Join Us Monthly as We Introduce ‘Featured Ladies’
It is all about the Ladies..
Her Place is an eclectic collective of women from all walks of life from all over the world.
Ordinary women, extraordinary beings.
Her experiences, both past and present, continue to show a Lady of courage, perseverance and optimism. It is an honor to feature her, as she shares with Her Place the journey of her life, and her determination to make the most of every moment, regardless of the challenges she is facing personally.
January- Mindy Merrill
November- Mary Ann Donnarumma
Born in the Bronx and raised upstate NY, Mary Ann was raised in a close knit family. After leaving high school, which her mother encouraged her to complete, she went on to work for an extended warranty company working her way up to become a department manager.
After years of working for a company that didn't respect the gift of the help they had, Mary Ann went to work for her mother, as a bookkeeper. Her mother trained her, and she has remained a bookkeeper for 21 yrs. Today she works was a property manager.
Mary Ann spent the first half of her adult life married, and had two children, both now adults, with her husband. Mary Ann describes her wedding day as one of the happiest days of her life, though, as sometimes happens, her marriage became strained, eventually she made the decision to move away and start a new phase of her life.
To help cope with her divorce, Mary Ann began working out, and found she had a passion for Kettlebells. The focus Helped her get through the worst of times, and became part of her daily regimen.
Though she was physically active and took care of herself, during the winter of 2012 she became ill, and did not know what was wrong. Not even able to climb her stairs without lying down to rest, she spent most of the winter on her couch.
Finally, she went to her doctor, and was diagnosed severely anemic. Mary Ann went on iron pills to regulate her blood levels, which helped. Though spring of 2013, Mary Ann's Dr suggested she have a hysterectomy. Though Mary Ann's family has a history of uterine and Colon cancer, Mary Ann refused, believing that family history would bypass her. Mary Ann was soon to find out this decision could cost her her life.
Her sister made the decision to go through with a hysterectomy, and after seeing the results, Mary Ann rethought her decision and made the decision to go through with it herself.
Unfortunately, after having a series of tests done, the Dr confirmed she was positive for cancer.
Originally diagnoses with stage one cancer, her Dr felt optimistic and referred her to an oncologist. In the three weeks between the appointments, her cancer had spread to the uterine muscle. She was misdiagnosed and the cancer was at stage 3.
Her Dr performed the surgery, which had complications from the get go, and during the surgery her Colon was cut, and a nerve was bruised near her Lymph node, leaving her limited mobility in her leg. They discovered that the cancer had continued to spread aggressively, moved into stage two and into her left fallibian tube. Had she not gone back after seeing her sisters results from her hysterectomy, she would surely be dead at the aggressive rate the cancer spread.
Her battle against cancer is far from over, and much is still unknown, though recently Mary Ann's dr told her that she now needs aggressive treatment for her disease. Her decision to move forward with treatment was been made, and with the help of her dr's and the emotional support from her family and friends, she continued to seek the treatments she needed to put her cancer in remission. Today, it has been four years since her last treatment. Today she is cancer free.
Mary Ann is an inspiration to those that know her. As she continues to fight a battle many cannot conceive,
She shares her heart with others, that they can too persevere and overcome, even when facing such life threatening challenges.
"I learned so much from being sick. I took everything for granted. I see things so differently today.
I would tell everyone who would listen that life is amazing and worth fighting for. No matter what comes your way, good or bad, it is beautiful! I would also say, please listen when your body is trying to tell you something is wrong. That is a mistake I am now paying for.
Love everyone.Kiss you kids, your family and your friends. I always told my children over and over how much I love them, and now I do it even more. I don't want to die with regrets.
As for how I feel about what I am faced? I am not afraid to die. I know for sure that there is more than this. That being said, I am not ready to die. I feel like I didn't get it right yet in the relationship department and I would like a chance at a happy relationship. Also, I am not ready to leave my children and my family."
Mary Ann continues to find inspiration through her family and friends, as well as through some of her favorite writers. Her love for Life and her willingness to open her heart to help others find strength and inspiration is one to emulated. ~