(Thanks Avant Garden for providing gift certificates for blooms to our winners.)
It is finally time to share the three winners of our Moms Who Inspire contest. But before I do, let me just say that every. single. woman. that was nominated (by friends, husbands, children) were beyond amazing. So amazing, in fact, that narrowing the group down to three was fraught with angst (I think I had an easier time picking my wedding dress). To that end, while we’re celebrating these three inspiring mamas today, I’ll also be sharing some of the other moms who were nominated here on the blog in the coming weeks. (They’re just too awesome…you have to know about them.)
So without further ado, congratulations to our 2013 D Moms “Moms Who Inspire,” Myiesha Taylor, Anna Brindley, and Micki Rawlings. You ladies are truly incredible.
Read what their friends and family had to say about them in their full nominations after the jump…
Nominated by husband William Schlitz
One word that describes her: Inspiring
She is inspirational to me because: Myiesha is inspiration to me because she is able to juggle being a mom, wife, physician, and small business owner and still find time to make a difference in our world. Her story of becoming the physician that she is today goes back to her early childhood. Her mother and grand mother (both nurses) encouraged her to pursue a career as a doctor. As a high school senior in Long Beach, CA the tragic death of her father during the first day of the Rodney King civil unrest would motivate her to choose a career in Emergency Medicine, and she currently works in multiple emergency departments in the area, serves as the medical director of the Dr. Pepper Snapple workplace health clinic in Irving, and operates two clinics in undeserved areas of north Texas.
In addition to her career in medicine, Myiesha is a wonderful wife and mother. She is dedicated to ensuring that her children are the focus of our family. In 2008, Myiesha and I fulfilled our dream of helping a child in need of a family by traveling to Ethiopia and completing the adoption of our youngest daughter Hana. As part of the trip to Ethiopia, Myiesha had our two other children, Haley and Ian, organize a fundraising drive to deliver school supplies to the orphanage in Addis Ababa. She also took much-needed medical supplies to and provided medical services at a children’s HIV orphanage.
Myiesha’s drive to make the world a better place continues today. A little over a year ago, Myiesha was watching Disney’s Doc McStuffin with our 4-year-old daughter. As an African American women and physician, Myiesha was moved by the images she saw on the screen. She also realized that this powerful image of a little African American girl pretending to treat her toys (and having a physician as a mother and stay at home father) was an opportunity to reinforce the need to encourage all children, especially children of color, to pursue careers in medicine. To that end, Myiesha she started the We Are Doc McStuffins movement.
Last November, Disney invited Myiesha and other members of the We Are Doc McStuffins movement to Los Angeles to tape segments for airing on the Disney Channel and Disney Jr. Myiesha’s segments were used to kick off Disney’s Black History Month celebration and are still being run each week to help children overcome their fears of visiting the doctor and encourage them to become physicians.
Myiesha is an amazing person. Although she is still under the age of 40, she has made a major impact on our community, nation, and world. She is dedicated to providing quality healthcare to her patients. Even with her hectic schedule she finds time each day to enhance the daily lives of our children through some family activity. She constantly shares with Haley, Ian and Hana that they are here to make a difference in our world and has demonstrated to them that where you start does not limit where you go. But most importantly she That if you work hard and maintain a belief that your work here is to better the world then you can do amazing things. We are lucky to have in our lives.
Because of her: Our world is a better place. The We Are Doc McStuffins Movement has now grown into a new international medical society, Artemis Medical Society, which represents over 2600 women physician of color from around the world. Myiesha’s work to organize these amazing women is making a difference and helping them open the doors for the next generation of physicians that our nation (and world) will need.
Nominated by friend Stephanie Davis
One word that describes her: Encourager
She is inspirational to me because: As I write this list of things she deals with daily, I know the first thing she would do is brush it off as no big deal. Because she doesn’t think the things she deals with are a big deal. Like that her young daughter has down’s syndrome. Or that she camps out in the hospital for weeks on end several times a year so she can get breathing treatments. You’ll never find a bigger champion for the Rise School of Dallas and its fundraisers. Or any number of her talented entrepreneur friends and their businesses. Yes, she works almost full time. Yes, she had her own brilliant business. But she spends 95% of her time making her kids and the people she loves (which is a huge number) shine. All with the best attitude possible. Time for her to get some recognition.
Because of her: The Rise School fundraising events are well attended and funded. Anna Catherine, her daughter, is one of the best spirited and self confident down’s child you’ve ever seen. Her other daughter is not only tolerant, but adores her sister and has her own large sense of being loved and confident. The Think Tank Society exists. As well as about 15 small, mostly women owned businesses. Yes, her promotion and support of them are that influential.
Nominated by son Gunnar Rawlings
One word that describes her: Selfless
She is inspirational to me because: Of what she did this last year. Her elderly mother has lived with her and my father for over five years now; she gives her constant care and love–day and night. This summer her mother-in-law, Nelda, was diagnosed with cancer that was terminal. We moved her from Oklahoma City to Dallas in June. A week after we got Nelda to Dallas, my mother’s younger brother died suddenly. My paternal grandmother’s cancer moved very quickly–so quickly that doctor’s did not give us a timetable; she died on December 2nd.
From June until December my mother gave the most intense and loving care to her mother-in-law–preparing meals for Nelda’s ever-changing and fading diet, driving her to Southwestern for treatment, cleaning up after her, helping to bathe her, reading to her, praying with her, brushing her hair, rubbing her feet, fixing her blanket, organizing her medicine, and so much more. During this all, she never neglected her own mother–giving her the same constant care and love. During this all, she still made many appearances as “the first lady of Dallas.” During this all, she still had time for her children. And during this all, she was the sole reason my father could get up and get dressed and go to work.
It was a tough back half of 2012–her mother’s frail condition was always in question, her beloved brother died suddenly, her mother-in-law deteriorated in front of her, and her husband had to be cared for. She never asked for anything–never asked for a break, or to be thanked, or even for a hug, instead she told me to go hug my dad because he needed it. She has more grace in one of her pinkie fingers on a bad day than I, or my father for that matter, have in our entire beings on our best days.
Because of her: My father can function.
(Image of Micki via My Sweet Charity.)