What is your story? Or in other words, what made you your awesome self you are today?
Well, my story is one of overcoming and turning a sour life situation into a sweet beautiful expression of love, joy, and inspiration. I’m a go-getter and I have lived my life with the belief that I can do anything. It wasn’t always that way when I was younger I didn’t know who I was and I lacked a sense of self-confidence.
As I matured and took hold of my life, I started to live with the mental mindset of being my own cheerleader. I worked really hard at training myself and my brain to look at things through a positive lens. I don’t allow drama or negativity to be a part of my life. This has helped me tremendously in handling difficult situations and it also brought me a sense of peace in my life. I live by the model Mind of Matter. I don’t mind cause it does not matter. This way of thinking and keeping a positive outlook on life has helped me to overcome one of the most difficult times that I have had to endure.
I enjoy working out and taking care of myself. To say I love hiking Camelback mountain would be an understatement. I worked out five days a week from running 5 miles on Saturday mornings, going to the gym and hiking. I never smoked, I don’t drink alcohol and I ate a healthy diet. Since I rarely get sick, I knew something was not right when I started to have back pain and lose weight. I went to see my doctor she suggested we do an MRI of my spine and that is when my life changed forever.
On November 21, 2018, the day before Thanksgiving I will never forget that date. I was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, which spread to my lower spine, my pelvis and the top of my right shoulder. I went from being a healthy fit vibrant young woman to being the sickest I had ever been in my life, I was down in weight at 94 pounds. I had thirty days of radiation in December of 2018. January 2019 I started chemo treatments which I still get every three weeks. I had surgery on my spine a biopsy done on my lungs and a port put in my chest to receive my chemotherapy.
As I was going through my cancer journey I started to share my experience on social media with photos, videos, and updates. Everything I posted was with a positive outlook. I continue to do this today. I even get all dolled up for my chemo treatments which fall on Wednesday. My videos would be a celebration of Chemo Wednesday. I would share my doctor visits, the nurses administering the chemo so people could see what I was going through. My videos and my positive attitude started to help others and gain some attention. I have been covered by NBC 12, ABC 15, The Mayo Clinic and the National show Right This Minute. By sharing my lung cancer journey through positivity it has opened up doors for me to share my story on a number of different platforms. The biggest being Washington DC. I have been invited to go to Washington in March to share my story on capitol hill to help make a difference for non-smokers who get lung cancer. My goal is to be the face of a national campaign to inform and educate the public on the fact that anyone can get lung cancer not just someone who smokes.
What message do you promote?
My message is one of positive thinking. Everything starts in the brain and we are in control of how we feel, respond, think and ultimately handle situations.
I’m here to help spread a positive outlook on how to handle a devastating life situation and make the most of it going forward in a positive way which helps in the healing of yourself and others around you.
In what capacity do you LEAD UP in your community?
I’ve become a board member with the American Lung Association. I continue to speak at various cancer-related functions throughout the community. I share my story as a way for others to see and understand the various aspects of what one goes through while living with stage 4 lung cancer.
In business and/or in life, share a struggle you overcame that other women can relate to?
One thing I learned while going through my cancer process is that you will lose friends along the way. As women, we need to stick together but sometimes difficult life situations are a challenge for some people including your friends. So what I did was look at the bigger picture. My life had shifted into a new direction and the people who were present during my life shift are the ones that I needed to be present with.
What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?
I love what I do, I know having gone through this difficult disease of stage 4 lung cancer as a non-smoker has led me to my life’s purpose. I am here to make a difference with my story through positivity and change laws going forward that will open up the conversation to help find a cure for individuals who get lung cancer and they have never smoked. I am a champion for change.
How do you SHOW UP?
I show up by being aware and present every day. I show up by being the face and voice for someone who just found out they too have lung cancer. I share my story through videos and personal appearances to help inform, inspire and educate others going forward all with a positive attitude and outlook.
If you could give one piece of advice for women who are entering the workforce or launching their own business what would that be?
Surround yourself with like-minded women who can help you see things in a new way and approach your dream with support. Never be afraid to take a chance, change is the only way we get better and reach our goals.
My social media handles:
Facebook: Danielle Williams