A colorectal cancer survivor diagnosed at the age of 39, Brenda relied on her humour, faith, friends and family, along with good medical care to get through it.
Brenda’s outlook with cancer has brought out many gifts. First was a desire to do things she had long put off like pursuing her dream of becoming a comedian and going to college. Since her diagnosis, Brenda won the title of Twin Cities Funniest Person, Newsmaker of the year by the Women’s Press, received the Golden “Mic” award from the American Cancer Society and the Advocacy to Action award.
A funny and poignant story teller, Brenda weaves in glimpses of her intercultural, interfaith marriage and everyday experiences as a mom.
With her book, If the Battle is Over, Why am I Still in Uniform? she takes a serious subject, faces it head on with irreverent humour and includes the reader into her intimate vista as a cancer survivor.
Her second book, I’d Like to Buy a Bowel Please! came about after getting to know hundreds of other people who had suffered with bowel diseases such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, along with bladder and colon cancers. Her challenge to those contributors was to come up with something funny about having an ostomy.
Bedpan Banter Brenda’s third book is a compilation of medically related stories from nurses, doctors, patients and caregivers and is inspirational and/or humorous.
This fourth book, It’s in the Bag and Under the Covers is groundbreaking with stories of people with ostomies talking about dating, sex, intimacy and caregiving. They reveal an honest look at a previous taboo subject always hoping to help someone who is new to living life with an ostomy. Real stories by real people.
Brenda takes you through her experience with humour and reflection and helps us explore the deepest meaning in our lives. She’s quick to point out that you don’t have to have cancer as an issue to be struggling in life. Humour is the avenue she uses to cope and teaches others to do the same.
A professional comedian, national speaker, mother and author are just a few of her titles. Being married to a man who grew up in the Middle East brings another dimension and flavour to the anecdotes she tells. Brenda has spoken on a variety of topics that include leadership, diversity, faith, humour, business, marriage and looking for a joyful message in the face of adversity.