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Member Spotlight – Marie de Haan
Blessed Beyond Measure
“God put all the right people in my life at the right time. It was incredible!”
Marie de Haan grew up in Skagit County, Washington and loves the area. It has everything from the ocean to the desert and beautiful mountains for hiking. “My husband and I bought a fixer upper 20 years ago and committed never to leave,” Marie says.
In 1999, Marie was one of TriVita’s first members joining shortly after the company was founded. She is a songwriter, piano teacher, wife and mother of three, avid gardener, author and cancer survivor. Nine years ago, Marie went to her doctor for a routine exam and learned that she had Stage III breast cancer.
“I felt healthy, and this came out of nowhere. I slept great and had good energy. I just had this little lump that I thought was a cyst. They didn’t come out and tell me how long I had, but when a naturopath tells you to do chemotherapy because they cannot help you fast enough you know it’s bad.”
After her diagnosis, Marie faced a flurry of appointments, tests and treatments. She endured a year of intensive chemotherapy and surgery. She explains, “Every year after you are worried it’s going to come back, but it hasn’t. Then you experience survivor’s guilt, and it’s a very eerie feeling.”
One of the ways that Marie gives back and supports others dealing with cancer is by writing. She has authored two books about her experiences and also has her blog on cancer is a funny thing.com. “I always knew I wanted to write a book, I just always thought it would be a children’s book, but God had other plans! I don’t write books to be a bestseller and make money. I get phone calls from people that read my books and my blog and felt hopeful again, and that is why I do it.”
Cancer is a Funny Thing: A Humorous Look at the Bright Side of Cancer… And There is One was her first book and her follow-up memoir, Cancer is a Funny Thing: Reconstructing My Life, was published last year, in which she touches on the most sensitive subjects with grace and humor. “The reason I say ‘cancer is a funny thing’ is that sometimes it can be a blessing. People were coming out of the woodwork to help and show support. It’s a lesson for all of us. If you know someone that is going through cancer or something difficult, just be there for them in any way you can.”
When Marie thinks about the role her community played during her treatment and recovery, she recalls, “My family and friends are everything. I’ve had such a great support system, and not everyone has that. I know how lucky I am. People that I didn’t even know were helping my family when we needed it the most. God put all the right people in my life at the right time. It was incredible!”
For Marie, her cancer diagnosis came out of left field. Since her first visit with a naturopath at age 14, she’s been serious about living a balanced lifestyle. “When I discovered Slow Dissolve B12 it changed my life. When you take it you don’t feel hyper; it’s when you stop taking it that you notice you don’t have as much energy. I was really happy to find that, and I still take it after all these years. It’s great for stress too, and cancer is definitely stressful!”
Of these products Marie says, “I take others as well, but I can’t be without these!” However, healthy living isn’t just about taking the right supplements; it’s about making better choices. “Make small changes one at a time. Get more sleep, drink more water, exercise more and take your vitamins. That’s why I like TriVita’s Essentials for Health and Wellness; it’s about common sense. You don’t need to complicate your health!”
Through her difficult journey, Marie discovered her purpose to help and inspire others. “I feel strongly that God has a reason.
You wake up every day; you put your feet on the floor, do nice things for other people and let them know that there is hope. You just do every day the best you can. I don’t have everything in control, but thank goodness God does.”