Marine biology professor and brain tumor survivor Shari Bookstaff delivers a powerful speech that will leave you feeling like there’s nothing you can’t conquer!
Just over a decade ago, Shari had a benign brain tumor that practically destroyed her life. She spent months in the hospital, regaining basic human functions. Today, Shari continues to improve and has worked hard every day to regain her dignity, her livelihood, and her spirit. Shari has not allowed ongoing challenges to rule her life. Instead, she uses her unique perspective, offering practical advice to inspire hard-working people to prevail over life’s lemons and THRIVE!
Shari Bookstaff spoke at the community college I attended and let me tell you, "Inspirational" should be included in her title! Everyone attending was inspired, and there was not a dry eye in the house after she relayed her story. If ever there was a "Mighty Mouse" hero (or heroine, in her case!), it would be her. The adversity she has overcome would have been to most people insurmountable. Yet through hard work, discipline, and tenacity, Shari learned how to talk and walk again, clawing her way back to where she was before-all this while raising 2 young children on her own! She is an active part of the community, and a Marine Biologist and Professor at Skyline College. Shari's teenage children are bright individuals that have volunteered in the community for years, giving back just as mom taught them.
At the end of her story, she raffles off one of her books, and I was the lucky one to have won! Her book goes into even greater depth than what she shares with the audience, making you appreciate and admire her even more! The presentation she gave us was in powerpoint, but a colleague of mine saw her in a restaurant venue-just casual seating of 15 or so at a large, round table. If ever you need to motivate or inspire a crowd, Shari will leave you feeling like there's nothing you can't conquer!
Marine biology professor, author, motivational speaker, single mother and brain tumor survivor: these are just a few of the roles that Shari Bookstaff assumes every day. Shari grew up in Wisconsin, the only nice Jewish girl on her block dreaming of becoming a marine biologist. She fulfilled her dreams, and was thriving in her career as a biology professor. Her kids, 12 and 8, were doing well in school and blossoming into awesome young people. Then, BAM: a benign brain tumor practically derailed her life. Shari lost virtually all of her basic human functions. A planned 9-day hospital stay turned into 9 months of grueling rehabilitation. She has worked hard every day since to regain her dignity, her livelihood, and her spirit. Shari is living proof that determination, hard work, and positivity are the cornerstones to overcoming tragedy.
In January of 2009, Shari went back to work, participating in an Adaptive Physical Education course, creating online courses, and developing a course on the human brain! Shari didn’t allow her brain tumor to get in the way of living her life. In 2010, she earned her Black Belt in karate that she had been working toward before her surgery. People continued to tell her that her determination was inspiring, so she decided to share her experiences by writing a book.
Putting a positive spin on life’s disasters doesn’t always work, but looking for, and accepting, positive things in spite of life’s disasters works. Instead of making lemonade out of lemons, she adds life’s sweet sugar and cranberries to her lemons. When Life Throws you Lemons...Make Cranberry Juice! is her story.
Shari’s story is meant to inspire people to look for, and accept, positive things in life in spite of, not because of, negative things. In other words: don’t try to make lemonade out of lemons. Add sweet stuff to your lemons instead!
As a community college biology professor, Shari has both the teaching skills and the science background to engage her audience and motivate them into action. Shari can customize her presentation to meet your needs. While in each program Shari emphasizes a different aspect of her recovery; she always shares her story and offers tips for coping with tragedy.
Shari Bookstaff offers a dynamic multimedia presentation that will inspire you. She shares her story of recovery from a brain tumor in a touching, yet humorous way. Through her personal struggles, Shari has gained tremendous insight into overcoming adversity. Shari’s story is unique and she inspires people to work hard for their goals without letting life's lemons stop them.
Strive to Thrive!
It didn’t take brain surgery for Shari to realize how much she loved her career, but she certainly gained appreciation for its stability. A good education gives you choices, flexibility, and power. Unexpected, dramatic, life-altering bumps in the road happen to everyone along life’s journey and being better prepared leads to a better outcome. Don't settle for "surviving. Strive to thrive! This presentation works for all adult audiences as Shari shares her story of survival and determination and how she modified her career to match her abilities.
FIRST AND TEN
Before meeting my neurosurgeon for the first time, my dad and I joked that the surgery should have all first-downs and touchdowns, no Hail Mary's or even punts! Let me show you how football got me through my darkest hours. Remembering that an NFL Quarterback doesn't stop playing and take a knee unless they are WINNING inspired me to continue my rehab, write a book, receive my Black Belt in karate, and return to my career as a Biology Professor. Let me help you use your love for the game to motivate you to work hard to achieve your goals no matter what obstacles you face!
Gromitt, Shari's service dog, has been a fantastic addition to her life. Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) breeds, raises, trains, and provides dogs to people who need them free of charge. Shari will share her story, focusing on the great impact Gromitt has had. She applied for and recieved a service dog by following her own advice, "Focus on what you CAN change, not on what you CAN'T change."
THE POWER OF EDUCATION
Shari has always believed that education is the key to success. Following her brain tumor and subsequent obstacles, Shari's education helped her to remain in her home, live with her kids, and go back to work. Her education saved her life! A good education gives you choices, flexibility, and power. Listen to Shari's story--you will be more motivated than ever to continue your education!
FIRST DO NO HARM
Medical professionals are amazing in their quest to save lives every day. No “but,” you are amazing! Especially difficult is remembering that a completely non-responsive patient may be aware of EVERYTHING going on around them. When I was in ICU for almost a month, on tracheotomy and feeding tubes, completely dependent on nurses, doctors, and therapists, what I craved most was non-medical, human contact. Let me share my story with you and help you be even more effective.
WHAT'S UP DOC?
Communicating with your doctor can be as difficult as being sick! The more educated you are, the better. Even if you don’t know all the terms, and you wouldn’t know a medulla oblongata if it hit you over the head, you can still be armed with tools on those doctor visits. Shari reminds us that doctors are human and she reminds doctors that patients are people. A little bit of science is included, but as Shari is an experienced teacher, she gets her point across!
For medical Professionals:
Moment of Care: Lifetime of Impact!
Great for most medical professionals. Each program is fully customized.
Best for nurses. Each program is fully customized.
The Front Lines of Healthcare
Best for front/back office staff. Each program is fully customized.
A Breath of Fresh Air
Best for Respiratory Therapists. Each program is fully customized.
Additional Booking Notes
I can bring my own laptop and projector (if projection is possible). A microphone is necessary if it is a large room.
projector & screen for ppt