My career began as a pediatric nurse, caring for sick and dying children and their families. I have had the privilege of meeting some very healthy, thriving survivors of cancer years later. They tell me what helped them get through their illness and treatment was feeling supported and informed by family, friends and the professionals around them, having choices and being able to play. I have never forgotten the lessons I learned from those incredible children and their families. In my work as a cancer coach, I work with clients and caregivers who are facing difficult times with courage, grace and dignity. It is a privilege to walk beside them, as they learn about the disease, navigate the complexities and frustrations of the health care system, and connect with resources for support and healing.
I have worked for many years as a nurse practitioner in community health, with First Nations, Inuit and Metis clients, new immigrants and refugees to Canada, and clients with disabilities, chronic illness and mental health issues. I have learned a great deal from my clients and colleagues in these settings, about community, resilience, cultural diversity in health and healing practices, and of the barriers that many people face to accessing resources for healthy living.
Training and work in counselling, coaching and group facilitation have cultivated my therapeutic conversation skills. As a coach, I use these tools to help people dealing with cancer or supporting a loved one to make decisions about their health, to connect with others, and to better cope with stress and improve their quality of life. I have a strong grounding in narrative and art therapies, which brings a creative and playful element to the work I do. As a yoga teacher, dancer and meditator, I value the connection between mind body and spirit and the role this plays in dealing with difficult situations and recovering from illness.
At the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, I do meaningful and fulfilling work that is congruent with my values and allows me to live a balanced, healthy life. I love my job.
“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”
― Pema Chödrön