Growing up in a household of three brothers, Wendy Troup thought she knew about challenges. Little did she know just how challenging it would be! Wendy has worn many hats over the course of her life: daughter, graduate, wife, mother of a daughter (20) and two sons (16 & 15), teacher, counselor, director, and survivor.
Wendy has worked in the field of education for more than twenty years. She graduated with a Master of Education in School Counseling and completed thirty hours of doctoral coursework in Global Training and Development. In 2009, Wendy joined the team at Columbia Southern University. Her passion for learning and helping students be the best they can be made her the perfect person to pioneer her department: The Success Center. This department is an asset to students who are able to contact the University for assistance in writing and math. In 2010, the Office of Disability Services began under her direction. Her influence again increased in 2012 with the creation of Career Services. The employees who work with her enjoy her ability to be an empathetic leader and team-builder. Today she continues to lead this incredible team called “The Success Center”.
In 2000, she found the love of her life, Pat Troup. They started dating and six weeks later were married. Being newlyweds is a challenge in itself, but Wendy has never backed down from a challenge! In their first year of marriage, they experienced two miscarriages and the birth of a son and built a house. Five big challenges in year one – and they are still together!
Wendy’s story continues when in 2015 she did a breast self-exam. She found a lump and called her doctor. Wendy is just a little stubborn. She had a different battle with some sickness and decided she did not have time or energy to follow through with the mammogram. A month later, she went for the scan…on a Friday…this is NOT recommended! The receptionist called to share the news that the doctor was concerned there was a problem. An appointment was scheduled to meet the surgeon on Monday, a biopsy was performed on Tuesday and on Wednesday, she received the official diagnosis. To say this was a shock is a complete understatement. Her world was spinning out of control. To add to this, her diagnosis came on the same day of a walkthrough for Commencement at Columbia Southern University – and she was the one in charge! Thankfully, CSU is a great place to work and the team handled all things Commencement that week so she could focus on her health.
If you ask Wendy what helped her on the path to healing - humor! Her husband, Pat, went with her to every doctor appointment and radiation treatment. He made sure her mind was occupied by funny memes and YouTube videos. The Vice Provost over her area sent her pictures of the Commencement walkthrough that made sure she was laughing through the diagnosis. Everyone has things in life that cause stress, but Wendy has a few less now. She is able to laugh through even the most stressful situations.
Empathy is not easy to have unless you have truly walked in the other person’s shoes. Soon after her diagnosis, four other people at CSU received their news as well. She was able to encourage them and help them laugh through their battles as well. If people are struggling, Wendy is a light to help see them through the darkness.
Tara Woolsey, is the owner of Couture Cakes in Daphne, AL. In 2009 she turned her creative talents and passion for art and design into a career. She has quickly become one of the bays most sought after and premier cake decorators. Her cakes have been featured in local magazines and pictures of her cakes have been published in Sports Illustrated and the Yeti Cooler owners manual. When not working, she enjoys boating, fishing and spending time with friends and family.
The American Cancer Society is a cause near and dear to her heart . Her grandmother, Eleanor Woolsey, battled and beat colon cancer only to be diagnosed with Larynx Cancer years later. The cancer eventually spread to her lungs and in 2004 she lost her long and painful battle. Her aunt Nancy Woolsey Etsell was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002 and after a courageous fight, she has been in remission for almost 15 years. She hopes that with foundations like the American Cancer Society we can eventually find a cure for such a devastating disease.
For more than 100 years, The American Cancer Society has been leading the fight to end cancer. With your support, we have helped usher in an era where more people survive cancer than ever before. By translating our research findings into action, we've seen a 20% decline in US cancer death rates since the early 1990s.
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