The Resilient


Turning the Loss of Her Son Into a BIGVISION For Sober Life

I was born in Brooklyn, New York in the 60’s where I had a very nice, normal childhood in a modern orthodox Jewish family. My family included a brother and...

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Mary Gibbons Profile photo

An Accidental Tour Guide to the Arctic

I’ve taken the scenic route through, well, just about everything in my life! I was married for about 5 minutes in my 20’s (his folks lived in a castle in Portugal, what was a girl...

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An Entrepreneur with A Compassionate Mission

I worked for many years at large advertising agencies for a variety of clients such as IBM, American Express, Quaker Oats and South African Airways. Together with a  Columbia professor and other social scientists, we...

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Lisa Luckett Cozmeena

The Light in 9/11

My daughter Jen hadn’t been feeling well so I took her to school a little late that day.  She had just started 2nd grade in our quiet little New Jersey town.  I got home a...

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Providing Hope for Others After Devastating Personal Tragedies

In 2012, I was at the height of my career, headlining at Chico’s House of Jazz; a premiere venue in New Jersey for jazz artists. It was a sold-out show. The love of my life...

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Catherine Grace O'Connell_Lyme Disease illness

From Voiceless to a Voice for Others

Every woman has a story in her heart. She deserves a voice to share that story. As a young child, I was silenced by sexual abuse. It took me 54 years to find my voice....

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Susie Barry Roden

Surviving Life Passages Leads to A Career of Compassion

At the age of 38, I was single and living a kind of fast and loose restaurant industry life in Long Island, New York. I had just bought a house and moved in on a...

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Visiting professor to lecture on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Childhood Trauma Leads to Advocating for Children with Differing Abilities

On the first day of summer vacation, when I was six years old, I was playing with Barbie dolls at my best friend’s house. When I left to walk home, I was hit by a...

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Surviving the Domestic Abuse That Nearly Killed Her

When I met my first husband, I was a 19-year-old college student, book smart, full of compassion and a peacemaker from birth. He was a broken man with no familial support to speak of and...

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Ilene Rainer

One Mother’s Poignant Campaign After Losing Her Son to Overdose

I grew up in New Jersey, in a close-knit Italian family.  My husband, Tito, is from Argentina.  I have three sisters and a brother and between us we have nine kids who are all very...

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Marybeth Walz Featured Image

Overcoming Tragedy To Realize Her Dream of Motherhood

I grew up in suburban Middletown, New Jersey, one of four siblings born into a strict, working class Catholic family. After graduating from Kean College, I began a successful sales career at MCI and for...

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