Our Story

  Michele was diagnosed with advanced stage colorectal cancer in 2013 at the age of 47. Even though she lost her own 57 year old mother to the same cancer when Michele was only 17, it took everyone by surprise and sent her and her family into a state of shock. She did everything the doctors told her and received the conventional standard of care treatment, undergoing chemo, radiation and 2 surgeries. Even though these treatments caused months of physical pain and emotional discomfort, she tolerated them well and we are grateful that this method decimated the tumor and saved her life.


  Afterwards, we were told she would never be 100% cancer free because it was in her lymph system. "There was no cure " and she would need chemotherapy for the rest of her life.  On top of that, due to the surgeries, she had to learn to function with an incomplete digestive system. With her spirit broken, feeling hopeless and fearful, she fell into a deep depression. She was mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted. Overwhelmed, she couldn’t find the support she needed for whole person wellness after her conventional cancer treatment. 


  Over time, not to be defeated,  through diligent research she found integrative practitioners and discovered self-care techniques that improved her quality of life, decreased stress and possibly slowed down cancer growth. She became a person living and thriving with cancer and wanted to share all that she was learning with others.


 Michele became a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach.  Along with being  a dedicated wife, mother, sister, friend, student and party goer,  she was now a teacher. Her life was filled  with love and purpose.  She was fortunate that she and her family had the means to afford these often expensive treatments that helped her so much. Most were not covered by insurance and involved time, sacrifice and energy.  She was an inspiration to anyone she came in contact with and she wanted to assist financially and emotionally those who were unable to receive these treatments.


  There are thousands of stories out there of individuals finding the cure for devastating diagnoses and Michele read all that she could find. This gave her hope and helped her stay in a positive state of mind up until she succumbed to the disease in 2019, many years beyond her life expectancy.  Even though she was not able to find the perfect combination for herself in time, she never stopped believing that anything was possible for herself and others. Our mission continues her quest to help  those affected by cancer find the answers that meet their individual needs to live a loving and purposeful life.

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MICHELE'S MESSAGE


                  Stop cancer before it starts. Prevention is the best cure.

                 Fill your days with friends, family, fun, fitness and faith.


 Know that you are not a victim of your genes. Only 5–10% of all cancer cases can be attributed to genetics, the remaining 90–95% have their roots in the environment and lifestyle or a combination of these factors.


  • It’s never too late to quit smoking. Your body starts to repair itself 6 hours after your last cigarette. 


  • Learn to eat clean, nourishing whole foods most of the time. Get enough sleep. Drink lots of filtered water.


  • Listen to your body. If you feel something say something. Get regularly scheduled cancer screenings. Early detection decreases severity by 95%.


  • Take time every day to minimize  stress  i.e. physical or mind-body exercise, breath work, read a novel on your front porch, indulge in guilty pleasures (like watching Bravo), receive bodywork, meditate or pray.


  • Take an active part in your healthcare. Get a 2nd and 3rd opinion. Research every option available, even if your doctor doesn't tell you about them.


  • Surround yourself with positive people. Let go of anger.  Forgive those who hurt you. 


  • Write in a gratitude journal every day. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


  • Watch funny stuff.  Dance with your daughters in the kitchen.  Hang out with your pet.


  • Get outside every day i.e. walk on the beach, hike in the woods, work in the garden, bask in the sun. (with non-toxic sunblock after the first 15 minutes).


  • Do good works. Live a life filled with purpose.

                                                     Do what you love!

PREVENT-HEAL-THRIVE Board of Directors


MICHELE'S THREE SISTERS MAKE UP THE PRIMARY BOARD.

 

 LORI COTE, President ,  AS Physical Therapy, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Pilates Instructor, owner of Aproma Studios:  Michele and Lori spent many hours researching integrative cancer treatments together. As a Certified Integrative Health Coach, Michele worked with Lori to develop and present holistic health workshops and treatment plans.


 VICKI COTE SEVERIN, Secretary,  BS Education/Therapeutic Recreational Services  UCONN; In 1983 Vicki  began her position as a Rehabilitation Therapist for State of Connecticut/ Department of Developmental Services. In 2003  she became the Director of Camp Harkness:  Together, Vicki and Michele studied healing through positive thinking and the power of gratitude, both of which Michele became a master. Vicki hosts holistic nutrition workshops at Camp Harkness where Michele was a popular presenter.


 MARY BETH (COTE) BUCKLEY, Treasurer ,  AS Developmental Disabilities; over 33 years experience with State of Connecticut/Department of Developmental Services in various roles including Rehabilitation Therapist Assistant and Case Management. She continues to assist with individuals in the private setting:  Mary Beth was a strong supporter of Michele attending all of her workshops, accompanying her to chemo treatments,  caring for her dog Bella, driving her to doctor's appointments, bringing her dahlias and providing a laugh when she needed.


Advisory board bios coming soon.

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