Bachelors Degree: Missouri Western State University
Major: English & Communications
Minor: Theatre & Creative Writing
I was born and raised in Kansas City. While growing up I often heard my family was cursed with hereditary cancer. I was advised that I should live life to the fullest because I would probably die by the time I was 30 or 35 years old. At the age of 13, I witnessed the death of my mother to breast and ovarian cancer and realized the genetic mutation was a realistic truth. Both of my maternal grandparents, four aunts, and one uncle had also died of cancer. When the fear of the word cancer entered into the next generation and some of my cousins were also being diagnosed with breast cancer, I was left spinning with emotional and physical uncertainty.
In the 1970's and 1980’s researchers had began to seek a genetic connection to certain types of cancer. Me and many of my family members were fortunate enough to be chosen by Dr. Henry Lynch at Creighton University to be a part of one of these clinical studies. Dr. Lynch is known as the Father of Cancer Genetics, and his research was a contribution to the discovery of the hereditary breast cancer gene. In 1990 the theory was proven by Mary Claire King PhD, a professor of genome sciences and medicine by "mapping to chromosome 17q21"; it was named BRCA1. (The gene was positionally cloned in 1994).
After the discovery of the BRCA1 gene, I was informed by Dr. Henry Lynch that I did not carry the gene. I wanted to celebrate and rejoice but I knew other family members did carry the gene and that they faced the fear of passing that gene to their children. Those moments changed my life forever.
I attended Missouri Western State University where I studied English, Communications and Theatre to earn credibility as a storyteller. I believed if I could write and share my own personal experiences that I could somehow help others with their emotional struggles of loss and pain. I have listened to many stories from those who have lost loved ones, and although no one can change the past, I always try to be encouraging. If the moment is right, I share my family's history and say: "Keeping the memories of your loved ones alive is an important part of emotional healing."
My personal experiences inspired my book, And the Birds are Singing, my stage play, Pinochle, and screenplay: The House of Esther Bird, (one of five feature-length screen plays I have written - see below).
A professional stage play production/reading of Pinochle was produced in Hollywood, CA in 2007 by Susan Carol Davis (Curious Dog Creative) and Brenda Ballard; and directed by James V. Buglewicz (James Gang/Dharma Road Productions), L.A.
In 2013, And the Birds are Singing was read by a woman, Annie Parker, whose family also carried the BRCA1 gene. She asked me if I would be the ghostwriter for her book Annie Parker Decoded; I gladly accepted. Since then, Annie and I have become very close friends.
Changing course and switching gears from sadness to comedy, I co-wrote a Christmas movie entitled Christmas at the Chateau released on Showtime November 2, 2019 and later on Amazon Prime. In 2020 I was the assistant producer of the film: Accidental Family where I also reclaimed my acting skills and played the role of Becca Bailey.
Stranger Step Softly (Official Selection Filmmakers Int. 2017)
The House of Esther Bird (Official Selection: True Stories & Filmmakers International, 2017).
Look at the Stars (Romantic Drama - 2016)
I Want to Know What Love Is (Romantic Drama - Completed 2022)
That's What Love is For (Romantic Drama - 2023)
Accidental Family IMDb (Assistant Producer & Actor)