How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
Wyatt is 13 and Nate is 11.
How did you end up in Stamford?
My husband is from NJ and I am from Long Island and we looked at both but neither of us liked the other place. Stamford was a good commute for Tim and we liked the city feel.
What do you love about Stamford?
I love how diverse it is. Also how you can drive a short distance north to the hiking, biking through the country and then south to the water.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you need some “me time”?
Not much me time with 2 boys, a dog, an amazing growing business and a husband that works in NYC. AND I see the importance so a massage, go for a walk with the dog or take a hot sweaty power yoga class at my yoga studio.
You’re a breast cancer survivor, tell us about your journey.
When we were looking at places to move from NYC we never imagined that the city we picked would be key to our journey. After purchasing our house, two cars, finding a new job and moving our two little kiddos to Stamford I was diagnosed with Stage 2B Breast Cancer. My amazing OB – Dr. Ghofrany helped me get the ball rolling after I felt a lump in my right breast. Within a week of finding out and speaking with several doctors I chose to have a bilateral mastectomy. One month later I began chemotherapy for four months, then I had one month of radiation. It was a rough year.
The Stamford community was really amazing. We had people delivering food, taking care of our children and even giving us financial support through grants and gift cards to pay for our everyday expenses. So when you asked why I picked Stamford, some stars aligned because the Stamford Hospital Bennett Cancer Center was a gift. I had all my treatments there and it was close to our home.
What was most surprising to you about your diagnosis?
The most surprising thing about being diagnosed with Breast Cancer was finding out how many young women like myself have it. I was 38 at the time and I heard about so many women from Stamford alone being diagnosed as young ages.
How has your life changed since treatment ended?
When I was diagnosed, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Then I had to face the fact that my body was completely different. First it was like playing connect the dots with all the scars. Then I had to get used to having new boobs and the initial discomfort. Yoga really helped me get through especially the kind of yoga I do which is Baptiste Power Yoga. It opened my eyes to what was possibly in face of what I had gone through and gave me the tools to literally make lemonade out of lemons.
What does Breast Cancer Awareness Month mean to you?
Well if you would have asked me several years ago, I would say I’d rather skip over it. But the truth is it’s a time for me to celebrate (not only because it’s my birthday). I go to events and see powerful woman gathering to create change and awareness. Its inspirational.
What message do you have for women who are diagnosed with breast cancer?
Do what feels good for you. Don’t take the stuff that people say to you personally. Embrace the yuck and fight like hell.
Tell us about opening Connecticut Power Yoga with your husband?
Once life got back on track Tim and I decided to go to a program hosted by Baptiste Yoga Institute. That was the beginning for us and after going to several programs, we wanted to bring home what we discovered for ourselves through this practice which uses physical asana, mediation and a lot of self-inquiry.
In 2016 we decided to open Connecticut Power Yoga with the focus to empower community. Like they say if you build it, they will come! So, at CT Power Yoga we offer open and community minded (heated) power yoga that embraces all.
Stayed tuned we have more exciting things happening the end of this year!
How has Connecticut Power Yoga helped you connect with the Stamford community?
Through the yoga we have connected with so many people. We give them access to be authentic, have fun, and create space for possibility. We connect people to themselves so they can connect with others. I like to say at CT Power Yoga you feel like you’re getting a big hug when you walk in the front door.
How do you juggle your career and mommyhood?
Oh boy it’s a juggle! And the best ever. Luckily my schedule is somewhat flexible so I can be available for our children. AND they play a big part in the studio. They are often seen hanging around helping us out or taking a class. Now that they are getting a bit older, they prefer to stay away but I see them coming back soon! Our community of teachers are also such a gift and greatly appreciated as they step in when Tim and I are away. They truly are what makes it all work.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another mom?
My best friend told me get away! Leave your children in the care of people you trust and take some time either by yourself or with your husband or friends. This was the gem that I really appreciated. I can see how the recharge really helps me get back in and present with my family.
2nd photo by Robert Sturman