My mission is to help people live their best life with chronic pain and provide support, understanding, and guidance along the way.
In 1996 I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Prior to that diagnosis, I was diagnosed with TMJ, Endometriosis, and Vulvadynia. Chronic pain has been a part of my life from a young age. In fact, as a child my Mom would take me to the doctors for pain and we were always told, “it’s just growing pains.”
I am tired of hearing, “not much can be done for fibromyalgia.” So much can be done to live better with fibromyalgia. I know because I went from bed-ridden and unable to do stairs, to climbing trees and zip lining with my son. When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I was not even dating anyone. I really thought my life was over and I would never get married or have a family. I have been married since 2000 to the love of my life, Mark, and we have two beautiful teenage sons who keep me busy. A full life with chronic pain is possible.
One year after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia I formed the Fibromyalgia Support & Education Group at St. John Hospital that eventually grew into the Fibromyalgia Association of Michigan. This year the Association celebrates 26 years of service providing support, education and advocacy. Over the past 26 years I have worked to educate people with fibromyalgia and their families, and I have advocated and represented people with fibromyalgia and chronic pain in the following national and international roles:
Vice President of Education, National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association
Advisor and Charter Member, Leaders Against Pain Action Network
Board Member, International Myopain Society
Patient Representative, PCORI (Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute)
Fibromyalgia Reviewer, Cochrane Collaboration
Patient Representative, OMERACT (Outcome Measures in Rheumatology)
Education has been the key to my personal success. The more I learned translated into the more I tried and resulted in new small successes. These small successes began to add up to big life-changing and sustainable successes. I have 26 years of knowledge and expertise in fibromyalgia and chronic pain. Combined with the skills I have learned in coaching, I am eager to help you reclaim your life from chronic illness. I am certain that better health is waiting for you. I know because I have worked with hundreds of people with fibromyalgia over the years and the ones seeking new solutions are continually improving their health.
When I decided to become a Health & Wellness Coach, I chose to become a Certified Wellcoach® through Wellcoaches as I was impressed with their evidence based program and their partnership with the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. This training program is approved by the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching which collaborates with the National Board of Medical Examiners to provide a robust board certification examination. The National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching is working to facilitate the integration of health & wellness coaches onto the healthcare team and establish codes so insurance will pay for Health & Wellness Coaching.
Take Courage Coaching Certified Pain Management Coach
Certified American College of Lifestyle Medicine Lifestyle Medicine Coach
Pain Coach with Pact for Pain
President & Founder, Fibromyalgia Association of Michigan