This past weekend I had the tremendous pleasure of traveling to Savannah, GA for the 2012 Southeast Region Great Comebacks Award. Each year, Convatec (a global medical supply company) selects an award winner from each of the 4 continental regions. I’m not sure why but I was chosen as the Southeast region finalist and was in attendance to accept my award and deliver a presentation! I absolutely love public speaking and my audience was a group of over 300 nurses with family and friends in tow!
I took the stage armed with my Timex Global Pro Trainer as I had only 15 minutes and did not want to go long!! It is absolutely crucial to get a laugh before beginning any speech so I did my best to illicit a response. I think I asked the MC to help me move the podium because I could not be contained to one solitary space on stage. That was enough, sure enough I got the laughs that I was looking for!
I started with a huge thanks to the audience of nurses and explained that my comeback could not have been possible without them. The thing about Wound and Ostomy Care Nurses is that they all have a relentless passion for service. I thanked my own personal WOCN and even brought her up on stage for a hug. I spoke about my near death experience in March 2006 and how my life has changed so drastically since then. I shared my passion of Triathlon and thanked my major sponsors Timex and Newton Running. I was literally in my element on the stage speaking from an overflow of gratitude from the heart. I was essentially dead not more than 8 years ago and now I am a nationally sponsored triathlete fully capable of any and all physical challenges.
I concluded my presentation with a song, “It’s Good to Be Alive” by Jason Gray. The lyrics were so fitting to the momentous occasion: “I won’t take it for granted…..I won’t waste another second….All I want is to give you a life well-lived and say thank you.” It is impossible for fear and faith to occupy the same human heart. My ostomy surgery was very scary but I had no idea how good life could be on the other side!! Thank you Timex for supporting my pursuit of a lifelong dream and for giving me the platform to create awareness for the United Ostomy Association and thousands of people around the world who are faced with the reality of living with an ostomy!