In September 2009, at the age of 38 years, when my oldest daughter was 2 years old and my youngest only 2 weeks old, I suffered a stroke that left me and my family broken for a long time. I had to deal with symptoms like sickness, disorientation, being unable to walk or talk and forgetting how to do simple daily tasks, like reading and writing. The worst thing, and the thing that haunts me everyday, is I couldn’t even remember the name of my 2-week-old baby. Then shortly after when I was still on maternity leave, I was made redundant. Then the final blow came when my gorgeous and wonderful Grandmother died. You could say it was a difficult and very dark time, and the biggest struggle was staying positive as the stroke drastically changed my outlook on life. Although I’ve been told it’s unlikely it will happen again I still feel there’s a time bomb ticking in my head.

So I expect you’re wondering where Holstee features in all of this. Well I’ve always loved writing and as part of my recovery from my stroke I started to write a lot. I also started to research inspirations and positive mantras. This is when I found Holstee. Fully inspired I decided to write about things that made me feel good… like family adventures, childhood innocence, outdoor life, cool stuff, surfing and camping… and it’s the Holstee manifesto that’s helped me keep going through it all. Now I’ve even set up my own website -Inspired Camping - to pull it all together into one place and share what keeps the sun shining in my life. And in respect to Holstee I developed my own inspiring camping mantra to help others on their own journey… one that leads directly from Holstee.

A year after my stroke I published a surf, beach, adventure novel called Beach Potato. This was important for me as it has secret messages in it for my kids. Its important for me to know they’ll be able to hear my voice  if I leave the stage early.

I suppose it just goes to show that adversity is always there… it’s up to us how we choose to overcome it!

Thank you Holstee for your part in my story.

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