a look back on an evening of wellness, fitness and beauty…benefiting lisa barr and in honor and memory of sandy herzing

it was with much serious planning, and the biggest hearts one could find anywhere, that mrs. pam wilson, marcela estrada d'costa, and dr. algie labrasca successfully pulled off an amazing evening to benefit lisa barr, and to honor sandy herzing.  it was an evening of wellness, fitness and beauty with education, chinese auctions, music, food, and a teal carpet photo booth - oh, and FUN!

my precious friend lisa barr, is in her 4th year of battling ovarian cancer.  and friends that i have known most of my life, lost their mother, sandy herzing, after a valiant battle with ovarian cancer.

alongside friends and colleagues, i was asked to be a presenter at this special event.  

what do you say?  how do i present something to encourage people, to teach them, and to lift them even in states of illness and loss?

i had to go to my heart, and i would love to share with you what i shared this special evening. 

"i would like to ask you one question.  

what word defines you? 

how many of us go right to the place that we are in our own lives right now to find that word.

are you overweight, unhappy with how you look and feel?  

maybe your word is fat.

or maybe you are struggling in your marriage..a relationship that you could not make work...

your word could be divorce.

or maybe you are in a battle for your health…a battle that we are here to support.

your word could be cancer. 

it is human nature to go to our weakest and most hurtful areas to find the definition of ourselves.  but, don't be discouraged by this, this is ok!!!  for i believe with all my heart that we develop a passion for something in life, when we are broken by something in life. 

my own story is one of a struggle with self confidence and choosing not to eat.  

what is my passion?  my passion is to show every girl and woman, their true beauty that starts from within.  to teach them confidence, and ways to recognize in themselves what is so hard for them to see on their own.   this is why i have created, be your own beautiful.

i had the opportunity to photograph lisa barr right before she appeared on the dr. oz show.  we had a few hours of primping, and talking and sharing before our shoot.  as i began the shoot itself, i snapped the first image and turned my camera around for lisa to see.  

lisa's hands flew to her mouth and she started crying...

she told me…"joelle, i have just been so grateful for my life…to be living through this and winning this battle.  i've been so grateful for my loved ones, and all that i DO have, that didn't think it was important how i viewed myself!  i didn't think i was beautiful, i didn't think it was important to feel beautiful!  but it is!  and i am!"

i spoke with lisa last sunday.  she called, from where she is receiving treatments in florida, "just to thank me."  

"lisa," i asked...

"what can i say friday evening?  may i be your voice for a moment?  what do you want people to know?"

she sd this:

"i want them to know that today marks 4 years that i am beating this disease.  i want them to know that every single one of them is part of this miracle of life i am receiving.  that i feel every prayer, every ounce of support, every bit of love and strength…that they need to continue on with this, supporting each other, educating one another…giving…."

at the beginning, i had asked you:

"what word defines you?"

in lisa's words, let me offer you a few:

"incredible…amazing…strong…caring…faithful...giving…family…friends…beautiful."

this is a video i have put together as a tribute to lisa.  

i ask you for continued prayers for this mighty warrior.