Episode #30 Terri Tomoff: Capturing Hope and Inspiration Through Adversity

Sometimes, you read a book and the lessons stay with you long after you’ve finished the book. That’s what happened for me after I read Terri Tomoff’s book The Focused Fight-A Childhood Cancer Journey: From Mayhem to Miracles. I had the honor of watching this book unfold last year. Terri and I were in the writing in community group through Akimbo where we wrote daily and shared blurbs, plus offered each other encouragement. No one offered more hope and encouragement than Terri, which will not surprise you after you listen to this conversation.

We started with her history of going behind the iron curtain as a teenager to win two races in the Polish Olympics. Terri has continued to be an athlete through her life – and her “all things are possible” mindset helped carry her through the battles of her son Ryan’s 5 battles with cancer, including 3 occurrences of leukemia.

When you listen to the conversation, you will quickly realize that this is a story of leadership at its very essence. Terri not only understands how to receive help, which is my definition of leadership, she also knows how to give it. And boy, does she know how to rally resources. Terri’s shares many of her philosophies in this conversation. Creating a team is number one. She also shares some of the finer points of delegation and how she manages to be optimistic and find the blessings in the most dire of circumstances.

Her stories inspired me and I think you will be inspired as well. The book is a gift to anyone who has been handed more than they think they can handle – and it’s a gift to those who want to be better able to recognize their blessings. I will tell you this – Terri Tomoff is the kind of person you want on your team, and she’s allowed us the chance to experience her hope and inspiration through this book. And stay tuned, she is blogging regularly and writing another book about Manufacturing Sunshine.

Here’s what she has to say about herself:

Thank you kindly for pushing the About page button! Sew…let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am a hopeless cheerleader for life and love! I can tell you that I love being a wife and a mother of two grown children. They are the wind beneath my wings. My heart soars when I am with them.

Some of my life’s cheerleading could be as simple as a phone call, or staying by someone’s side (not even talking) who is going through a rough patch.

I believe in the power of a hand-written note, and the power of chocolate chip cookies. Sometimes I may be waving those big two-color pom-poms with my hands up in the air celebrating milestones, accomplishments or a new life: AKA baby or grand-baby, with family and friends, and a hand-made quilt. I was bitten by the travel bug (photography too) in my youth, yet I’ve never met a stranger. 

Living for me is being creative every day after a morning run/walk or walk/run, more the later. Three decades of quilting and sewing have woven tight friendships in my guild and bees, and my own business of custom made t-shirt quilts.

I have a love fabric that is hard to explain—I’m tactile beyond the average gal. Over the last two decades I’ve learned the ropes of advocacy and found compassion I never knew I had with cancer patients in my life, near and far, including my own son.

You are really going to enjoy this conversation

Additional Links


The Focus Fight by Terri Tomoff