has over 35 years of experience in the health, wellness
and fitness industry as a former AFAA-certified fitness
instructor, professional fitness/swimwear model, contributing
fitness writer and NPC
fitness and bikini competitor. Her evidence-based approach
to holistic health and wellness includes weaving mindfulness
into formal sitting and movement meditation as well as the
consciousness of the breath of life.
was diagnosed at the age of 38 with Stage 3 colon cancer
in 2005 and treated with a "chemo cocktail" called
FOLFOX, a mix of several drugs plus steroids. Looks can
be deceiving: she's deemed permanently physically disabled
due to the long-term side effects of chemo. This includes
bone and joint degeneration as well as peripheral neuropathy
(extensive nerve damage particularly to hands and feet).
A rare procedure, her left SI joint was rebuilt and fused
sometime around 2017.
years of chronic pain, medical scares, complications, numerous
surgeries and what seemed like never-ending doctor appointments,
she decided that enough was enough. By then, her daily pill
box included up to 24 (twenty-four!) prescriptions and over-the-counter
(OTC) medications--half of the pills supposedly counteracted
the side effects from the other pills. This is known as
taking 5 or more medications to alleviate symptoms of an
ailment(s). With the help of her general physician, she
titrated down, discontinued all but two of her medications,
and in the last year, with a few exceptions, is grateful
to experience little to no pain today.
are "called" to do the work they do with unrelenting
passion and perseverence. And much of their background usually
involves trauma. Up until recently, she thought her experience
as a colon cancer survivor was the catalyst to her purpose-driven
life. But it was her overwhelming profound spiritual experience
in 2018 of three days of a "Divine download" that
lit her passion and continues to remind her every day that
life is painfully beautiful. That's another story for another
day. We'll be sure to update this page with the information,
so come back soon!
Grace attributes her good health to the practice of mindful
living, to include meditation; Taoist Tai Chi, a form of
martial arts and moving meditation; and nonviolent communications
(NVC). She chooses more whole foods vs. processed (progress,
not perfection); and maintains healthy, meaningful relationships
with family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances and yes,
strangers--who are simply, in essence, potential friends.
2014, she created Be a
Blue Buddy, a colon cancer awareness campaign
with a mission to advocate for and support patients, survivors,
and their support system (friends, family, caretakers, clergy).
As a survivor wanting to give back to the community, Grace
educates on the disease in a non-clinical manner and shares
her story to empower and
inspire others, and to help save lives.
a Blue Buddy is currently not an organization, but rather
a grassroots, personal call-to-action to educate the community
about the disease through public speaking engagements, reaching
out to local and state officials, and connecting with the
community through social
media and support groups to help raise awareness of
colon cancer, the importance of screening and early detection
in support of survivors and their support team; to give
hope to newly diagnosed patients; and to honor those who
have died from this disease.
Grace has also been a professional TV Commercial and Corporate
Training spokesperson, voice-over
talent and print model
since 1986. She attended the University of North Florida
(UNF), received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications/TV
Broadcasting with a minor in Psychology, volunteered at
WJCT public radio, shadowed at WTLV TV-12 and interned as
a TV reporter at WJXT-TV4.
strives for joyful learning and living, and is willing to
step outside of her comfort zone. She has experienced snow
skiing, scuba diving,
paintball wars, and traveling. Grace likes to soak in the
culture's history of traditions, arts, architecture and
daily lifestyle--eating and sleeping as the locals do. She
realized her childhood dream of visiting Greece; Oia-Santorini
completely captured her heart!
enjoys the arts (e.g. music/theatre/live entertainment,
museums, paintings, photos, architecture), literature, and
botanical gardens. She is a beach girl at heart. Anything
related to the sun, clouds, moon, stars, rainbow and other
skyscapes capture her attention. Her favorite splash of
color is bright citrus orange. A few of Grace's favorite
scents are flowers/plants (magnolia, rose, gardenia, peony,
plumeria, honeysuckle, hawaiian ferns, citrus), aromatic
wafts of food cooking in the kitchen, the ionic shift just
before rainfall, and the scent of a freshly mowed lawn.
voracious researcher and a lover of life experiences, her
interests include philosophy, neuroscience, astrophysics,
quantum physics, cosmology, the collective consciousness,
universal energy, biodiversity, multi-dimensions, semiosis,
audiology, adult giftedness, ESP, equanimity in the realms
of social justice, cultural diversity, global cohesiveness,
economy, trade, politics, government, education, healthcare,
media, religion, non-religion, spirituality, alternative
health, wellness and medical options, plants, herbs, spices,
is committed to community wellness and civic endeavors.
She served as Chairperson of the Founding Board of Directors
for the First Coast Recovery Advocates, Inc. (FCRA), a Recovery
Community Organization (RCO) in Jacksonville, FL. The RCO
addreses the primary needs of people with addictions/substance
use disorder (SUD), alcoholism and secondarily to mental
health issues. She currently serves on the Salvation Army's
Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) Advisory Council and is
a member of the Taoist Tai Chi International Society; Crime
Survivors for Safety and Justice; Florida Recovery Advocacy
Project (RAP); Northeast Florida Council on Alcohol and
Drug Abuse (NEFCADA); and the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville.
She also volunteers her time at local mental health and
corrections facilities as well as various alcohol/drug/substance
use addiction treatment and recovery centers.
is an ordained minister of non-denomination. Her religion
is a philosophy based on love: acceptance, kindness, serenity
and hope, celebrating diversity while communing in unity.
grew up in Atlantic Beach, FL--the eldest of four in a family
where her parents are still happily married after 54+ years.
She is a proud U.S. patriot and considers herself an honorary
military veteran having had both a father, an MS First Class,
and former spouse, F/A-18 Hornet Strikefighter -- think
Blue Angels -- and P3 pilot, who served in and retired from
the Navy. She traveled and lived around the world, including
the Philippines, Japan, Spain, Guam, California, South Carolina,
Hawaii, Maryland, Florida, Australia and Greece. She has
two adult children: daughter Armani and son Andrew, and
after having lived in South Carolina, Hawaii and Maryland,
Grace is happy to be "back home" in Jacksonville,