Sisters, I give you permission to explore your endless potential!Wendy Unger Schapira
Who are you?
I am Wendy Unger Schapira, a 71 years old Aries Woman and Thriving Warrior Previvor. I was blessed to spend 40 years at the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce working in many different roles – all with the same theme. I was always helping people as it really served my mission and passion. If I wasn’t helping someone directly, I was getting information for someone who needed it. I also had the privilege of mentoring many young people in the travel and tourism industry and, along with the Chamber, hosted many international interns giving them a positive exposure to the American culture.
My sister Nancy, who is 10 years my junior, and I were diagnosed positive with the BRCA1 Hereditary Breast & Ovarian Cancer gene mutation in 2009. After consulting physicians and genetic counselors, we both had our ovaries, fallopian tubes and breasts removed to prevent the risk of cancer.
For years, I had been an active Cancer fundraising volunteer and now it was extraordinarily personal. Following our surgery, our mom was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at age 85, for the first time in her life. She passed of old age at 93, and thank God was cancer free at the time of her death.
In gratitude for being spared cancer and only having to go through surgery to prevent it, I became much more engaged in the Breast Cancer Community reaching out to do everything I could to use my voice and heart to help with awareness, support and fundraising.
This eventually led to the foundation of my charitable fund, Wendy’s Angels Fund, which allows me to help others. In 2019, we were able to sponsor women to attend the Day of Caring South Florida and to provide breast reconstruction for one of our Sistas. This year we’re expanding to help provide services to the women at Lotus Village, and now during the pandemic, helping breast cancer patients get to their treatment in a partnership with 305 Pink Pack.
Now I have time to devote to my husband of 35 years and my small but mighty Breast and Ovarian Cancer Charity.
Did you always dream of being where you are today? If no, then what was your dream?
What moment or conversation changed your life?
I had been working at the Chamber for more than 30 years and was invited to attend a Michelle Villalobos Workshop. Most of the information presented on the first of the three days had not really been applicable to what I did in my position at work as a Membership Manager so I had been a little distracted until about 5 p.m. on the third day when she did a visualization.
We had to have our 5-year-in-the-future-self tell our current self a secret and this is what I saw: I was in an office that said “Membership Director” and I said “Stand Up, Don’t be afraid!” I was shattered; I began to shake and cry. When the visualization was over Michelle asked for 3 of the participants to step up to the mic and describe what they saw. I did.
She asked what I thought my visualization meant and I said, “I am the Membership Director but I am afraid to take the responsibility for the job.” She said, “so, what are you going to do about it?” I said, “when I’m back to work after this seminar I will speak to my boss.” I did and I was promoted. It took a little while but I was rewarded for my realization.
What lesson learned is guiding you through life?
Connect with Wendy by clicking the links below.