in her own words Kris “Turned her shock and anger into pure-kick ass, immediately making it her full–time mission to encourage her friends, her generation, and YOUNG PEOPLE everywhere to keep hold of their wonderful, carefree lives by getting to know their boobs – and appreciating the fact that, shitty a reality as it may be, breast cancer can affect YOUNG PEOPLE, at any age.”
Kris and her twin sister Maren launched the incredible “CoppaFeel!” just one month after Kris’s diagnosis which led to appearances on national TV, national press and the Pride of Britain award.
More importantly they do it with fun, wit and an infectious sense of humour that is inspiring. This has led to the “Hundred Hooters” event taking place in Bath, UK this Sunday the 11th of March 2012 (http://www.coppafeel.org/hundredhooters2012) and the “Biking for Boobies 2012” hitting the streets of Cornwall in May.
Check out the CoppaFeel! Website and find out how knowing your boobs could save your life… http://www.coppafeel.org
You may have heard me mention Christina before; she is a very dear friend and such an inspiration to me.
I met Christina on a trip to New York a couple of years ago.
Christina and I should never really have met. Although we were at an event together our paths didn’t directly cross. But when I saw her, I had this strong sense that she was someone I needed to meet. Little did I know what an impact she would have on me and my life.
On my return from the US, I kept in touch with Christina via Facebook. After a couple of mentions of health and medical insurance issues, on January 5th last year I saw a post which made me stop and pay attention. “JUST GOT THE CALL. IT’S GO TIME. PLEASE SEND PRAYERS. I’M GOING IN SWINGING!!!! TALLY-HOOOOO!!!!!”.
This was the point at which I discovered that this lovely person that I had met only a few months before had a rare form of cancer and was going in for surgery. Reality check time.
I’m not going to rave too much about her here (I could go on and on about her spirit, energy, positivity and amazing attitude in the face of adversity…) but I will say that reading her blog and interacting with her, even from the other side of the world – I have been truly inspired.
For anyone who wants to know more and are interested in seeing what real courage and a true positive outlook on life is about, feel free to check out her site here: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/foxfire
Christina holds a very special place in my heart, she is the very essence of inner beauty, generosity of spirit and pure love. I consider myself very lucky to know her.
83-year-old salsa dancer
As you may know, I’m a salsa dancer and teacher…and when I saw this lady dance at an event in London a few years ago she blew me away!
The woman dancing on stage is 83 in this video…and in the UK she began her routine with the simple words “Salsa is ageless”.
I love that she represents everything I believe about following your passions, age being nothing more than a number, and that you’re never too old to do something you love.
I aspire to still be able to dance like that when I’m 83!
…and last, but definitely no means least – My Mum
My family has had quite an interesting year, with a number of major surgeries taking place, other medical challenges, and big life changes (in addition to all of the usual ups and downs that life adds to the mix!)
But regardless of the fun and games that life involves, my Mum never ceases to inspire me…and the last year has only made this more apparent.
Whilst suffering significant medical challenges of her own, she almost always has a smile on her face, a kind word for anyone and will still go the extra mile to help anyone else out.
She makes me so very proud to call her my Mum as well as being one of my best friends. She is a constant reminder of how inspiring it is to deal with life’s ups and downs with such good-natured grace and positivity x
So…the only thing left to ask is – who inspires YOU?
Enjoy the rest of international women’s day…and remember to Stay Fabulous!