I was born and raised in Green Bay and I knew from an early age on I wanted to be a nurse. I am the oldest and the first person in my family to attend college. After graduating from college, I started my career at Bellin Hospital as a labor and delivery nurse. It was there that I felt I could make a difference. I could help make positive memories for women experiencing childbirth. Childbirth memories are forever and are a common bond with all mothers. You can put a group of mothers together and eventually the conversation will gravitate to children and childbirth memories. Granted the majority of the memories are joyous, there is also sadness and heartache when women experience perinatal loss through miscarriages or stillbirths. It was here that I developed my passion and commitment for helping women. I would give encouragement, confidence, compassion, and a feeling that they are not alone and together we would get through this. My commitment to helping women, has broadened my career to include roles in education, management, and practitioner. In 1997, I received my Master of Science degree from UW Madison and became an Advanced Practice Nurse Prescriber certified in Women’s Health. I am one of twelve providers with Women’s Specialty Care and I feel very fortunate to be working with such a caring team!
In 1981, I married my best friend and college sweetheart. We decided to start our family early in life so we could be active parents with our children. It would also allow us to be young enough to enjoy life together after our children left home. We raised three children together, Lance, Cole, and Lindsay. I thought we would be together forever. That sadly was not the case. In July 2000, my husband Lee was tragically taken by a drunken driver while riding his bicycle. I was devastated by the sudden loss. I lost my best friend, my children lost their father, and my in-laws lost their only son. It has been a long and hard road to recovery, but with the help of family and friends, I have found joy and happiness again.
I started taking ballroom dance lessons in 2002 for stress relief. I quickly found myself smiling and laughing again through dance, something I thought I would never do. I continue to take dance lessons today because it brings joy back into my life. I am far from perfect, but dance makes me happy! I also enjoy bike riding, gardening, and traveling.
As I look back on my 2015 DWOS experience, I am in awe of myself! That experience was so out of my comfort zone and it still is. I think about the friendships made and all the support given to each other during the journey. My personal favorite moment was when Peta acknowledged that my quick step routine was a difficult routine. She validated what I was thinking and feeling! The fact that I completed it without any major hiccups is one of my favorite moments.
When asked to DWOS All Stars I did not hesitate to accept. The American Red Cross is such a great organization. They are the ones that are there when disaster strikes. Or if the community needs education in CPR/AED training, babysitting courses, life guard training, or if blood is needed. No disaster is too small or large. When faced with a disaster it is comforting to know you are not alone. The Red Cross will be there for the long haul. They are the ones that will help you get through a disaster, by providing compassion, confidence and encouragement, something that is dear to my heart. I am honored to again work within the community to raise awareness for this organization and help raise funds.