SHE LOST TWO OF HER CHILDREN,
BUT SHE'S TURNING HER PAIN INTO PURPOSE.
Click "Read More" for Valerie's Story:
“My name is Valerie McCormack. I live here in Sedro-Woolley. I have two teenagers, ages 15 and 19. I am a member of Riverside Health Club in Sedro-Woolley. I want to share a little about myself and how I ended up here at the gym. Back in 2000 my life was turned upside down. My daughter was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer on her 7th birthday, Oct. 28, 2000. On Dec. 1, 2000, I was with her as she was about to start her first round of chemo. That’s when I got a phone call telling me that my 5 month old son had passed away from SIDS. My life could not have gotten any worse. One heartbreak after another. This cancer journey with my daughter was so hard as a mother. I watched my child suffer from all the drugs they put into your her to try and kill the cancer, but instead it was killing my daughter. The blood transfusions, the radiation, the pain from the tumor burning through her face. I was up at the hospital till 2-3 am, worried out of my mind, scared and angry. I would eat anything I could get my hands on in the snack room of the cancer unit. I gained a lot of weight. I felt awful.
My daughter passed away March 2002. That broke me to the point that I had severe depression, anxiety, PTSD. I was on so many medications, but none seemed to help. I was in a very dark place for many years. I have to say thanks to God. He has helped me through my toughest days. I asked Him to come into my life and help me get out of the ugly place I was in. I started coming to Riverside. I came a few times and working out made me feel amazing, so I continued to keep coming back. I attended classes they offer. I really felt a difference in my mood, my sleeping, and I was losing a little weight. I just felt good. I have lost a total of 35 pounds as of today. I am a healthier person, I’m happy, I feel great. I do not take any medications for depression, anxiety or PTSD. My med prescription is EXERCISE and GOD. Exercise and God have lifted me and continue to lift me out of my depression. I do have bad days still, but they are easier to get through if I exercise and if I just stay positive and have hope that better days are still ahead. I really want people to know that there is hope out there and to never give up no matter how hard life gets. We are a lot stronger than we think we are. I still have 20 pounds to lose and I plan to keep at it one pound at a time.
I have turned my pain into purpose. I help children fighting cancer. Right now I am heading up a food drive to help fill the food pantry of Ronald McDonald House in Seattle. The Ronald McDonald House has up to 100 families at a time. I was housed at the Ronald McDonald House when my daughter was going through her treatments and that pantry helped my family and many families out. I had no money. None to buy food and with no job cause I was there with my daughter and no car to drive to the store to even buy food if I had money. This pantry fed us many times. I was so thankful that now I would like to give back by doing this food drive.”