Alexis Flanagan -090



It’s gonna be a journey, but you still have a lot of life to live. -Alexis Flanagan

Alexis Flanagan was living large. At only 33 her personal life was filled with family and friends and her career in finance was thriving. On a business trip to Florida in 2017 with her mother tagging along for some warm sunshine by the hotel pool, Alexis noticed swelling in her left breast. Her mother insisted she get the lump checked as soon as they returned to Boston. When all of the tests were complete, Alexis remembers hearing the words: “you have stage 4 breast cancer” and then, she blacked out. “I thought my life was over. I thought that everything I had dreamed of was just crumbling away. The hardest part of a stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis is that you just can’t see the path ahead of you because you are so scared. You don’t know if you are going to be around in a year.” Alexis applied for and received free assistance from a Massachusetts based charity called The Ellie Fund which provides essential support services to breast cancer patients, just to ease the stresses of their every day lives. Nearly three years have passed since her diagnosis and in this interview, Alexis candidly shares the details of her breast cancer journey. Thankful for the love of her family, she mourns the loss of a chunk of her life when she pressed “pause” and others moved on; getting married, having babies, and celebrating job promotions. A patient at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute under the care of Dr. Ann H. Patridge and her Young & Strong Program, Alexis receives infusions every 21 days and is not only back to work, but in the gym lifting weights. “I want to show women that no matter what stage you are, you CAN be physically strong again after a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.”   @BWME    #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions


Carla Tardif -089



There is nothing more gratifying than saving a life, or lifting people up around you. The ripple effect cause miracles every day. -Carla Tardif

Do you know someone with cancer? Chances are, the answer is “yes”. A cancer diagnosis is terrifying for the patient and the family, but it can also be financially devastating. That’s where Family Reach comes in, providing a financial lifeline for families fighting cancer. In addition to offering immediate financial relief, the organization also provides education and empowerment by giving families the tools they need to survive the most difficult time of their lives. At the helm of Family Reach is Carla Tardif, CEO and “team captain” leading the way with vision and compassion. Last year, Family Reach allocated more than 4.8 million dollars towards their programs, supporting more than 40,000 individuals across 50 states. This is Carla’s latest chapter in a career that has been devoted to work that matters. Driven to do what she does by a sense of purpose, Carla says: “being other people’s voices allowed me to find mine.” In this interview, she talks about her early work for Jerry Lewis and his famous Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, a deathbed promise to a NFL football player Pat Kelly who died of brain cancer, an unlikely collaboration with a very talented guitarist who just happened to be a billionaire car dealer and an invitation to share the good work of Family Reach at The White House. All of these alliances have led Carla to where she is today: on the battlefield fighting cancer-related financial toxicity. A wife, mother and two time breast cancer survivor, Carla says: When you have any kind of cancer, you are constantly being forced to make a decision: do I get afraid or do I get brave? You have to change your mindset. You have to fearless when you face cancer.       @BWME    #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions


Nancy Frates -088



ALS is going to take my son away. I have grieved and my family has grieved every day for seven and a half years. We know what the outcome is, but you cannot speak about this journey without acknowledging the gifts we have also been given. -Nancy Frates

You’ve heard of The Ice Bucket Challenge, right? This is the story of how it came about.

On March 13, 2012 Nancy Frates accompanied her son Pete to a doctor’s appointment. Only 27 years old, he had been a superb, lifelong athlete. In fact, Pete had played professional baseball in Europe following his graduation from Boston College. Now living in Boston and making his way in the insurance industry, Pete had been hit in the wrist by a fastball in a summer league and thought he had a pinched nerve. When the doctor said tests confirmed he had ALS, Petes’ mother Nancy admits: “I didn’t know what ALS was. I just knew it was bad.” Also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, after the famous New York Yankees baseball player who died of the disease in 1941, ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. There is no treatment and no cure for ALS and the average patient lives 2-5 years after diagnosis. During that time, muscles are rendered useless and ALS is 100% fatal. No one would have blamed Nancy Frates if she shut herself in a dark room and cried for days, weeks, or even months, but that is not what Peter wanted. Instead, he gathered his family and his friends and formed team Frate Train. Using the power of social media, Pete showed the world what ALS was doing to him and was determined to raise awareness and money for research. Pete is the inspiration for The Ice Bucket Challenge, a worldwide fundraising phenomenon that raised 220 million dollars for the ALS Foundation and its global partners. Married and the father of a 5 year old daughter named Lucy, Pete Frates is still alive, experiencing daily moments of joy his daughter and loved ones bring him. His mother remains steadfast in her love for her son and her passion to find a cure she knows will not come in time for him. “My husband and I cry, but we also cry tears of joy because look at what this child of ours has done. Look at the people he has inspired. We are filled with immense pride.” Listen to Nancy’s story for a master class in the power of mother love. #icebucketchallenge  @BWME    #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions


