On 2/22/2022, I was diagnosed with a rare form of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. I was only 23 years old. my symptoms mimicked a regular flu virus with laryngitis, so my medical team couldn’t understand why I was persistent at appointments and told them I knew something was wrong with me. Eventually, we found the main tumor attached to my left vocal cord. That is what had been giving me a hoarse voice for two months. When they debulked it, it was blocking 50% of my airway. I was the one that pushed for scans and referrals and even went to the ED for help multiple times. It was my own research and my intuition that saved my life. I went on to finish 6 rounds of chemotherapy and be declared cancer free in July of 2022.
Now, I feel a deep calling to help other people, to be a resource for them that I wish I had. I remember what a cathartic experience that was for me to finally be able to talk to someone who “gets it.” I was so humbled by the outpouring of support for me last year, and now I’m ready to pay it forward.
I’m also a professional makeup artist in my spare time! I love helping people feel beautiful and comfortable in their own skin. Makeup was a lifeline to me while I was in treatment, anchoring me to at least part of my identity. I know all the tips and tricks of the trade and I love to talk about all things beauty.
In 2017, Leah was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer and told she was going to die within the next two years.
Nearly four years later and instead, she’s thriving. Using her experience as a dietitian, exercise physiologist, and wellbeing expert, Leah crafted a strategy of resilience to help her reach total remission. Her formula for success using nutrition, exercise, mindset, kindness, authenticity, and love has helped her to beat the odds despite initially being given a one to four percent chance of survival.
Leah has been working with companies and individuals on nutrition and wellness for over fifteen years. She’s worked with multiple global organizations on their employee health and wellness strategy including Marriott International, McCormick & Co., Hilton Worldwide, Johns Hopkins, and ExxonMobil.
She’s also the co-founder of The Willow Foundation, which provides funding to researchers that strive to find a connection between diet, exercise, and mindset and improved outcomes for late-stage cancer patients.
Leah holds an MBA from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, a Master’s Degree in Sports Nutrition and Exercise Science, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science. She’s a registered dietitian and ACSM certified exercise physiologist. She’s a former division-one athlete and medical officer in the United States Army Reserves.
As an experienced writer and nutrition coach, I am also a breast cancer survivor and mom of two teen boys.
In addition to seeing clients in both person and remote, I have worked in the corporate world in publishing, editorial and marketing for over 30 years across health and wellness. I have been the editor & publisher of a successful parenting website and blog for over a decade, covering health and wellness topics for local parents, as well as writing about healthy dining options for other local news outlets and promoting healthy products and brands. Previously I managed marketing and social media for a men’s skincare company, doing campaigns related to men’s physical and mental health awareness. I am also the former communications manager for Oxford Health. With a son who has Celiac disease, I am also currently writing a book about living with gluten intolerance.
I would love to use my experience and knowledge to help others navigate their health journey at various stages of life, especially cancer survivors.
During my 14 years of career in online marketing, I have helped with digital marketing strategy of clients in healthcare, travel, publishing, pharma and several other industries. I love working with startups and help towards the path to profitability.
I’m currently in a part of the cancer journey, that I never knew existed. I believed that, it would be all over once the cancer went into Remission. I was sadly mistaken, & found out that I would have to continue chemo treatments. I actually hate chemo more than anything in the world. Thank God for family, friends, & THE ESSENTIAL WORKERS that constantly surround me with good energy, and keep me encouraged. Chances are that I may have to take chemo treatments for the rest of my life. This chapter is almost like, a bonus chapter of a terrible book. Regardless of how I feel about this journey, I’m grateful to God for where I am. There’s always SOMETHING to be grateful for!
My name is Mercy, I have had Mycosis Fungoides for over 10 years. After living with my condition for so long I decided to truly celebrate myself. My teenage years were difficult, I spent years hiding my skin and trying to run away from myself. After going through treatments, I began to accept that there was no cure. This acceptance was the first step to my confidence journey. My journey evolved and I began to truly love and appreciate my differences. Growing up, I hadn’t seen myself represented anywhere, never on the front page of a magazine or in my day-to-day life. So decided I was going to work towards changing that. Not only for myself but others living with a chronic illness or visible difference, so that others experiencing the same insecurities may instead see the beauty in their skin. Why blend in when you were born to stand out?