As some of you may have noticed, I’ve recently welcomed advertisers onto my blog. While it makes it possible for me to continue THESE HERE HILLS, it’s also a result of how so many of you have inspired ME with what you’ve created in your lives. How you’ve turned your dreams into business realities. I’d like to introduce you to Draper Therapies. It’s a business that is particularly inspiring to me. Their technology has created a textile which takes the body’s energy and re-oxygenates the blood, thereby helping to alleviate pain. I admit to being a bit of a skeptic when it comes to heal-alls. I’ve tried a whole range of ways to take away my back pain– acupuncture, chiropractic, magnets…and usually just end up popping the Advil in the end which seems to do the trick, although I don’t like taking pills. The folks at Draper sent me a shirt and a pair of socks to see if I got results, and I must say…in the week that I’ve worn them…I haven’t been in pain. I love that their products aren’t just for humans. Horses and dogs too. I’m honored to have them at THESE HERE HILLS, and to be speaking at their event in Wellington, Florida.
Here is Kat Wojtylak– one of Draper’s key employees, and dedicated to spreading the word about their great work in the field of healing and wellness. Kat knows all about healing– mind, body, soul. Here is her story.
Getting Out of Your Own Way: What It Means to Me. A guest post by Kat Wojtylak
The last three years of my life have been the happiest by far. I’ve become a fundamental part of a company whose products are set to revolutionize the equine market. I’ve found an amazing man who has given me a foundation for an exciting and stable future. And I’ve found a complete sense of happiness in myself (which borderlines on annoying to people who aren’t in a similar mindset, but oh well.)
This is not a post to share all my accomplishments at twenty-six, but to share my hardships and how they’ve become blessings. They’ve given me the gifts I have today and made me into the woman I am by inspiring me to learn how to get out of my own way.
In 2006, my doctors started taking notice of a cyst in my neck. I referred to it as my little Adam’s apple. Tests deducted that it was more of a blemish than anything else. I took medication to help make it shrink– but it didn’t. It started to grow and I got concerned. I decided to have it removed, even though my surgeon said it wasn’t necessary, given the normal test results and size. But my nagging suspicion pushed me to take the next step.
A day before Thanksgiving, and two weeks before my twenty-third birthday, my family came to see me through the surgery. It was relatively uneventful and they left shortly after, once I was able to care for myself. A week later, everything changed.
My surgeon called. My biopsy results had come in. I had papillary and follicular thyroid cancer.
I had another surgery in February of 2007 to remove the rest of my thyroid and eventually went through radioactive iodine treatment just a few months later. As everything came to an end, I went into a depression and true to the saying “when it rains, it pours,” it started to pour.
The job that had secured the last year of my life was now gone, and even though I had just beat cancer, I played the poor me card. The truth was that I just didn’t know what to do or who to turn to for help. I made the “simple” decision that I needed to be back in New England where I grew up– to be as far away from these wretched memories and start anew. That I was in my own way, and needed to move out of it. Emotionally, and physically.
In May of 2007, I moved to Massachusetts. It was my chance to start over. Albeit rash, I’d finally taken a stand for myself. I needed to move outside of blame and take control of my life– to leave all the pettiness behind and start to focus on what I wanted and needed, in order to get better. I needed to choose my health over everything else that I used to assign power.
And then I learned about Spencer Bell. He was an artist I found in looking for a cancer support group. Spencer Bell is a phenomenal lyricist and musician that even after death brought so many people together in a place that is now a haven for many. Spencer died of adrenal cancer, a very rare and at the moment, incurable disease. Because of the rarity of the cancer, it hardly ever shows up on the average person’s radar, but can wreak havoc on those families who sadly come into its path. Through the efforts of his friends and family continuing his artistic legacy, I found support in a way I never thought possible.
These ties eventually brought me into the path of Dr. Gary Hammer who is the head of the University of Michigan’s Comprehensive Cancer Center Endocrine Oncology Program. Dr. Hammer is not only a wonderfully humble man, but his passion, combined with those in the Spencer Bell Memorial community, drove me to push past my inhibitions and make the conscious choice to give back. His enthusiasm for opportunities also introduced me to Laura Munson, whose sister-in-law died of adrenal cancer and had participated in his clinical trial. Laura and I made an instant connection in our shared love for horses and our commitment to creating happiness in our lives…and forged yet another bond in an ever growing adventure of self responsibility.
Draper Therapies, the company I work for and love, recently launched a philanthropic project to give back to adrenal cancer research in the Spencer Bell Endowment Fund. The philanthropic efforts at our company, combined with a push for further education and our philosophy of health and wellness, stretches into giving everyone the tools to a better life, starting from the inside out.
My transformation came from the bottom up, and inside out. It all started from taking myself out of the toxic environment that had become my home and allowing myself the opportunity to really look at the person I had become. I slowly began to chip away at all the things I was unhappy with and eventually came to a point where I was content and accepting of the woman inside me. I learned that I could face any situation with patience and love, even if I was smack dab in the middle of chaos. It was a simple mind trick.
The greatest lesson I’ve learned is that we need to take care of ourselves, whether it’s our health, our mental status, or our souls. And if the going gets tough, don’t give your power away– gain control over who is in charge, so that you can combat even the greatest hardships in life with the greatest of ease. Practice makes perfect, but you’re definitely not human if you don’t make a few mistakes along the way. Be kind to yourself. Ask for help. Find what inspires you.
Kat Wojtylak is Product Manager for Draper Therapies®, a growing therapeutic company using the technology Celliant®. Celliant is a revolutionary technology that harnesses the body’s natural energy through the use of minerals and fibers. The proprietary blend of microscopic optically responsive particles works with the energy released from the body and is designed to recycle energy back to the body to improve health and overall well-being of the wearer. Products containing Celliant have been clinically proven to increase blood flow and blood oxygen levels in the body and help balance body temperature. Increased blood oxygen levels have been clinically proven to relieve pain, promote quicker healing, improve sleep quality, heighten athletic performance and improve overall wellness. To learn more, visit http://www.drapertherapies.com or http://www.celliant.com .
Here is information on how to make a donation to Laura’s sister-in-law’s foundation:
The Sandra Kobelt Hau Memorial Foundation: Committed to enhancing the lives of others in the spirit of Sandy’s passion for youth sports, the arts and healthy living.
Contact: Timothy Gilmore firstname.lastname@example.org