I represent the State of Michigan as an ambassador and serve as the Midwest region Leader for the APDF. I have a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Special education. I have worked in many areas of the Education system from Teaching, Substitute, Paraprofessional, and driving school Bus for children ages 3-18. I have worked with many different types of children who are challenged with a wide range of handicaps. I have a love for Manatee and Sea Turtles.
I was born and raised in Romania. I live in colorful
Colorado with my husband and our 13 year old
daughter. I have a Financial and Accounting Degree
and Tax Preparing Certification.
We all have significant dates in our life that change the trajectory of our lives. The day we
graduate, the day we get married, or the birth of our first child. For me, that date was August,
21, 2014. I received a Master’s Degree in Library Sciences after falling in love with a job I took
after I received my undergrad. I truly loved helping people learn wether August day when after
going to the dentist for fillings and the anesthetic wore off, I was met with the most
excruciating pain I had ever experienced. I eventually got a diagnosis of Trigminal Neuralgia, a
rare and painful disorder that affects the facial nerves aka “the suicide disease”. After several
bad experiences with pain management I quickly became aware of a side of healthcare not
everyone sees. I was given medication that affected my memory and personality over other
reasonable treatment and live in fear of losing the treatment that brings my pain down to a
manageable level. I learned about the American Pain & Disability Foundation and their mission
to fight for adequate pain a management and healthcare for people with intractable pain and
disabilities and knew I had to do everything in my ability to help the fight. My two cats and
dog bring me comfort and I love writing poetry.
“Better to light a small candle than to curse the darkness”-Chinese Proverb
I’m happily married with two sons and two granddaughters. I have worked as a cook, in
factories and doing door to door sales before following my calling to care for others working as
a nurse’s aide and receiving my Practical Nurses License. In 1998 a work injury caused
thoracic outlet syndrome and was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I injured myself again in
2003. I had a sacral lumbar fusion and was able to return to work. In 2009 I suffered another
work injury that ruined the fusion and unable to return to work. I have tried every solution
offered to me by pain management including two different spinal stimulators. I had an
intrathecal pump implanted that has been the most helpful treatment option. In the spring of
2020 I fractured both bones in my lower right leg that caused me to develop CRPS
(Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome) otherwise known as RSD an intractable pain disease fo
which there is no cure. In the beginning of my nursing career I witnessed people screaming in
pain for hours. Repositioning and massage can only do so much. I have seen and know first
hand the difference in quality of life with and without pain management. I feel I have to fight
for the right to have adequate pain management, patient care and patient rights overall.
Treatment plans should always be between the doctor and patient without government
interference. Quality of life if a basic human right and should not be political.
I worked as a CNA and in rehabilitative physical therapy before pain changed my life, I have
been suffering with intractable pain for 25+ years. I have full body Chronic Regional Pain.
Syndrome (CRPS) also known as RSD as a result of an ACL injury and a car accident. CRPS is
among the most painful diseases and is commonly known as “the suicide disease” but I refuse
to give in. Over the years I have tried several different therapies and lifestyle changes to
manage as much of my pain as possible. I have lost my pain management several times due
to the DEA overstepping and misappropriated pain medicine guidelines. One thing I would like
people to understand is that pain medicine helps me live my life, not escape it. I have been
advocating for chronic and intractable pain patients for 14 years and it truly brings me joy to
help people get the care they need. I do this to give a voice to the voiceless. So many people
in pain have lost their lives due to inadequate pain management. I want to change that. I enjoy
cooking for others, making jewlery and spending time with my grandson. Always remember,
what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and as Gloria Gaynor once said, “I will survive”.