The SPEACH (Self Promotion Empowerment Advocacy and Care Haven) is committed to support women dealing with health challenges as well as those looking to prevent them. Our approach to health is simple.We encourage our readers to practice unyielding self-care and to utilize existing resources to optimize their health through whole foods cooking, integrative therapies and small but significant lifestyle modifications. There are no quick fixes here. As a matter of fact, we love all things old-fashioned. While we recognize the place for new and cutting edge techniques to health, we embrace a more gentle and sustainable approach to healing… slow-cooked, homemade and natural.
As an organization, The SPEACH is particularly passionate about making quality care accessible to all members of underserved communities by building partnerships with healthcare institutions, integrative practitioners and other organizations looking to bridge the gap with these populations. We offer specialized lectures, workshops and wellness programs. Our aim is to enhance hospital services, end disparities in care, and to educate the general public to take ownership of their health and well-being.
The SPEACH relies on donations for providing our support group members with supplies, assistance with transportation costs, and our annual wellness retreat. You can help us help others by donating below:
Before 2008, I was like most women, juggling multiple responsibilities. I was working full-time and playing Suzy Homemaker to my husband and daughters. But four years ago, my life became a real scary tale. It all started when my family and I were evacuated after a natural disaster caused structural damage to our home. Soon after, my beloved pet of 11 years passed away. Then I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer and subsequently a blood clot in my heart as a result of treatment. As if multiple surgeries and chemotherapy weren’t enough torture, I was then subjected to inject blood thinners into my abdomen twice daily to help dissolve the clot and avoid open-heart surgery. But the most tragic and unexpected turn of events was when I lost both my father and younger brother within two months of each other. Needless to say, this was more painful than all other events combined. Most people don’t experience this in a lifetime; I experienced it all in a year. Okay breathe… I know this is a lot to take in!
Let’s lighten up this conversation and fast-forward to the present and you’d be surprised at how much joy, faith, and health I have in my life. As you’d expect, my most important role is that of a mom to my three fabulous daughters and it was because of them that I decided that I had to do more, much more than just follow the doctors orders when I nearly lost my life. Before my diagnosis, I thought I knew it all as a former fad diet addict and healthcare professional but I was way off target. I’ve taken the time to learn how to really care for myself. But what good is it for me to keep all this information to myself? So I decided to take others along for the ride. And so the journey began…
- * I was awarded a scholarship by The Palette Fund, which allowed me to obtain my certification as an Integrative Cancer Care Educator at the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts.
- * I attended The Institute for Integrative Nutrition & became a Board Certified Holistic Health Coach.
- * I completed The Harold P. Freeman Patient Navigation Program via a scholarship from the Livestrong Foundation.
- * I also took part in the Summer Intensive Cooking Course at The Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts. And later the Food Therapy program, taught by Dr. Annemarie Colbin, the school’s founder and award-winning leader in the field of natural health.
- * I am a member of The American Association of Drugless Practitioners, The Society of Integrative Oncology, The International Association of Health Coaches
- * I was selected to teach members of my community about local, seasonal eating and how to cook and plan vegetable-inspired meals and recipes as a Just Food CSA Chef.
- * In April, I was invited to speak at the TEDMED 2013 Conference sponsored by the Brooklyn Free Clinic. You can check out additional honors/awards on my LinkedIn Profile.
These trainings and much persistence on my part, led to the first-ever wellness series at Columbia University’s Clinical Breast Cancer Center in 2010. The program was designed to teach women how to care for themselves using holistic nutrition, cooking, integrative therapies, and aid them in navigating the complicated medical system… all while having lots of fun! This series was especially close to my heart as it took place in the underserved community of Washington Heights in upper Manhattan where I was born and raised. After my kids, this program is my baby and so I can talk about this forever and you’d get bored so why don’t you go here, here and here to learn more or check out the pictures below to see us in action. I’ve heard some say a picture is worth a thousand words!
If you got to this sentence, congratulations! I hope to continue to inspire you to make YOU a priority whether you’re the patient, the caregiver, the healthcare provider, or just because…
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The information on this website is provided for the purpose of general knowledge and information, and should not to be viewed as personal medical care or advice. Readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.