Linda Marks -087



My father told me, “music is a waste of a good mind” and I’ve spent my entire life proving him wrong. -Linda Marks

When she was about 3 years old, Linda Marks toddled over to the piano and started to play. She didn’t talk very much…it was the piano that set her free. Ever since that day, this exceptional woman has been singing and writing songs from her heart. What’s really interesting about her life story is that she is also a pioneer in heart centered psychotherapy. A graduate of Yale and the Sloan School at MIT, Linda developed EKP: Emotional-Kinesthetic Psychotherapy, she is the author of two landmark books: Living With Vision: Reclaiming the Power of the Heart and Healing the War Between the Genders: The Power of the Soul Centered Relationship. The heart is at the center of everything Linda Marks does, including her music. Now in a very exciting “next chapter” of her life, she is finally able to dive into her music with both feet. Linda’s latest album is titled In Grace and features songs of the heart, and social consciousness. In this interview, she reveals a tragic childhood where every talent, hope and dream was dashed, the demands of single parenthood, and the joy of reclaiming what brings her joy. If you have faced hardship and need a role model, this is the interview for you.      @BWME    #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions


Margaret Carr -086



We all have chapters in our lives and Margaret Carr is the perfect example of that. Armed with a B.S. in Communications from Boston University, an MBA from Boston College and a doctorate in Education Leadership from Drexel University, she is the National VP/Development for a non-profit known as Read To A Child.  With chapters in Greater Boston, Hartford, Los Angeles, Miami and Metro Detroit, Read To A Child is made up of nearly 2000 volunteers from 130 companies who travel to elementary schools on their lunch break to read to students. The results are life changing. Children in the Read To A Child program experience not only better reading, vocabulary and comprehension skills, they experience a new sense of confidence. The road that led Margaret to this latest adventure has been filled with twists and turns. A single mom for many years, Margaret has worked in healthcare at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and South Shore Mental Health, in higher education at Stonehill College, and as a partner in her family’s real estate business. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Lesley University where she teaches Business, Marketing and Public Relations. With a heart full of wisdom and gratitude for the lessons she has learned along the way, Margaret shares her passion for her latest mission: spreading literacy from coast to coast with Read To A Child Day on October 8, 2019. @BWME   #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions


Susan Cohen -085



I had a dream that I was going to be the Perry Mason of my day.
-Susan Cohen, Immigration Attorney

The topic of immigration is on the lips of millions of Americans, so we searched for a woman who could teach us all about it, based on her real-life experience. Meet Susan Cohen, founder & chair of the immigration practice at Mintz, one of the most prestigious law firms in the United States. Susan took on her first immigration case as a second year associate, back in 1986 and she’s been at it ever since. Raised by a single mother who was a social worker, her passion to speak out against injustice, to do what she can for others, was taught early on and then nurtured during her college experience at Brandeis University where Susan began marching and demonstrating for causes she believed in. Nationally recognized as an expert on immigration law, Susan’s mission is to get people to understand the human side of of the refugee crisis. An accomplished songwriter, Susan is the founder of White Dove Projects and in collaboration with students at Berklee College of Music she has created two music videos that tell the stories of refugees: Beyond The Borders and Looking for the Angels. Susan also serves as a volunteer for the PAIR Project  where she helps refugees seek political asylum. “In countries like Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, young people are forced to enter gangs and if they resist, they are marked for death. Refugees are looking for someplace to be safe. Most people don’t want to flee their homeland. They have to flee for their lives.”  @BWME   #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions #worldrefugeeday


Mojgan Anvari Brumby -084



Still to this day, when I wake up, I am grateful to be here in the United States. -Mojgan Anvari Brumby

This episode comes to us from a woman raised in Tehran, Iran. The daughter of a 4-time world champion Greco-Roman wrestler who represented Iran in the 1968 and the 1972 Olympics, Mojgan told me her childhood was idyllic. Rolling hills, gigantic trees and orchards filled with fruit trees were all around her, and Mojgan’s favorite thing was to climb trees: “every time I saw a tree, I wondered what the view was like from the top.” As a national hero, her father enjoyed the favor of the Shah of Iran, so when the Islamic Revolution took place, her family was targeted by the new government . Her father was arrested, and most of their ancestral land was confiscated. Determined to provide their daughter with an education, Mojgan’s parents sent her to college and law school in Tehran where she ended up serving in the Islamic Family Court. Arrested for protesting in the streets for the rights of women, Mojgan’s parents urged her to leave the country, not just for her safety, but for their own. Arriving in the United States in 2001 with a 6 month Visa, Mojgan requested and received political asylum. Alone and only 23, she learned to speak English by listening to the radio. Now a proud American citizen, her latest chapter brings her back to her Persian roots. Mojgan is the founder of an all-natural skin care line called Blue Monarch www.bluemonarch.com. Made in the USA and never tested on animals, Blue Monarch products are based on remedies passed down to Mojgan from generations of women in her family. For a master class in how to overcome adversity, take a listen to this powerful interview.    @BWME   #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions


