My version of the song, “I Am Not My Pain” written by Jenny Ahlstrom, is dedicated to people who have experienced cancer and/or rare disease as well as their loved ones whose hearts also bear the pain. These individuals include family friends, even the ones in heaven: their lives and legacies still shine as an inspiration for me. One of my cherished memories is of a childhood buddy, Michael and his family. Michael remained positive throughout his ordeal and after his amputation. Another great example is a breast cancer survivor who helped to rebuild her old elementary school library and to organize a medical mission in her rural hometown in the Philippines. From these champions, I have learned about the power of compassion to transform our pain so we live out our mission with passion. For those who are now in pain, I also hope this tribute will remind you that you do not have to be afraid or alone.
(Credits: Timothy Dunham II for the background music. Thanks to Jenny Ahlstrom too for creating heartfelt lyrics.)
One of my biggest roles today is being a creative communications coach, with passions in singing, writing, public speaking, and health. My educational background includes degrees in public health and science; I am also a doctoral student in leadership studies, which I aim to apply in social entrepreneurship. Currently, I live in California — from where I can share the gift of compassion with someone across the street, the nation or the globe.