Almost fifteen years ago I was pacing the halls of a south New Jersey hospital while my husband/best friend received emergency heart surgery. What was to have been a seashore escape and celebration of a friend’s new home on the Bay turned into a nightmare.

Why, Lord? How can I be a widow at this young age and what about our baby girl? What about this new house we bought? What about this life we’ve built together? I was facing the fact that my life was about to change forever. I was freaking out when I called my friend Bruce, our lawyer and good friend.

“I don’t KNOW anything”, I cried. “I just don’t know ANYTHING!” I was sobbing.

“Honey,” he said calmly. “It’s going to be okay. You haven’t known anything for a really long time.”

And with that, he made me laugh. His comfort and love shook me the way I needed to be shaken. I was awake.

Once we recovered from the experience (thank you, God) I thought I should become “involved”. So I think I bought five or six Red Dress pins, a symbol of supporting the American Heart Association. And I returned to my naive life.  I guess I didn’t know any better.

And then I was diagnosed with cancer. And a colorectal cancer, no less. Why, Lord?
Who wants to be the poster child for that?  Apparently, I do. I turned to my husband on the way out of the doctors appointment and said: “Life, as we know it, is over”. And I couldn’t buy pins to get out of the situation. I was in shock.  As treatment began, I was intrigued by the psychology of it. I was afraid every single day. The pain (which I had ignored for months) was excruciating. I was chemo’d and radiated and medicated and after an unusual drug reaction, I had a lucky, mystical moment and I KNEW, for once, I would be okay. Now what do I do with that? I needed to STAY AWAKE.

I started looking for the real answer to this nagging question….why?

I worried about modeling once more, strength in crisis for our child. I met incredibly brave people- both those fighting for their lives and those doing the magic of saving us. The battlefield was brutal.

I took an inventory. I had lost a friend to murder. I’d prayed my husband back to health. I was lucky enough to have a cancer responding well to treatment. My track record was good, right? Why couldn’t I trust my life anymore?

One night, I had a dream that I was moving too fast in my car toward a door in the road that was marked “DESPAIR”. I simply refused to open it. I stopped and turned. No. No, thanks.

And then my husband lost his job. Seriously? I watched as he struggled to keep our ship upright. I had to get a job. I had been lucky enough to stay home with our child. We are a partnership; it’s my turn to save us. We needed insurance! This was a dark time.

I started to climb out by using my voice to lift the spirits of the people in these crisis experiences. I helped to raise funds to help outfit the local “chemo room” with better furniture, beautiful and comfortable surrounds for the families gathered, computer stuff, coffee stuff. It was a “LIVING” room. The irony made me smile.

I volunteered, I returned to dancing ballet and yoga. I was trying to fortify myself. I got a job. I felt weak. I felt so freaking vulnerable. Hated it.

Why, why, why? My own life was credentialing me. I wish someone could’ve/would’ve told me!

These experiences were like the Holy Spirit tapping me on the shoulder. And I didn’t get it at first. When I finally realized that these were guideposts, I suddenly knew what to do. I could do this. We could do this. A warrior was born.

My first shot at the new “me” was with the American Cancer Society  and then building out the Great Guys Group with my friend Paul. I advanced my career with For Pete’s Sake Cancer Respite Foundation and forged an amazing friendship with Marci. These amazing people allowed me to become. I am forever grateful.

Meanwhile, because media is everything in my philanthropic world, I met and fell in love with the team at JTwo Films They built my web sites, created compelling video libraries for me to showcase the needs of the world and the promise of help coming. I referred clients to them and they referred me as a consultant to help others coming into their own.

Projects That Matter (PTM) is a division of Jtwo for working with non profits who are changing the world. PTM offers consulting for non profit teams, videos for brandscaping and program delivery and fundraising. Pricing for these services is important because non-profit budgets are hard to come by. The JTwo team are people who are considerate of all of these things.

After a dozen years of building on my experiences I thought I should dial it back a bit. My daughter was graduating from Penn State and my “mom days” were numbered. I should probably rest. WRONG AGAIN!

I was invited to team up with the very people responsible for interpreting my voice all these years. And just like that, I joined the JTwo Films team. My nonprofit experience increases our efficiencies and effectiveness. This is amazing to me because I’m now interacting with so many more charities. I’m consulting across the state, across the country too, and offering solutions daily. It feels GREAT! I couldn’t have dreamed a better dream for my life. My team and I know what needs to happen for our clients and we understand the challenges. My team has taught me how a creative eye sees the missions we support. It’s a beautiful blend for the charities. Our studio and our people are WIDE awake. Magic happens there. Missions happen there. I am giddy to go to work and inspired.

And with that understanding, I am achieving my call to discipleship. Simple, really. And I can breathe again. This philanthropy has become my lifestyle.

JTwo and the Projects That Matter initiative is my home. I belong here.  THAT, my friends, is WHY.

*For more information on consulting services, connections to the JTwo team and other shenanigans, visit