De La Rosa is a Holistic Wellness Consultant, a lifelong
recovery advocate for quality alternative healthcare, improved
social services and justice for all. Along with over 35
years of experience and extensive self-studies in the health,
wellness and fitness industry as a former AFAA-certified
group fitness instructor, professional fitness and swimwear
model, contributing fitness writer and NPC
fitness and bikini competitor, she holds a Bachelor's
degree in Communications and TV Broadcasting with a minor
in Psychology from the University of North Florida (UNF).
is dedicated to civic service, having served as Founding
Chairperson for the First Coast Recovery Advocates (FCRA),
a Recovery Community Organization (RCO) that serves as a
resource for people with mental health challenges, alcoholism,
substance use disorder, and other addictions.
currently serves as an Advisory Council Member of The Salvation
Army's Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) and is a member
of the Northeast Florida Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse
(NEFCADA); member of the State of Florida's Mobilize Recovery
Action Plan (RAP); member of Crime Survivors for Safety
and Justice (CSSJ) and the Inclusivity Caucus; member of
the Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and
Emmpowerment (ICARE) Justice Ministry Network for the Unitarian
Universalist Church of Jacksonville (UUCJ); member of
the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville; member of the
Jaguar Car Club of North Florida; and member of the Taoist
Tai Chi Society. She also volunteers her time working at
local mental health facilities, correctional institutions
and treatment centers.
desire is to consult with executive leaders from the public
and private business sectors as well as city, state and
federal officials and legislators, specifically with the
State of Florida's Health Appropriations Committee. She
wishes to offer unprecedented solutions in unprecedented
times related to the systemic challenges our country faces
today with incarceration, homelessness, domestic violence,
mental health disorders and addictions, racial inequalities,
religious divide and political unrest.
instance, 8.6% of our country's population is comprised
of people who suffer from mental health issues and addictions.
They make up one of the smaller subcultures of our country
yet make the biggest impact in our respective communities
and in the country as a whole. Many are homeless and have
served time in corrections. Their chances of relapsing are
high because the current system lacks several key factors
to create success. And with COVID-19 clearly a barrier to
recovery, we will continue to see the recidivism rates in
these populations as well as domestic violence increase
and witness many unwarranted deaths along the way. Perhaps
these issues may simply be unintended consequences to laws,
policies and procedures. Solutions can only be realized
when all parties concerned are willing enough to begin an
open-minded conversation. Grace is ready to share her solutions,
collaborate and work for change.
in her career, she provided services to the Radio Reading
Service at WJCT public radio where she read to the visually
impaired, shadowed at WTLV TV-12 and interned as a TV reporter
at WJXT-TV4. She is a
public speaker, commercial and corporate training spokeperson,
talent. Some of her past clients
include Homeland Security, Walt Disney World, Department
of Labor and Energy, Comcast and the United Way of Northeast
is a practitioner of Mindful Meditation and Taoist Tai Chi.
She is a Guided Meditation Facilitator; Recovery, Wellness
and Mindful Living Coach; an Ordained Minister; a Spiritual
and Relationship Counselor and Coach; Certified Mental Health
First Aid responder (MHFA) (suicide watch); provisionally
Certified Recovery Peer Specialist (CRPS-P); Public Speaking
Coach; and Retreat/Event Planner.
was diagnosed at the age of 38 with Stage 3(c) colon cancer
in 2005 and treated with a "chemo cocktail" called
FOLFOX, a melange of several drugs including steroids. Looks
can be deceiving: she's deemed permanently 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 sacroiliac (SI) joint was rebuilt
and fused with titanium bolts and rods.
years of chronic pain, medical scares including liver cancer
and Multiple Sclerosis (MS), complications, numerous surgeries
and what seemed like never-ending doctor appointments, she
decided that enough was enough. By 2016, her daily pill
box included up to 24 (twenty-four!) prescriptions and over-the-counter
(OTC) medications to alleviate someof her long-term side
effects, plus 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, and discontinued most of her medications.
of her medications were to alleviate the symptoms of General
Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),
degenerative arthritis in neck and back, chronic and debilitating
bone and joint pain; peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage
that can cause numbness to extremities); gastrointestinal
malabsorption challenges; hypothyroidism; osteopenia; and
post-menopausal hormonal imbalances.
