23 Aug 2011 03:59 pm

Every story has multiple perspectives.  I asked a few friends to share their perspectives on my journey to “thrivership.”  I also asked a few survivor friends to share their own perspectives on their surviorship because I felt like they had unique stories to tell.  We shared out writings with each other like “the Borg – Collective” from Star Trek. (Yes, I am a science fiction nerd!)  Everyone had a hand in the completion of this project.  The whole reason I asked them to be a part of the “Collective” is because not only could they provide a unique perspective on my “situation”, but I also wanted to illustrate that people can be successful addressing negative situations differently.  They each played an important role in my personal recovery.  These are the people I selected for the Awakening Collective.  Who would you put in your personal “Collective” to help tell your story!

Reno Ursal is one of my closest friends from college.  He was the first of my friends to move out of Michigan, get married, and become a father.  He is still arguably one of the biggest goofballs I know, but somehow he is still able to maintain his professionalism.
Lyman Ng is one of my closest friends in San Diego.  We share common midwest roots, and undeniable passion for Michigan Sports.  The past few years he has become a fitness fanatic and a great friend.
Anang Chokshi is one of my closest friends from physical therapy school at the University of Michigan – Flint.  He has been there for me since the beginning of my brain tumor journey!  He has no problem making sure I’m keeping up with my personal rehab!
Jodi Masumoto is one of my friends and was a physical therapy co-worker before my brain surgery. She has provided the voice of reason, support, and additional Physical Therapy expertise on many of the crazy activities I plan such as surfing and walking 5Ks.
Laura Nelson was my vision occupational therapist, but quickly became a trusted friend.  She gave me a lot of good advise in terms of maneuvering the streets of San Diego.  She introduced the idea of a mobility scooter and public transportation to me.
Courtney Scott is a fellow brain tumor survivor.  She works as an Occupational Therapist in Texas.  I met her and her husband at a conference at MD Anderson where she volunteered at a mAss Kickers booth.  I asked her to share her story because we have many similarities.
Jaime Kramer is also a healthcare provider (Speech Language Pathologist) turned brain tumor patient.  I met her, her husband Karl, and sister Deana at a lecture I did at New York University a few years ago.  I asked her to share her story as well because I think that we (heath providers turned patients) can offer a unique perspective on survivorship.
Zachary York is the first young male brain tumor survivor I’ve met in San Diego.  He was diagnosed and treated for a brain tumor when he was 12 years old!  He is always messing with me, but amazes me with how well he is able to maneuver the city with his physical impairments.  I asked him to share his story.
Selma Schmmiel is a friend from LA who invited me to be on her international radio show in 2008, the Group Room.  She has become a great mentor and one of my biggest supporters.  I was honored when she agreed to write the forward for Awakening :  Becoming A Brain Tumor Thriver.

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