Over the last two decades, I’ve come to appreciate the challenges – and amazing potential – that adversity brings.
Here are a few highlights from my story:
17 years old
By age 15, I was a State Champion swimmer.
Less than two years later, I suffered two shoulder injuries and my swimming career was over.
I went on to have a multiple surgeries and struggled through two years of physical therapy.
Eventually, I accepted that my sports career was over, transferred colleges since I could no longer swim, and doubled-down on my studies.
24 years old
By age 24, I was back on top of the world.
I was ranked at the head of my class at a top management consultancy, traveling the world, and learning from brilliant colleagues and clients.
Then, a sudden back injury left me barely able to sit, stand, or walk.
I rehabbed tirelessly for months, but unable to travel or work long hours, I was quietly forced to resign.
28 years old
By age 28, I had again fought my way back to health, completed an MBA, and was working for one of the most prestigious companies in the world.
A few months later, I re-injured my back, and despite several more months of therapy, was again forced to leave a job that I loved.
I joined a small organization, began to learn about the social sector, and headed off in a new direction.
30 years old
At age 30, shortly after being married and successfully launching my first business, Bordoni & Company, I faced my biggest challenge.
I was diagnosed with Stage 3B testicular cancer – cancer that had aggressively spread throughout my abdomen and lungs. One of the foremost experts in the field said I had a 50-50 chance of living through the year.
After four rounds of chemotherapy, three surgeries, and care from some of the most amazing professionals in the world, I beat cancer.
I have been cancer-free since 2016.
As painful, frustrating, and challenging as these experiences were, adversity has been my greatest teacher.
These challenges forced me to explore, experiment, and reflect.
I learned the importance of resilience, kindness, empathy, and hope.
After nearly two decades of going through this cycle – failure, loss, reimagination, and re-birth – I am committed to helping others along their own journeys.