On May 3, we welcomed Michelle Wulfestieg as our speaker for the second annual Orange County GROW* keynote. As a two-time stroke survivor, hospice advocate, motivational speaker, and award-winning author, Michelle shared her story of perseverance, hope, and the power of living your deeper purpose.
Diagnosed with a rare vascular brain lesion and given a short life expectancy, Michelle vowed to live her best life during the time she had. At a young age, she discovered that she wanted to help others in need, as she believes “everyone has a purpose to serve in some capacity.” Devoted to finding her true passion, Michelle explored volunteering with many different organizations, ultimately finding herself drawn to hospice.
After suffering a second stroke, Michelle spent eight days in a deep coma. However, after Michelle finally woke, she was free of the lesion. Determined to be able to help her hospice patients once again, she spent years recovering – learning to read, write, walk, and talk again. “It all happens for a reason and there is hope at the end of the day,” Michelle said.
Now completely clear of her brain lesion, Michelle is able to live a normal life and serves as the Executive Director of the Southern California Hospice Foundation. Michelle’s “unexpected journey” has also given her the ability to relate to her patients, who are often times bed-ridden and completely reliant on others, much like she was during her recovery period.
At the close of her story, Michelle urged the audience to consider what their “unexpected journey” may be. “You can’t live a great life living in your comfort zone,” she explained. “Be brave. Be bold. Become all you were created to be.”
For more information about Michelle Wulfestieg, visit http://allwehaveistoday.com/
For more information about GROW, click here.
*Marsh & McLennan’s women’s initiative, GROW, was formed in 2010 to attract, retain, educate and support women in the firm.