Episode 14: Kimberly Sparks – ALS, Cancer & Caregiving – It all Started with a Family Text

I’m excited to introduce on this week’s episode of “Happiness through Hardship” – The Podcast, Kimberly Sparks, a health coach and functional nutrition wiz who received a text in 2016 that led to a series of events that changed her life. She tells her story about being a caregiver to her mom with ALS while also grappling with her sister’s cancer diagnosis. These awful few years led to many dark moments…but also a few bright lights. Her story is intense…though fitness, work family as well as her furry friends and professional care – helped get her through.

Episode 13: Lauren Chiarello Mika – Double Miracles – 2x Cancer Survivor and Twins

Lauren Chiarello Mika, founder of ChiChiLife and true positivity champion shares her story of cancer then high-risk pregnancy on this episode of “Happiness through Hardship” – The Podcast. As a two-time Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivor who knew she would likely have challenges getting pregnant, today she is blessed with identical twins. Although, her road wasn’t easy.

Episode 12: Christine St. Vil – Helpful Hints from a Homeschooling Expert

I’m excited to introduce you to this week’s guest on Happiness thought Hardship – The Podcast, Christine St. Vil, popularly known as The Fly (First Love Yourself) Mom. Christine is an author, entrepreneur extraordinaire and founder of Moms ‘N Charge® and PDMediaGroup. She’s truly on a mission to help moms feel good without the guilt. In addition to her successful career, she’s a wife and mom of three kids whom she is homeschooling.

Whether it’s full-day in-person instruction, digital learning, a hybrid approach or homeschooling, many of us are contemplating now what arrangements make sense for our kids. Today’s episode shares Christine’s journey to homeschooling and provides tons of resources for those looking to engage kids with online learning opportunities. Whether homeschooling is an avenue you’re considering or not, she offers useful information on how to help ourselves and our kids find joy and success when taking a different approach to schooling.

Episode 11: Jenna Jacobs McPartland – Love, Loss & Moving Forward After 911

I cried throughout the interview with this week’s guest on Happiness through Hardship – The Podcast. Jenna Jacobs McPartland’s story is incredibly heart wrenching and beautiful. In the 1990’s, Jenna left her Midwestern roots to follow her dream of being on Broadway. She created a wonderful life she loved in NYC…She married an amazing man, was pregnant with their first child and then 911 came and she tragically lost her husband, Ari. Though she’s been through an incredible ordeal, she shares with us how she put one foot in front of the other and how she’s been able to keep going, focus on love and find a purpose.

Episode 10. A Health & Patient Advocate – Finding Her Voice through Endometriosis

I’m excited to introduce you to Shantana Hazel on Happiness through Hardship – The Podcast talking about her journey with endometriosis and how to be a patient advocate no matter your diagnosis. She’s the founder of Sister Girl Foundation, the author of  28 Ways on How to Advocate for Your Health Care and A New Me – Mind, Body, Soul, Health & Wellness Journal and has been recognized with numerous awards around the world for her dedication and commitment advocating for women’s healthcare. While she’s the life of the party, full of laughs and always willing to grab a karaoke mic, she has lived with life altering pain and deep anguish from endometriosis since she was a teenager. Sixteen surgeries and nearly three decades later she took the pain and turned it into purpose. Shantana is committed to ensuring that women with chronic illnesses including endometriosis and cancers aren’t suffering in silence and receive proper care.

Episode 9: Abby Lawson – A BRCA1 Previvor Organizing Life

This week’s guest on Happiness through Hardship – The Podcast is Abby Lawson. She’s the founder of Just a Girl & Her Blog and an organization and design expert, who with her husband runs an entrepreneurial venture. She’s full of advice for anyone wanting to organize their home, design a new space and even help show others how blogging can be a family run business. While I found her and fell in love with her organization of Lego space, she’s known for offering courses and free printables on a variety of topics. Though we could talk for hours about creating a thriving home, on today’s episode Abby shares her story as a BRCA1 previvor. A Previvor is someone who has taken action to eliminate risks of disease, often having a predisposition to cancer. This group includes people who carry a hereditary mutation, a family history of cancer, or another predisposing factor. Abby tells us about the decisions she made knowing she was a carrier of BRCA1. BRCA1 is a genetic mutation and those who carry it have a much higher risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer compared with someone who doesn’t have the mutation.