Heartbreak… Let’s face it, we’ve all been there. Maybe you were dumped, diagnosed with a life threatening illness, suffered loss, financial downturn, or simply gave in to fear. It’s that moment when you feel completely numb, isolated and alone, desperate for something or someone to give you faith. My own heartbreak and battle with heart disease led me to create Voices To Share… Healing Hearts One Voice at a Time. Together we'll banish self-pity, and invite prosperity in all matters of the heart. As a Heart Coach, I will share: inspirational stories that will give you courage, tips to shift your fears into love, recipes and products to live a heart healthy life.


Toby's Voice

One of my best friends Gina is the sweetest woman in the world.  She connected me with her mother in law, Toby Katz, who writes a column for the Parkinson's Disease Research Society.  Toby was diagnosed with Parkinson's about four years ago.  Her voice inspires patients throughout the country!  She wants to be a sounding board for patients to share their feelings, concerns, experiences and fears.  Her voice is so strong that it relates to everyone undergoing a difficult time.  Enjoy Toby's voice!

Tell Me How You Really Feel
By Toby Katz

Hi, my name is Toby Katz and I am a Parkinson's patient...  I am very lucky.  my symptoms are very mild, just a tremor in my right arm and leg and muscle spasms in my shoulders.  On a good day you probably wouldn't know that I suffer from Parkinson's, but as Parkinson's patients, we all know that a "good day" for us is not the same as a "good day" for someone else.  

Like many of you, I do not feel ready to attend a support group, but I would like to have a positive forum for those of us who just don't want to burden our friends and families with the problems with the problems we experience daily.

As you see from above, the title of my column will be "Tell Me How You Really Feel."  I hope to become a sounding board for patients to share their feelings, concerns, experiences and fears, and to become a connection between the medical community and the patients.  I do not hold myself out as a medical professional, nor will I give out any medical advice other than to refer a patient to a specific doctor or support group.

OK, here we go!!

The acronym for my column will be the word "HOPE."

Be honest with yourself and those around you concerning the implications and manifestations of Parkinson's.  Be honest with yourself when it comes to recognizing your attributes and limitations.

Try to be positive, it can be contagious.  Focus on all of the things that you can do and not just on the skills that seem to be fading.  Pinpoint the everyday tasks that you can improve on and strengthen.

Work on maintaining and even improving your health with exercise, meditation, and spiritual regimes.  Plan your day to be able to get the most positive experience possible.  Do not give up until you can find a doctor that you can relate to and be comfortable with, someone who allows you to be a partner in your treatment and who truly listens to you.

Educate yourself and others.  No one can understand your experience if you do not share it with them.  Research the research.  Stay abreast of all the new advances in research and medical trials.  Every patient has a different perspective based on the path of the progression of their disease.  Be empathetic.  Nothing feels better then to put yourself in someone else's shoes and to stop focusing on yourself for a while.

Finally, from my experience, one of the most positive things that has come with my diagnosis is the art of communication.  Not just talking but listening.  Taking ownership of your own behavior and the power you have to alter your life!  Making decisions based on strength instead of weakness and most importantly, putting yourself in a position to feel support, the ability to accept being educated and the gift of empathy.  Don't be afraid to take that next step, put yourself out there, and risk failing, or you will never know what it feels like to succeed!!!

Let's Get Started


Caroline's Voice

Every year my friend hosts the most amazing "girlfriends luncheon".  It always comes at the perfect time, when I'm craving an afternoon of good food and fun conversations!  I met Caroline four years ago at the first luncheon.  She co-founded the LA Diaper Drive, and epitomizes cool charity mom!

Making a Difference
By Caroline Kunitz

A 53' semi pulls up in front of my house in Santa Monica to drop off the equivalent of 20 elephants worth of diapers.  Drivers crane their necks to watch.  People walking their dogs ask if I run a day care, which I do not.

How did we get here?  Rewind six years.  I'm in my living room watching Jessica Seinfeld on The Today Show discussing the million diaper drive her New York City charity, Baby Buggy, was hosting.  She mentioned that low-income mothers have to decided between buying diapers and buying food on a daily basis.  My heart broke.  I mentioned it to a friend, Melissa Ratcliff, who asked, "How hard is it to raise a million diapers?"  LA Diaper Drive was born.

LA Diaper Drive is a volunteer-based charity that gives diapers to low-income families in Los Angeles.  We partner with other charities and community based organizations that use the diapers as an incentive for these low-income families to attend important classes.  Some examples include LAUSD's Homeless Program, Friends of the Families' Young Moms/ Young Dads programs for parents ages 13-21, and The Children's Institute, which specializes in the treatment and prevention of child abuse and neglect.

We discovered that it is actually very hard to raise a million diapers.  It took five years for LA Diaper Drive to reach that goal.  Then, in 20110 we gave away another million.  1.3 million to be exact.  We give away diapers donated by families or diapers purchased in bulk at an extreme discount.

The current economic times mean more families than ever are below the low-income guideline.  You can make a difference without spending money.  Donate diapers your child has outgrown to LA Diaper Drive, or host your own diaper drive.  Ask friends or colleagues to bring diapers to work or school, or ask them to bring diapers in lieu of gifts to a party.  LA Diaper Drive can help you with flyers and more.  You can also hold a garage sale and donate the money to LA Diaper Drive or another charity so we can purchase diapers at a discount.  Or donate your time.  Every charity needs warm bodies to do things like count diapers, sort or distribute items and more.

To find out more about LA Diaper Drive check out our website.

Happy Volunteering!