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Choosing Hope: Living Courageously Through Adversity
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Choosing Hope: Living Courageously Through Adversity

Author: Photograph: Frances Darwin, Design: Cherrelle Druppers

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A forum for individuals who have battled cancer and other adversity, and have learnt to live courageously - - and thrive - - through their challenges. The podcast also features guests who explore topics like resilience, change, courage, hope, community, faith, purpose, self-care and gratitude to get through difficulties and to find meaning and joy in life.
20 Episodes
 For Joe Bakhmoutski (buck-moot-ski), going through cancer has been a journey through adversity to lose weight, get close with his family and make a greater impact out in the world.  Joe lives by the adage, " it’s not what happens to you that defines you, but how you respond to it."  Today, Joe helps cancer survivors become more calm, confident and in control through his Simplify Cancer Podcast, Simply Cancer book and free seven day Take Your Life Back After Cancer challenge.  To learn more about the challenge, and to reach Joe, go to
Kim Curry was at the height of popularity as a radio guy in the 70s and 80s.   The perks of the job included hanging out with music legends, being invited to the White House and traveling around the world to find the next “Number One” song.   A 33 year broadcaster, he was forced into retirement with a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis at age 50. Curry embraced this new challenge and shows us that life can be good even in the face of adversity.
After successfully building her business over the past twenty-plus years, Marcia Moran thought she has life by the tail.  Little did she know what was in store.  She suffered a major stroke in 2014 and had to learn how to walk and speak again.  In our conversation, Marcia talks about her experience and shares the message of hope, inspiration and healing, including a technological breakthrough that helped her recover.
Andrea Wilson Woods is a coach, writer, teacher and patient advocate.  She is the founder of the nonprofit Blue Faery: The Adrienne Wilson Liver Cancer Association and CEO of Cancer University, a for-profit digital health company.  In our conversation, Andrea talks about her sister, Adrienne Wilson,  who was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer.   Our conversation centres around the book she wrote, Better Off Bald: A Life in 147 Days, which chronicles her sister's remarkable life from the time she was born until she dies at age 15.  
Shawn Tegtmeier quit smoking at 36, gained weight, lost weight and started (gasp) running!  She went back to school, left her safe "cube" career to become a personal trainer.  She has run many marathons over the past 15 years.  Shawn was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, continuing treatment while getting back to running.  She published her memoir last year, Running with Walt.  In our conversation, Shawn talks candidly about how her turned her life around at 36, made courageous decisions and is now living a life of joy and purpose.
Katherine Jansen-Byrkit is Licensed Professional Counselor with 17 years in private practice offering holistic psychotherapy.  Last year, Katherine published her book, River to Ocean: Living in the Flow of Wakefulness.  Her book reflects the human voyage of finding your way to an awakened self.  As with a river that traverses steep mountains and winding valleys, our inner and outer worlds can be encumbered by a lack of connection to ourselves, old beliefs, an anxious mind.  Each and all of these can interfere with living our our most authentic and loving life.  In our conversation, Katherine offers insights and practices on how to live a life of wakefulness.
Ginny Dent Brant is a speaker and writer.  She has battled cancer, ministered around the world and served on the front lines of American culture as a counselor, educator, wellness advocate, and adjunct professor.  In our conversation we talk about her recent book, "Unleash Your God-given Healing: Eight Steps to Prevent and Survive Cancer"  To learn more about Ginny, go to
Jean Turner is a minister, author, retired army officer and  holistic health nurse coach who conquered cancer and heart disease and describes her experience in her book, The Spirit of a Warrior.  We talk about Jean's experience and the importance of self-care to live a full life.  Jean also hosts a podcast,  “Health Chat with Coach Jean”.You can learn more about Jean through her website:
Dionne Warner is a 9 time cancer survivor.  She is a cancer warrior!  She has been described by her doctor as a miracle beyond science.  I saw Dionne being interviewed at City Line and was mesmerized by her story.  So I located her and found her in Regina!  In this podcast we talk about redefining what it means to live with cancer and how to thrive when your body is attacked with one catastrophic cancer after another.  She shares the importance of attitude, community and faith in her fight to regain control of her life. You can reach Dionne at   She is also on Facebook and Twitter (@dionnewarner)
Leila Keshavjee is the founder and CEO of Happy Pops.  She is also one determined, gritty, passionate young woman with big goals.  In this episode, we talk about how Leila parlayed her interest in health and nutrition, to becoming an entrepreneur and starting Happy Pops.  She shares her story of appearing on Dragons’ Den in 2018 to get an investment for her company, and the lessons she has learned along the way.  Since its launch, Happy Pops has catered over 500 events and is now available in retail stores across the country.  For more information on Happy Pops, go to  And if you haven’t tried Happy Pops, go order some from the website now!  
