KATRINA

I  knew how lucky I was to have a twin sister and best friend by my side.  There was something special about having someone always to talk to, share things with and, best of all, to know she completely “got me.”  We spoke the same twin language: being able to complete each other’s sentences, making each other laugh for no apparent reason and spending countless hours together without being bored.

It is said that twins have a special bond and ours was multiplied from an early age as we learned to lean on one another through life’s twists and turns.  We were born in England five minutes apart and as children moved around throughout Europe and the United States. At age twelve we finally settled in Columbus, Ohio under the legal guardianship of our paternal grandparents. As our lives began to take different paths our bond was stronger than ever. I went on to attend The Ohio State University and Christy would prove that she was a natural fit when it came to motherhood at the age of 22.

Our dream was always to live close, even next door with an adjoining walkway. That way seeing each other would be effortless.  Our kids would be best friends and we would grow old together. That’s what we dreamed about until one day in February 2006. My sister was having vision problems and, upon having her eyes checked, received the shocking diagnosis of stage three terminal brain cancer.  I wanted to wake up from this nightmare yet it was clear that our dreams of growing old together were quickly shattered. Fourteen months later my sidekick, twin sister and best friend passed away leaving me to experience the world for the first time without her.  How do I go on? Who am I?  What is my purpose in life? These were all questions I pondered as I questioned everything I once believed was so important.

I knew in my heart Christy was always going to be part of my life and our twin bond would never be broken.  On the anniversary of her passing two lifelong friends and I decided to have an annual celebration luncheon to remember Christy.  What I didn’t realize is that this celebration would become the foundation for the purpose I had been seeking as it led to the creation of the non-profit, In Christy’s Shoes. I felt the passion and was ready to commit to our cause: helping women achieve greatness.

My 20-year career as a Private Investigator proved helpful and a perfect fit for my new career in the non-profit world.  I could talk to anyone. I was well versed in having patience, knew that timing was everything, and had learned that being a good listener was the key to effective communication and good leadership.

As Chief Executive Officer of In Christy’s Shoes I have the privilege of being involved in all aspects of the organization from fund-raising to event-planning and, most importantly, touching the lives of so many women who are a reminder of my sister’s presence.

Family is the center of my universe and it gives me such pride to know my daughters Maya and Camryn share a special sister-bond and carry Christy in their hearts as they talk of her often. My husband Eric is one of the best things that could have happened to me as he provides balance, stability and unconditional love. He has been one of our biggest cheerleaders on this new adventure and has encouraged us from the beginning.

My goals for In Christy’s Shoes are to continue to expand our outreach by sharing our story and hosting events in other states so that women everywhere have the opportunity at a better life.