Krista Anderson -083



Success is not a dollar amount. It is being able to show my children what good feels like. Everything I’ve done over the last 6 years shows them that serving others is so much better than serving yourself. -Krista S. Anderson

Sacrifice. Loneliness. Fear and pride. These are four words that come to mind when I think of what it must be like to be a military spouse. Now, let’s increase the stress and imagine what it must be like to be the wife of a U.S. Army Special Forces soldier. This is a woman who doesn’t even know where her husband is, what kind of danger he is in, or if he will live to see another day. In 2013, Krista S. Anderson’s greatest fear became a reality when her husband, Staff Sergeant Michael Simpson was killed in Afghanistan. The mother of two small children, Krista co-founded The Unquiet Professional, a non-profit that provides healthy and empowering opportunities to surviving families. She is the Gold Star Liaison for the Green Beret Foundation and a member of numerous boards. Now the wife of active duty Green Beret Master Sergeant Gus Anderson, Krista is the Military Spouse Ambassador for Army Emergency Relief and the 2018 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year. Krista is the co-author of Her Ruck: Inside the Emotional Backpacks of Military Wives, due to be published in May 2020. In this interview, Krista shares what the last 6 years have been like for her, including the wisdom she has learned along the way. “I want military spouses to thrive, not just to survive. Every separation, every loss matters.“ @BWME   #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions


Diana Pisciotta -082



I’m terrified of heights. I’m terrified of falling. I was at a moment in my life when I needed a goal to focus on, so I decided to climb all 48 of New Hampshire’s tallest mountains. -Diane Pisciotta

This episode is all about the mountains we have to climb to get to where we want to go. Meet Diana Pisciotta, President of Denterlein, a Boston-based PR & communications company. While Diana’s expertise crosses many industries, she is best known for her crisis communications experience. Together with founder Geri Denterlein, Diana has taken great pride in tripling the agency’s size and client base over the last 15 years, but it was her experience as a mountain climber that redefined her personal and professional life. Climbing all of New Hampshire’s 48 mountains took four years and along the way, Diana learned many life lessons. Mountain climbing became an exercise in maximizing strengths, managing weaknesses, recognizing when to ask for help, and finally, strategizing the best path to the top. And when it comes to work ethic, Diana has her parents to thank. Their mom & pop hardware store in New Jersey is where Diana started stocking the shelves at only six. The importance of customer service, value, risk, relationships and trust are just a few of the lessons her parents taught her. The mother of a little boy getting ready for his first day in kindergarten, Diana Pisciotta is a working mom with an open heart and plenty of wisdom to share.   @BWME   #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions


Katie Wood -081



You are the author of the story of your life. Who do you want to be? What’s the footprint you want to leave on this earth? -Katie Wood

If you are in need of a push in the right direction, Katie Wood is just the woman to show you the way! Meet a woman who has devoted her career to helping women reach their fullest potential, to believe in themselves, and to not only dream, but DO! Determined to find a way to make money from home in order to put her family first, Katie joined Rodan + Fields, the popular skin care line. Along the way, she discovered that company founders Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields personified the kind of life she wanted to lead herself. Katie’s sense of entrepreneurship and her tireless work ethic are family values, inherited from her parents who risked it all to restore an old home by the ocean in Niantic, Connecticut. Now called The Inn at Harbor Hill Marina, the property is considered one of the nation’s most beautiful and successful bed and breakfast properties. Katie says: “my parents taught me that hard work will always pay off if you just keep going. Most people quit when they are just about to hit gold. I believe that if you can see it, you can do it.” Now expecting her fourth child, Katie and her husband experienced one of life’s most difficult challenges following the birth of their daughter Gabriella. Born with craniosynostosis, their daughter required 7 hours of emergency surgery and 150 stitches in her head at Boston Children’s Hospital. It was Gabriella’s brave journey that inspired a philosophy Katie lives by: “Gratitude is everything. Live your life like it is rigged in your favor.” Her website: www.katielwood.com is a treasure trove of inspiration including a 5 week online course called The Jourse and a monthly membership program called The Power of H.E.R. @BWME   #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions