Thursday, July 18, 2013

Our 2013 Courage is Contagious Scholarship Recipients

Denise And Lori
When I created The Courage is Contagious Project with Jen Theisen from Five for Women Magazine, I had no idea how much I much I was going to gain from the project.  The stories that I receive from women inspire other women almost always bring tears to my eyes.  This year was no different and I was thrilled to offer two very special women a scholarship to attend our Fall Yoga and Wellness Retreat.

Denise Mackey-Natz was nominated by her friend Lori Pantgratz.  Lori wrote, "I first met Denise Mackey-Natz a few years ago at a fitness studio during a TRX class. Her positive spirit was infectious and I was happy that she became a regular in the class. As I continued to get to know Denise I soon realized what an inspired person she is. As a breast cancer survivor Denise has an excitement and a zest for life that is contagious.

Living a health conscious lifestyle and giving back to her community through her business are just two of the ways that Denise is leading by example. Her positive spirit and her desire to live life to the fullest are attributes that make her an excellent choice for the Courage is Contagious scholarship."

Our second recipient Elisha Riek was nominated by Melissa Larson:

She is a ray of sunshine despite all she has been through; her positive attitude and personality are infectious. It is impossible to NOT smile while you are around her. She is bubbly, creative, and inspiring, but most of all she is persistent and has the ability to remain positive no matter what life hands her.
Elisha had practiced massage therapy for ten years. Being able to bring comfort to her clients was her main goal. She sought out new ways to treat clients and obtained certification in aquatic massage, this afforded the opportunity to treat clients, who would benefit and be more comfortable in the water than on a massage table.
Now two years later, Elisha is the patient with chronic pain. She has struggled with many misdiagnosis and different treatment options as her goal has always been to stay as natural as possible. She has found that yoga helps decrease her pain. Her debil- itating arm pain is what has lead to the end of her massage therapy career.
This situation wouldn't get her down; being a resilient woman Elisha took her life into her own hands and developed her own business called "Wetlands Natural Concepts" which promotes a skin care line whose target population are those who have skin allergies to chemicals such as parabens and sulfates, and food allergies to gluten. Her main product line at this time is mineral makeup that is all natural and healthy for your skin.
This is inspirational to all who know Elisha because despite one income loss in a two income household she is still courageously going forth with her dreams, even enrolling in online classes to obtain certification for makeup artistry. She hopes to spread as much knowledge to the public about healthy skin care and wellness through her business.
This fierce, fabulous, female would be the best recipient for this wellness retreat due to the fact that she never lets her pain rule her life, she goes out to get what she wants, she is an inspiration to all who know her. I can't think of a more deserving candidate for the yoga wellness retreat.

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