Health & FitnessLifebook Members
The Gift Of A Lifetime
30Dec 2010

My Lifebook experience was one I will never forget. The last day of the program came way too quickly. It was so hard to leave the people in our group – those I felt so close to and would hold so dear in my heart. It was hard to leave a place where I felt so much love.

It was a sad day for me, but also one of the single most joyous days of my life. It was a rebirth. I had spent four days of soul-searching, learning that no matter what happened to me, I could deal with it because I now had new tools to work with. I had new ways to approach concerns and new ways to try things out.

I left Lifebook on that Sunday afternoon floating on a cloud. That cloud was the most beautiful cloud in the sky. It would carry me to new heights where I had never been.

I knew my number one goal was health and fitness. I had my plan of action in my mind and it was different than ever before. Upon returning home I joined a gym and got a personal trainer within 1 week. I started going to the gym six days a week and working with my trainer two nights a week. I loved it and it felt so good. I was treating my body to what it needed. Life was good. I was getting in shape, eating healthy, and thanking Lifebook for putting me on this path. There was no stopping me now.

Then, on May 14, I found a lump in my breast. I called the doctor and had an exam the next morning. I was then scheduled for a diagnostic mammogram followed by a biopsy the next week.

On June 9, accompanied by one of my daughters, I was told the results. Yes, I had breast cancer. Amazingly, I was very calm. As I looked over at my daughter, with tears streaming down her cheeks, I told her everything will be okay. I had lost my mom and my sister to breast cancer when they were only in their forties. I had chosen never to live in the fear of “What Ifs.” Upon hearing my diagnosis I thought to myself, ‘I am confident. I will be strong. I will have a positive attitude.
I will beat this.’

I was on such a high when I came back from Lifebook. I had set goals for myself and I had started putting them into practice. I told myself my high would not end here. Maybe cancer was a small detour in the road, but my new life was just beginning.

I began reflecting back on group discussions and looking at the notes I had taken at Lifebook. You can never fully grasp everything while you are experiencing it. I knew after looking deeply into my emotional life and quality of life categories that this would be a true test. There would be many hurdles to overcome, but God was giving me the strength I needed. My Lifebook was keeping me on the right track.

I set up an appointment to see the surgeon. He wanted to do the surgery immediately but I asked him if postponing it for a week would make a difference. He looked at me and asked, “Why?” I proceeded to tell him about the Lifebook Program and what it had done in my life. The reason I wanted the delay is that both of my daughters were signed up to go through Lifebook that week in California. It was very important to me that they were with me during the surgery, and also that they have the opportunity to experience this life changing program. He smiled and said okay.

My surgery was scheduled three days after my daughters returned. All three of my children were with me. I was very grateful for their support through those changing times. Two of my best friends also stood by my side with encouraging words and with full belief that I could handle this challenge.

My surgery was a success. I followed up with chemo and, I am proud to say that I am cancer free.

I know now that God can change direction in our lives in a second. That is exactly what He did in mine. God has once again given me another chance to live a full, healthy life. I have seen His love for me over and over. We need to savor all the beauty He has given us. I have grown spiritually because of my relationship with God now. I have come to realize I can do nothing without Him. I continue learning every day from Him.

I know my illness was a gift from God. I just had to unwrap it and see what was inside for me. I found love and peace from Him. Thank you, for all my chances. Thank you, for sending me to Lifebook.

It has been three years now since I completed Lifebook. To this day, I continue working on the goals that I set for myself. Never give up on your life. Keep your dreams and goals alive. Without valleys, there would be no peaks.

I would like to thank Jon, for all his countless hours, his creativity, and his passion in creating this Lifebook program for us. You have touched and changed so many lives. You truly have been an inspiration.

I also thank the whole staff working with Lifebook. You are beautiful and caring human beings that want each one of our lives to be the best they can be. Jessica – you are so special to me.

Lastly, I would like to tell everyone to treat their mind, body, and soul to Lifebook.

Love to all of you,


5 comments “The Gift Of A Lifetime”

  • Robyn Woods
    January 1, 2011
    12:10 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. You are an amazing person!

  • Patricia Jones
    February 2, 2011
    12:10 pm

    Julie your recounting of the peaks and valleys of your life, for the benefit of others, is a testament to your love of God, Lifebook, family, friends….everyone you cherish. We are indebted to you for opening your soul and bringing sunshine into our lives! God Bless YOU!!

  • Gail Galligan, DC
    February 6, 2011
    12:10 pm

    Wow, Julie, an amazing story and bravery. Stay strong!
    I had a friend with your same name in 4th grade in Needles, California. Would this have been you?

  • Dr. Bruce Hansbrough
    February 24, 2011
    12:10 pm

    Julie, your story has parallels to me. Nancy, my wife of 19 years, and I went through Lifebook together in San Diego 3 years ago this month together. It was a truly a game changer for both of us and our family. in December of 2009, I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer. After three hospitalizations for complications in 2010, I am happy to say that this health challenge has made my life better in many ways, like I’m sure it made yours. Nancy also had breast cancer in 2000, went through the radiation and chemotherapy. We both understand that life’s challenges can often bring great blessings. And like you, Jon has been an inspiration to both of us, and to our all of our Lifebook family members.

  • Derek Strachan
    February 26, 2011
    12:10 pm


    Thank you so much for sharing your storey. What a true inspiration you are!


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