Category Archives: The BRAVE Interviews

The BRAVE Interview #11 June 2017: Chris Ann

Here is this month’s BRAVE Interview with Chris Ann:

The concept of being brave has never been a foreign one to me. Bravery is what I have embodied through out my life. I was brave when I become very ill as a child and had to suffer painful stomach problems when the doctors could not figure the issues until I was an adult. Bravery is what I had to channel when I was a young woman going to the big city of Boston to be an intern. I was so scared to take the train in by myself and navigate the streets of Boston to later become the youngest, degreed Sign Language Interpreter in the State of Massachusetts. I was brave when I was no longer able to work due to a life altering work injury. I was brave when I suffered miscarriage after miscarriage in my pursuit of being a Mom. Brave was all that I could be!

Throughout my life, I was the one with the brave face. I was brave when I finally become pregnant and the local hospital did not believe me and proceed to give me 8 abdominal x-Rays and 2 abdominal CT scans. I was very brave when they later told me that I was in fact pregnant but not to expect my baby to survive. I was brave and defiant in the face of extreme adversity but my tenacity, stubbornness and inner sense of knowing kept me going for the next 8 months and my baby was born!

I was brave when I knew he had extreme health issues and I went from doctor to doctor looking for a knowledgeable and friendly soul who would listen. I suffered tremendous disappointment in the medical system as they ignored my son’s suffering. I never revealed that I was an internationally renowned Psychic because it would not have made a difference. If they could not listen to me as a mom then they were not able to hear! I was used to working with the deaf population but the medical field was truly full of individuals who refused to listen!

There were days that I was so discouraged but my son was more than worth any of the insulting comments, strange looks and a general sense of disbelief! It look 8 years before a doctor came into our lives who suspected my son had a rare disease. He was in fact diagnosed with Ehlers-Dalos Syndrome. A rare disease that causes extreme hypermobility, subluxations, dislocations, fractures, digestive issues, headaches, falling, exhaustion and more! We had some answers!

But we were not done yet! He had started to vomit more and more. Of course everyone dismissed it as nerves, etc. I insisted that vomiting 8-9 times a day every day for months was not nerves! He has lost 20 pounds in less than 1 month when I finally begged the gastrointestinal to do a colonoscopy. I was brave to even want that test for my now 9-year-old. Every adult knows the unpleasant nature of such a test but I felt it was the answer we were needing.

So glad I’m a Psychic because I was right! He was covered in open sores throughout his entire gastrointestinal tract. He had Crohn’s Disease from mouth to anus. I was incensed that my son had suffered for so long when I clearly told them what was going on! I needed to brave as we focused on the journey to health. The doctors reassured us that chemotherapy was the answer for both diseases and it would put him in remission. I had such a bad feeling and was reluctant but I knew we needed something. The plan was chemotherapy for life but we were assured that remission was within months.

A year later, here we sit. In as much pain as ever. Vomiting lessened but is still a regular part of life. Mobility is a daily challenge. He has lost all his friends and is unable to attend school. My now 10-year-old has never had the promised remission and the assurances of a quick turn to good health has passed us by. Life is full of doctor appointments, trips to the bathroom, and laying in bed with profound sadness. My daily hope and wish is to hear laughter and see a smile. Some days I get my wish and other days I don’t.

When I think of what it means to be brave, my struggles are so minuscule compared the bravery that my son exemplifies minute to minute. He has carved out a new path for his life with connections on Xbox and YouTube. He is trying to reach out to a global community through touching souls while they have no idea of his constant struggle and pain. He has taught me the real definition for BRAVERY! I’m so proud to be his Mom because he is the greatest teacher I have ever met and ever will meet. He is my joy and it’s my honor to hold his hand through live as we brave it together!

If you wish to connect with my son on YouTube and watch his channel, it is gamingwithconnor1

Connect on Xbox 1 at R56COOPERSLCI

He is always looking for friends!  Thanks for your bravery in our story!

Thank you for sharing your brave story, Chris Ann!

Read the other BRAVE interviews here: https://kwrites.com/?s=The+BRAVE+Interview

If you would like to be interviewed for this series about something brave you have done in your life, email me at kmcwrites.com, or message me on my Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/k.m.creamer.author/

The BRAVE Interview #10 May 2017: Andrea

Please enjoy this month’s BRAVE Interview with Andrea!

WHO are you? My name is Andrea Maffeo and I am Karen’s sister-in-law.  LOL! I am a medical secretary and have worked for MGH Medical Group for 18 years now. I have been married for over 25 years to the most patient man a wife could ever ask for.  Honestly don’t know what I would do without him.

WHAT is your One Brave Thing? My one brave thing is not something you would expect…….but to me it was my one brave thing.  It’s not something I did for myself like overcome a fear, it’s something I did for someone else.

WHEN did you do it? I did it in July 2016.

WHERE did it occur? Melrose Wakefield Hospital

HOW did you make it happen? Well, that’s a tough one.  I just had to say the dreaded words………’It’s time to let her go.’

WHY did you do it? My mom has never been a well woman, at least not for the past few years.  She was in a rehab/nursing home when she became ill.  She was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with a small bowel obstruction.  While having a CT scan she vomited and aspirated.  She ended up in the ICU and all her organs started to fail.  She went into septic shock due to the aspiration.  The only thing that was keeping her alive was the ventilator.  So the decision had to be made.  And since I was her healthcare proxy, my poor dad couldn’t make the decision at the time, I had to make the decision to let her go.  It was the hardest decision I ever had to make in my life, but I knew it was the right one.  I didn’t want her suffering anymore and I knew neither did she.  This is my One Brave Thing.

Thank you for sharing your heartfelt story, Andrea!

Read the other BRAVE interviews here: https://kwrites.com/?s=The+BRAVE+Interview

If you would like to be interviewed for this series about something brave you have done in your life, email me at kmcwrites@gmail.com, or message me on my Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/k.m.creamer.author/!

The BRAVE Interview #9 April 2017: Charlotte

Please enjoy this month’s BRAVE interview with Charlotte!

Who are you? I am a Registered Nurse, a Mom to 3 adult children (where has time gone?!), and a 5 month Golden Retriever named Charlie. I was born and raised in Maine, and have lived here ever since. I live in the small town of Limerick, Maine, a quiet country town.

What is your ‘one brave thing’? My One Brave Thing?  Let’s see. I have done a few brave things up to this point in my life, but the one I’d have to say that tops all was taking care of my terminally ill brother. He was 51 yrs old when diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, mets to the brain. His wish was to get home to Maine to die. I had no choice but to be brave, and honor is wishes. It was a very difficult, emotional time.

When did you do it?  In June 2007, my brother called me from the hospital in Florida, telling me he was very sick and needed me to fly down to help him.

Where did it occur? Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

How I made it happen: flew down, packed up his apartment.  I rented an RV, and found portable oxygen, filled his meds and things for the trip. Right out of the hospital, we were on our way home to my house. It was a rough ride in the back of an RV. I stayed back there with him, while my fiancé and my brother’s friend took turns driving. I wasn’t sure my brother would make it all the way, but he said he was okay each time I asked. I had spoken with hospice while traveling, and I got things set up for when he arrived. My bother lived only 5 days here, but made it to where he wanted to be, and that was home!

It is an honor to print your story, Charlotte, and I thank you so much for sharing it with us all!

Read the other BRAVE interviews here: https://kwrites.com/?s=The+BRAVE+Interview

If you would like to be interviewed for this series about something brave you have done in your life, email me at kmcwrites@gmail.com!

The BRAVE Interview #8 March 2017: Jennifer Greiner

Here is #8 in The BRAVE Interview series! It’s the Who, What, When, Where, How, (and sometimes Why) of YOUR ‘one brave thing’! December’s interview is with Jennifer Greiner. 🙂

jen-greinerWHO are you? I am Jennifer Greiner, a strong, individual woman who knows what she wants and works hard to get it.  I am passionate, caring and considerate.  I am professionally a therapist but also an essential oil and hula hooping enthusiast! Part of my identity has become being a significant other to a first year Med Student.

WHAT is your One Brave Thing (so far!!)? My One Brave Thing was starting my essential oil business, Green Thinking.  It is something I have never done, nor have ever particularly wanted to do.  It was very scary for me to jump into selling products to others that I, myself, love.  Not only did I just start Green Thinking, I was also adjusting to a big transition: moving to a new state and vicariously beginning medical school.  Thank goodness I was brave enough to launch into this wonderful endeavor as it helped keep me busy, adjust and gain a wonderful new community!

WHEN did you do it? I officially started Green Thinking at the Saco River Market on October 29th, 2016.

WHERE did it occur?  The Saco River Market had just changed locations from Saco Island to a church in Biddeford, ME.  It was an adjustment for the whole Market and was crushing after that first market day, to learn that we would be moving to another new place, 40 Main St., Biddeford.  I could easily empathize with other vendors as it was normal for me to move around and wait a while to get used to a place.  I have been able to easily settle into our new space, as I believe, so has the rest of the market.


HOW did you make it happen?  
 Pretty easily, looking back on the year.  I had been making my own products for myself for months.  I had tested them out and shared with friends.  When I learned of the Saco River Market, I went down there to speak with them about becoming a vendor.  I printed out the application, sent it in and discussed that I would start at the end of October.  Then it was the scramble to get products made, labels on and purchase a table!  I was able to make it all happen and be ready for that first market.


WHY did you do it? 
One of my many passions is essential oils.  I want to share them with everyone and teach how you can incorporate them into your lifestyle, to help elevate your life and live naturally, chemical free.  I’ve always admired market vendors and was eager for the opportunity to become one myself.  I consider myself a people-person and looked forward to talking with and meeting new people to immerse myself in my new community.  I am so happy to have persevered through my One Brave Thing to feel successful and accomplished!

If you’d like to read the other interviews in the series, click here for the list: https://kwrites.com/?s=the+BRAVE+interview

If you’d like to be interviewed for this series about your own ‘one brave thing’, email me at kmcwrites@gmail.com.

 

Being BRAVE is catchy!

I was trolling Facebook recently, after working on the next “The BRAVE Interview” for my blog (coming in March, 2017). I must be primed to see the word ‘brave’. You know, like when you’re pregnant and suddenly you see pregnant women everywhere?

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So I couldn’t help but notice this page with Being Brave with Abbie McG emblazoned across the top.

Since I chose BRAVE as ‘my one word‘ in 2015, I’ve been all about the brave.

I created the “One Brave Thing” group on Facebook, a private group for anyone who has read my book (One Brave Thing), where we support one another’s efforts to do brave things.

I launched The BRAVE Interview Series on my blog at kwrites.com, where once a month I invite a reader of my book to discuss ‘one brave thing’ they have done in their own lives.

I acquire ‘brave’ jewelry wherever I find it. This ‘brave’ bracelet is from The Shops at Cape Neddick in Maine.

🙂

I also try not to hide from any chances I get to be brave in my own life now.

So, coming full circle, of course I will be watching Abby McGilvery’s Being Brave TV episode!

The BRAVE Interview #7 February, 2017: Jennifer W. Smith

Here is this month’s BRAVE Interview with author, Jennifer W. Smith. ENJOY!

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Who is Jennifer W. Smith?

I put my family first, so I’d start with I’m a wife and mother.  My next top three answers: I’m a novelist, a world traveler, and a foodie. I live in a cozy New Hampshire town in a busy household including a blue-eyed kitty and a collie who looks just like Lassie. I’ve had other careers before I became a fulltime writer in 2015. I’ve used my experiences from when I was a flight attendant and interior designer to inspire my story ideas.

What is my One Brave Thing for 2016?

Well, if you asked me my brave thing for 2015, I’d have said publishing my first novel, Flying Backwards. In 2016 I published two books, The Rare Pearl and The Forsaken Pearl, but I’d say the One Brave Thing was pushing myself to maneuver—and conquer—the digital age to produce all aspects of publishing my latest books—mainly book cover design. The cover is critical. It’s the first thing a reader sees. If the cover isn’t appealing they won’t bother to flip it over and read the back. I worried that I’d be unsuccessful, but I was determined to give it my best effort. Let me state, my skills were basic at first. I’m happy to report that after all the puzzle solving I’m pleased with the final products.

Why did you do it?

So why make my own book covers if I could just pay someone? Well, I love design in general. As I mentioned I’m a former interior designer by trade. Also, I spent a decade taking photos and documenting my family’s life in scrapbooks. So a part of me thought it would be fun and creative. Besides, I found it difficult to explain what I wanted my cover to look like to someone who hadn’t read my story. I paid to have the cover done for my first novel Flying Backwards. I explained what I wanted, and I do love the cover, but it’s not perfect. For example, in that story the main character is an international flight attendant and the airplane on the cover is a domestic plane (it should have four engines instead of two). I know it’s a tiny detail. But the control is what I like—and it is kind of exciting and fun.

When and how did you do it?

I spend loads of time the whole year reading and watching YouTube tutorials about how to produce a successful book cover. Who knew fonts had so much impact! It took me a while as I tried different programs, but eventually I discovered which ones worked best for me. My fellow friends and authors recommend sites where I could purchase photos or fonts. I also stumble across Derek Murphy’s book cover design tutorials which helped me immensely. After vastly improving my MS Word skills, I managed to produce book covers for my Broken Water Series, which include The Rare Pearl and The Forsaken Pearl. I was able to manage 95% it, but I confess, my husband helped with the file conversions. I may have shed some tears of frustration throughout the learning curve, but it was worth it.

Where did you do it?

I learned, and continue to learn, right from the comfort of my home. After I got used to navigating the internet—I realized the world is at my fingertips. With dedication to succeed, I’m grateful to live and thrive in this modern age. This is a usable tool to become self-published. I hope I inspire other budding authors to give it a try.

I always love to hear from readers. Please check out my website at JenniferWSmith.com for book trailers, release updates, events, blogs, and more. Also, you can read the first chapter of The Rare Pearl, Book One in the Broken Water Series for FREE. You can find me on Twitter @authorjenwsmith and Facebook at AuthorJenniferWSmith.

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The BRAVE Interview #6 January 2017: Linda Buoncuore

Hello! Here is The BRAVE Interview for this month. ENJOY!

lindaI guess it’s not the biggest thing anyone has ever done, and of course many have already done it, I am sure.  I am an introvert in many ways. Going to work everyday in sales is a challenge for me, as many people are not very nice, as this society has changed so much. I brave going to work everyday, and holding my composure to many that think that the world revolves only around them. I used to work part-time, but now I am full-time, which makes it harder and sometimes tiresome to trudge through the day-to-day occurrences.  Retail is not easy, and it’s not my dream job, but I get through it.

The winter time is the hardest time for getting to work, as I have to catch a bus, and I have to walk a half mile down a steep hill to get to it at 5am. Luckily, the weather has not been too bad. I worry, as I have broken my ankle twice in my twenties, same ankle, the breaks an inch apart, and I fear falling, and getting hurt again, but I go. I know I am tougher than that, and do not let my fear control me. I just leave a little earlier, so I can walk a little slower. 

Each day I have to sell, sell, and sell memberships and warranties, as well as the products themselves. Not a very easy task. It seems you have to put up a front, almost to a point where you have to give so much to get very little in return. As I feel there isn’t much of an initiative to sell them.  I try not to lose myself, and my integrity, to do this, and it can be a battle at times.

So, I guess my brave thing is going to a place everyday that I am not even sure I want to be at times, and do what I am supposed to be doing there, though wishing I was somewhere else.

Trying to figure out what my next step should be to be happy. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the people I work with, and I do like some of my customers, but I am an introvert, and it’s not always easy for me to be someone I am not sure I really am.

Thank you so much, Linda, for your candid and honest expression of your brave thing. 

If you’d like to read the other interviews in the series, click here for the list: https://kwrites.com/?s=the+BRAVE+interview

If you’d like to be interviewed for this series about your own ‘one brave thing’, email me at kreads@gmail.com.