Grace decided to undergo a cleanse--body, mind and soul--to
allow her body to rid itself of toxic waste which, by the
way, is not unlike getting an oil change for your car. she
did this by practicing celibacy in all sense of the word:
no alcohol, drugs not prescribed to me, no sex and no meat,
which was a challenge coming from a high-protein, low carbohydrate
mindset. She switched to a more plant-based diet and with
the help of her general physician, titrated down from 24
prescription medications and supplements to nearly nothing.
interesting is that her EMG test results actually garnered
much attention by her neurologist at Mayo Clinic: it recorded
extreme sensitivity, the opposite side of the spectrum of
neuropathy, which may be correlated to the Overexcitabilities
(OEs) as described by psychologist/psychiatrist Kazimierz
Dabrowski in the positive disintegration process of personality
development, specifically amongst the gifted and psychic
population, another subculture of our country much smaller
than the 8.6% population with mental health challenges or
Grace attributes her good health today to the practice of
mindful living; daily meditations, Taoist Tai Chi, a form
of martial arts and moving meditation; and nonviolent communication
(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 in all actuality are potential friends.
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 herself on the disease 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.
voracious researcher and a lover of life experiences, she
enjoys conversations on such topics as Social Justice &
Equanimity; Geo PathoPsychology; Childhood & Domestic
Abuse/Neglect; Homelessness; Mental Health; Addictions;
Colon Cancer; Policy Reformations; Feminism; Communications/Media;
Psychology, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Astrophysics, Quantum
Physics, Cosmology, the Collective Consciousness, Biology,
Science, Semiosis, Audiology, Multi-Dimensionality; Biodiversity;
and Super Artificial Intelligence.
topics of interest include universal energy, adult giftedness,
extrasensory perception (ESP) or psychic abilities (we all
have them!), equanimity in the realms of social justice,
cultural diversity, global cohesiveness, economy, trade,
politics, government, education, media, religion, non-religion,
alternative health and well care options, plants, herbs,
spices, and spirituality.
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.
of her life experiences up to now have led to her deep passion
for healthcare: for without health, we don't have life.
She should know. She was the little girl who fell through
the cracks of our country's human healthcare system, only
recently coming to terms and accepting the fact that her
entire life was filled with childhood poverty, abuse, gun
violence, molestation, rape, domestic abuse, much emotional
and mental trauma including the loss of four (4) pregnancies
with one in the second trimester, numerous life-threatening
surgeries; a sister who was hit by a drunk driver and permanently
growing up, school work, library visits, books and teachers
were her saving grace. In 2017, she overcame attempted suicide
after hitting rock bottom, having left a pathologically
abusive relationship of 23 years, losing the marital home
and custody of her son to her then-spouse, and then treated
by the justice and corrections systems as the perpetrator
and not the victim of the crime. Perhaps this may be unintended
consequences to current policies and procedures. Perhaps
not. Regardless, silence is no longer an option when the
system no longer works as it should. And it's not just about
the justice and corrections systems, it's all aspects It's
time to roll up our sleeves, review all of our state laws
and clean house so to speak. It may take 50 years for new
policies to take place, but we need to start at some point,
why not now.
was born in Virginia and 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. citizen and
considers herself an honorary military veteran having had
both a father and former spouse serve in the Navy as a Mess
Specialist and F/A-18 Hornet Strikefighter jet pilot (think
Blue Angels) and later as a P-3 pilot, respectively.
She traveled and lived around the world, including the Philippines,
Japan, Spain, Guam, California, Australia and Greece. She
has two adult children: daughter Armani and son Andrew,
and after having moved from South Carolina, Hawaii and Maryland,
Grace is happy to be back home in Jacksonville, FL.