"Being Her Mama Has Made Me Strong" "When life flips upside down, you can either hang there and accept it or fight to flip it back. I chose to fight. Yet, I didn’t make that choice right away. No, there was a solid few months of self pity, followed by anger, then fear, and then eventually, and quite surprisingly, strength. This is important, because we often think that we have to choose an emotion and react immediately. We can only be strong, angry, scared, silent, or happy. Yet, in reality, we are typically feeling all of these things, all at once. We have become experts at displaying one...

"My name is Jenny Aquino and I was born and raised in Columbus. I am an avid Justin Timerblake and Gilmore Girls fan. I also love spending time with my family and friends. I am a first grade special education teacher at an amazing school. I really hope that my story can help others that may be experiencing a tremendous loss. The last 3 years have been really trying on my family, and I would love others to see that it’s possible to celebrate your lost loved ones. 2015 was an exceptionally tough year for my family. It started out incredible, on January 14th I got engaged to...

"I was a normal kid growing up. I cheered ever since I was little and did it all through school. I went to The Ohio State University for college. In 2015, my sophomore year of college,  I started experiencing numbness on the right side of my body.  All of a sudden my body couldn’t do what it used to do. I thought I was getting a cold or something. So, I went to the chiropractor's office where I lived, and they thought I had a pinched nerve in my neck. Which I did. But, the chiropractor saw me everyday for a week and I wasn’t getting better. I...

"I am a mother of 3 loving children. I have 2 girls and 1 boy who are the light of my life. I am also a mother with a child who has cerebral palsy and cancer. In June of 2017, a routine MRI turned into something no mother, father, or family should ever have to go through. Trey was born with cerebral palsy which led doctors to order a routine MRI. After the MRI my family and I sat in front of a doctor as he told us that they found a tumor. After completion of a biopsy, it was confirmed that not only did Trey have a...

 "I moved to Columbus from Cleveland, OH in 2010. Shortly after the move I went through a difficult divorce and became a single mother of 3. I needed to find supplemental income to make ends meet and keep life going. I run an in-home daycare during the day and didn’t want to put my children through having a Mom with more than one full time job. I have always been in love with art and I’ve been painting as long as I can remember. I do not have an art degree and hadn’t explored earning an income through my painting beyond selling pet portraits; I...

A Story of Grief @jessfpetersen "I am a married mom of three kids - Sadie, Colin and Elise. My husband Brian and I have been married for 11 years, but have known each other since we were kids. I work in media relations for Lifeline of Ohio and consider it a privilege to work in the field of organ, eye and tissue donation. I am also the #1 Button Artist in the state of Ohio...

Alisa Becker and Paula Katz are two social entrepreneurs from Columbus launch Be the Sign; donating 100% of profits to charity. Be the Sign focuses political messages on equality, diversity and love. Alisa and Paula are former retail executives, freelancers, activists, friends and now social entrepreneurs. Alisa was a merchant for Bath & Body Works, Zulily & others, created the blog www.30daysofcancer.com and is a grieving mother channeling her sadness into something positive. Paula has visual experience with L Brands, formerly owned the bakery Layer based here in Columbus, and currently freelances for prominent companies such as, Yankee Candle and Nasdaq. "We realized our conversations were increasingly political. And,...

PCE Studios (Permanent Cosmetic Effects) opened back in 2003--when there really were only a couple places around doing permanent cosmetics in Columbus.  Erica saw that need, and created PCE Studios.  And, If you remember, they were one of our sponsors for all our breast cancer stories in October. Erica comes from a large family. Her father alone has 18 brother and sisters, and her mother has 13 siblings.  Erica attended DeVry University for her degree in business.  Her family is originally from Puerto Rico. She grew up in Lorain, but before opening up her business, Erica knew there was not a lot of money to be made in Lorain, Ohio.  She wanted to be successful,...

"You are, without a doubt the most beautiful girl I have ever seen in my entire life, and I don’t know how a guy like me ever got so lucky to get a girl like you." My husband reminds me that he loves me daily.  It was a part of our wedding vows. He posts it on Facebook and he looks me in the eye and repeats that same quote when he thinks I need reminded of how beautiful he thinks I am. I smile and say thank you, because I don't know how to take a compliment.  We have been through some crazy ups and...

Over My Head is a unique company specializing in accessories for woman who are undergoing breast cancer treatment, or in recovery.  They offer a comfortable and relaxed environment, with personal consultations and private fitting rooms.  They actually opened back in 1998 in Upper Arlington.  Over My Head is a beautiful space to help women look and feel a little more normal---when they need it the most. Bethany Golden purchased Over My Head in January 2007, after being inspired by her late mother, Bonnie Ritchie.  Bonnie had cancer for 11 years, but it wasn't until the last 3 months of her life, that she became very ill.  During that time, Bethany was finishing up her last semester...