Thursday, July 12, 2012
PROFILE: Michelle Colon-Johnson
"I am feeding my Love for Life by letting others know that we are not limited by our situation and circumstances. I started speaking because of a promise I made to a dying friend. She asked me to share my story with others even if it was just once. I was not to thrilled about the request but she was on her death bed. She died of cancer.
After she made me promise she died moments after. It was about two years before I honored her wish. My cancer doctor called me and asked if I would speak at a cancer support group in his place. My thought was to do something nice for him and knock out my promise. I mentioned my friend when I spoke and told the group that I was there in her honor. A lady began to cry in the front row. I asked her not to cry because It was breaking my heart and she looked at me and said that my friend had started their group and they had merged with another group. I was so stunned because I could feel my friend standing there with me. Even after that I was kind of in denial. I went through a divorce, lost some loved ones, my child was molested and also diagnosed with Autism.
"My thoughts were ,"how much more could I take? At the end of 2009 I started evaluating my life and realized that I had a story to share. My friend had been encouraging me along the way. I was just not open to telling my story and never imagined I would actually love speaking. The most rewarding thing for me is the letters I get and the emails people send telling me that because of my story they chose to get back up again. It is humbling.
"I am in the process of writing a book. It is called "365 days... 2 Learn 2 Love 2 Live 2 Dream". It is a series of lessons I have learned along my journey. I never thought I would want to write a book much less it be in the editing stages. And I know one day I will write MY story of getting back up when life knocked me down. As with everything it will take time.
"I speak and sometimes life coach.. I love traveling to different places and meeting new people. I also am very involved in my local Autism Society. I speak about my cancer in the month of October every year and I currently am on the board of Opera in my area where I chair an event called Diva's Closet. The event is to raise money for their education program. They teach kids how to create an Opera from their favorite story books. The actual event for me touched on several areas that touched my heart. We have women donate their clothes to the Opera and we create an event to sell them at discounted prices. This helps women who are starting off or starting over in life be able to afford nice clothing. I started connecting small and large businesses together so they could network on the same level. Not everyone has a budget for advertising so I made it where they could donate their time and services and get recognized."