My name is Heather Oglesby and I am a woman full of life, adventure and passion. I adore learning new concepts, traveling the world, and experiencing all that life has offer. Social injustice of any kind with any population is the root of my education, humanitarian efforts and career field choice. I have traveled the world, volunteering in Kenyan refugee camps, and backpacked through remote Romanian villages. I have volunteered in prisons, homeless shelters and orphanages, but never knew I would be rescuing my own mother from a shelter due to early-onset Alzheimers.
My mother, at age 64, suddenly had been evicted from her small home in the mountains of Pennsylvania and was living in her car. After a week on the streets she ended up in a homeless shelter. I will never forget the day I drove over 800 miles to rescue her from the shelter. I pulled up to see her standing under some trees, looking disheveled, confused and emaciated. Her clothes were filthy, smelling of the stress that only comes from living in a car or a shelter. She was tearful, non-verbal and very ill. From that day on, my life has not been the same and I have been fighting for her and myself endlessly.
Four years later, not only am I still my mother’s caregiver, I maintain my career, obtained my Health and Wellness Coaching Certification and teach indoor cycle classes. I workout six days a week, blog, spend time with my friends, meet new friends, and expand my world-view through the expansion of new experiences. Resiliency is only a term until actualized by an intentional human act. I activated the resiliency within me and can now state that I am a healthier, stronger woman now, then four years ago. My mother’s diagnosis not only saved my life, but enhanced it exponentially.