Every once in a while a podcast is created, which simply delights.  Thank you Mama, hosted by Ana Tajder, is such a podcast!  In this podcast, Ana, mom, writer and ballet dancer, interviews women from around the world to talk about lessons they have learned from their mothers.  Listen to this episode as I talk to Ana about her inspiration for creating this podcast, what she remembers about her mama, and her insights from speaking to women from different cultures, ages and professions as they speak about what their moms have taught them.
The Mountain as a Framework to Transform Your LifeIn this episode, I talk to Aziz Velji about what stress can do to us and the steps we can take to begin to transform our lives.  This is based on the book Aziz wrote recently called, "Calm Brain, Powerful Mind".  Aziz's background is in Engineering, Science and Business Management.  Over the past few years, he changed course from working in the corporate world to becoming an author and a teacher.  His book is the culmination of the work he has done to bridge his background in science with philosophy, psychology, meditation practices, quantum science and brain enhancement.  For more information about his work, go to
What does prosperity mean to you?  Listen to this podcast with Ursula Pottinga to explore and play with the idea of prosperity and how you can go about creating this in your life.  After this podcast you will have a new way of thinking about form and experience.Ursula is a Certified Co-Active Coach with over 20 years of experience in training and coaching.   She is an international speaker and trains people in the U.S., Canada and Europe in the areas of transformational leadership and neuroscience.  She owns her own consulting business, Profound Growth, where she works with individuals and families on prosperity and legacy planning.  She is also co-founder of BEabove Leadership which provides advanced coach training to experienced coaches.  Ursula is known for her deep wisdom, her belly laugh, her wonderful humour and ability to bridge the mystical and practical.
Dr. Navaz Habib is a Functional Medicine Doctor, and Doctor of Chiropractic who specializes in optimizing health by addressing the root causes of chronic conditions.  He is also the author of Activate your Vagus Nerve.  In this podcast, he talks about his own struggles with his health and how he was able to use functional medicine to benefit him - - and his clients – remove health blocks and improve health, productivity, and energy.  Listen as he offers top hacks from his book to improve your health immediately.  For more information on Dr. Habib’s work, go to
Ann Betz is a certified coach, a dynamic international speaker, and a global trainer.  Her expertise in in the intersection of neuroscience, coaching and human transformation.  In this podcast she explores what a limiting belief is, what the brain has to do with it, and how you can identify and embrace a new narrative.  What is possible for you when you get past your limiting beliefs?  Simply, everything!  Listen to this podcast to take the first step toward rewriting your story.For more information about the work Ann Betz does, go to 
Our bodies were made to move!  And how can dance bring joy and learning in the lives of the most vulnerable?  Cherrelle Druppers is co-founder of a Kenyan non-profit called ChezaCheza.  In the podcast, she talks about her work in informal settlements where children are exposed to severe social and economic challenges and helping them build life skills through the power of dance.  Listen to Cherrelle talk about the program, the impact it is having on the children and community, and her hope for the future.For more information about Chezacheza, go to
Tarquin Singh is a henna artist and teacher.  I got to know Tarquin personally when I was going through cancers and lost my hair.  Tarquin created stunning designs on my head, called henna crown, that made me feel beautiful and empowered during times of uncertainty and vulnerability in my life.  In the podcast, Tarquin talks about how she got involved in henna design, the different venues, and types of henna artistry she offers and the importance of safety with henna.  Listen to this podcast to get a view of a magnificent art form that started in the east and become popular around the world.For more information about Tarquin’s work, go to
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