Today I am profiling three amazing women. One is a cancer survivor. Another is a philanthropic entrepreneur. And the third is a popular local children’s book author. All three of these ladies are busy moms leading extraordinary lives in the Triad, and I am thrilled to introduce you to them.
Every month we seek moms we can profile as a “Main Street Mom on the Move” – someone who is making a difference in the lives of their families, friends, strangers, themselves and the community. Do you know such a mom? Are you that mom? Email us and tell us! We love to meet moms we can celebrate here on Triad Moms on Main!
This month, it’s my pleasure for you to meet Civey, Deneen and Megan…
Civey is a wife, a mother of two daughters ages 16 and 17, my neighbor – and a cancer survivor. Two years ago, I subscribed to Caring Bridge to follow the updates for one of Civey’s relatives who was battling a life-threatening disease. I read each update religiously over 10 months, and rejoiced with her family when they learned he was going to be fine. One month later I received another update and assumed it was more good news for her relative. Instead, it was a journal entry for Civey. She had just learned she had Stage 4 lung cancer (she has never smoked in her life) and was given six months to two years to live. Her survival rate was 2%. This diagnosis came in July of 2012.
Both of her lungs were covered with cancer nodules. There was a large tumor (8cm) on her right lung, two on her liver, one on her hip, one on the base of her spine, one on a rib, and 4 or 5 tumors on her brain. Her CEA (cancer tumor marker) was 99 (0 to 3 is normal). She endured four chemotherapy treatments at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Tulsa, and then chose to stop. After learning through her own research that cancer cannot survive in an alkalinized environment, she decided to change her treatment to focus on a new diet, pure water and constant prayer.
Amazingly this past March, Civey’s latest PET scan did not reveal any cancer in her body, and she is considered in remission. Civey’s story has touched the hearts of thousands. She has received hundreds of meals, cards, prayer shawls, pillows, quilts, texts, emails, and calls of support (including prayers from a village in Africa).
Civey is currently writing a book (and a blog for TMoM!), and encourages those who are interested in learning more about the treatment path she chose to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deneen is married to Steve Bryan, a manager at Modern Toyota in Winston Salem. They have six children ranging in age from 6 years old all the way up to 17 years. As you can imagine, there is a never a dull moment in the Bryan house. However, one very special person is missing from the hustle and bustle of the Bryan family. In 1998, Christina, their second child, underwent a liver transplant and they lost her due to complications following the transplant. Deneen herself underwent surgery and did what is called a “living related donor transplant” and donated part of her liver to her daughter. Christina was just under 6 months of age when they lost her.
As a result of their own personal experience, Deneen and her family have dedicated time to volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House of Winston Salem. Deneen has been their volunteer photographer since 2010, and her Fridays are spent photographing any child or family that is staying at the House or in the hospital.
At the beginning of 2013, Deneen started her very own non-profit organization in honor of their daughter. Capturing Hopes Photography provides free professional photography to any preemie baby in the NICU of any Triad hospital. With the help of many other volunteers and professional photographers, this new program has become very popular already and has spread to hospitals all over the United States. What an amazing gift to be able to offer to families.
Megan E. Bryant
Megan is a children’s book author who has published 16 original books for children on topics ranging from fireflies to snowmen. She is the mother of two children, a five-year-old daughter and a seven-week-old son. Megan and her family moved to the Triad five years ago when her husband, Daniel, accepted a position as a history professor at Salem College. She loves living here and thinks it’s a wonderful place to raise a family.
For Megan, writing isn’t just a career—it’s a passion. Her book ideas come from everywhere, from her favorite childhood memories to her experiences as a mother. Megan believes wholeheartedly that writers must read and write as much as possible to improve their skills. As a result, Megan makes it a priority to write every day, even if it’s just a few sentences. And with two charming children at home, she has ample opportunities to read children’s books every day, too!
Megan’s most recent books are a series of dinosaur-shaped board books that teach early learning concepts. With bright colors and engaging text, Colorasaurus, Shapeasaurus, Countasaurus, and Alphasaurus make learning fun for kids. You can visit Megan’s website at www.meganebryant.com for downloadable dinosaur coloring pages, tips for catching fireflies, and more information about her books.