Aug. 19, 2022

Rebekah Robeson, Cancer Survivor, Teacher, Actress

Rebekah Robeson, Cancer Survivor, Teacher, Actress
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Have you ever wondered how your life would change if you were diagnosed with cancer? How would you be able to go on and still find joy? Rebekah Robeson joins us to share her mental health journey and how she has put on her boxing gloves for the fight of her life when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

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When the results came back, it was breast cancer. And it was stage four.

Welcome to another episode of Chewing the Fat. I am your host, Big Robb. Thank you so much for tuning in, downloading, listening to the episode. I certainly do appreciate that. Thanks for the folks that have bought me a coffee at I really do appreciate that. And thanks for the folks that have written reviews on Apple Podcasts. That means so much to wake up and get that little email notification that someone really enjoys the podcast. So I appreciate that. And if you haven't written a review

I encourage you to do that as well. I'm really excited about my guest today. We have known each other for several years, done several plays together. Please welcome Rebekah Robeson. Hi. Hello, friend. It's good to be here. It's good to see you and be back with you. It is. It's good to see you too. I guess the last thing that we did together was probably Putnam County, right? It was, yeah. In 2018, I think. I know, I know. I can't believe it's been that long. It has been that long ago, but yeah. Of course, before the whole world shut down

of that stuff but we've kind of traveled in that theater circle for years. Yeah, yeah. I think, oh goodness, I was trying to think that. I know we did Christmas Carol together in 2009. Something like that. Yeah, something like that but then like we've run into each other and seen each other's shows and stuff so yeah. Yeah, it's so good to see you again. Yeah. So a little background on you. Are you from the Augusta area? Not originally. My dad was a preacher.

And so every two to three years we would move usually to another state whenever he would feel called to another church So I grew up all over the southeast But I've lived in Augusta the longest from my freshman year high school till I graduated college And then my husband and I got married Shortly after college we lived in Grovetown for a year and a half two years And now we live in Edgefield and that is our true home. Yeah, that's awesome. That's such a great area as well

There's a little restaurant that Val and I went to not too long ago, Christine's Farm to Fork. The Farm to Fork or something like that. Yeah, it's so good. It's always packed, too. So I'm really excited for her. Yeah, yeah. And it's just such a quaint little town. It's very much, if you've ever watched any Hallmark Christmas movies, they could definitely film one in Edgefield, for sure. But while you're in Edgefield, what are you doing? You're teaching, is that right? I am, yeah.

This October we'll have been out there eight years. And when we first moved out there, I was still commuting to Evans every day. It was like an hour and a half on the road back and forth every day. And I did not like it. We quickly became acquainted with the people of Edgefield and the community and they were just so great, so loving. It really is kind of like a Mayberry atmosphere, which is what we wanted when we moved out there. But I think within six months of us moving out there.

at the Edgefield General Store, which was in the center of the square in downtown Edgefield. And it was just a little retail shop. We served ice cream, hand scooped. And I got to know a lot of the community that way. And I was there for five years. After three years, I got promoted to manager and I just absolutely loved it. It was a great way to meet folks. It was a great way to be invested in the town.

I got to learn a lot of history of Edgefield, which is, we actually get a lot of visitors that come out for the history. It's, yeah. So there are a lot of historic duels that happened in the square. There's a lot of statement statesmen. We've had 10 South Carolina governors come from Edgefield alone over the years. Of course, it's the birthplace of Strom Thurmond, controversial guy, but yeah, very well known.

as well. So like around Halloween, yeah, we have a lot of people coming out, tour the cemetery behind the old church. But it's a very cool place. And I loved getting to know the history of the town, the people, and then unfortunately, the general store had to close after I think we were open five years total. But so I heard one of my friends told me that

teacher. And I hadn't used my Spanish in a long time. It was actually my minor at Augusta University when I was there. And my friend let me know of the job opening. So I got my old transcripts and my resume and everything together and I emailed the headmaster and said, hey, I want to apply for this job. And it just, the timing worked out. They needed a Spanish teacher. I got the job and this is my, I just began my third year teaching there.

cool. Yeah, it's been wonderful. Like, it's so funny how things work out in high school, even. I remember that I wanted to be a high school teacher, and I wanted to be a theater teacher specifically, but, and now I am. I teach Spanish primarily, but I teach the, it's called performance art, because if you call it theater or musical theater, boys won't sign up. At least not high

But I do teach musical theater as an elective, and I've been able to step up and kind of put forth a plan to rejuvenate the theater program because it after a few teachers either step down or move to another school, the theater program, though, there, though it was small, just kind of fizzled out. And so I think it's been about 10 years or so since they've had really anything in the fine arts department there.

me to get in there, get my hands dirty, and start some stuff. So it's been a lot of fun. That's so awesome, too. And I mean, I think I've always said, arts in those formative years is so important. I mean, it helps you to create those synaptic connections that you wouldn't otherwise connect. I mean, nothing wrong with sports, because those help build other characteristics. But being able to be in music and theater,

up to so much more. It really does. And I was talking with my husband about it too. Even if these kids don't pursue a career or even hobbies in theater, music, visual arts, whatever, they've been exposed, like you were saying, and it changes your perspective. You think of things differently. And the skills you learn in a drama class, like being in front of people, having self-confidence,

a career, giving a presentation in college, anything. Yeah, yeah. Even something as simple as just going on a job interview and having to speak to someone across the desk. Yeah. That is so cool. So were you always a dramatic child? Were you always, you know, was there music in your home growing up? Yes, yeah. So with my dad, like I said, being a music minister, yeah, both my parents actually majored in music.

They were actually both in the music department at school, but then they were cast in a production of HMS Pentefour, and they were the lovers. And so shortly after that, they started dating and just built a life together. And so we grew up, my brother and sister and I, in a very music-based home. And then I was, so I still am unbelievably an introvert with extrovert qualities, but yeah, I've always loved singing. I've always loved performing.

And then I think the first time that I was actually able to get up on stage, I was about 12 or 13. Yeah. My parents were always very supportive of everything that their children wanted to pursue and just kind of explore. So they signed me up for, this is when we lived in Shreveport, Louisiana for a little while. And so they signed me up for a, um, a community theater workshop. And it was, I think about 20 middle school kids, middle school, early high school kids. And, um,

Miss Mary was the teacher and she had done, I think, regional or professional theater at one point. And she was just teaching workshops now and it was great. And we put on like a performance at the end of the six weeks or whatever it was. And we just did different scenes from, you know, contemporary plays, classic plays, whatever. But it was a really eye-opening experience and really set me on a path. Yeah. So, wouldn't you were in...

finished with high school and all like that. Did you pursue that as a possible career? I did, I did, yeah. So mainly, so communications was my major, but with a theater direction, like a theater emphasis. And so I really wanted to hone my skills as an actor and a performer, but also I wanted to, more so than I think the performing aspect, I really wanted to teach skills

You know, I really wanted to pass on the knowledge while performing at the same time kind of combining the two So that was always at the forefront of my mind. Yeah. So and where did you go to college? I guess the university Yeah, well when it was ASU, right? Whichever yeah 14 iterations of the net. Yeah, my diploma says ASU. So there you go. So that's what I'm still gonna call it Yeah, yeah So nothing did you pursue anything other than that anything in the realm of theater after?

theater, which was enough for me. I was happy with that. I enjoyed the exposure I got, the opportunities. I really enjoyed meeting the people. And yeah, at one point during college, I kind of wanted to go explore a little bit. Get on the bus and go to New York and beat up Broadway. Yeah, but I'm too much of a homebody for that. And so, even the quote-unquote small victories in community theater, that was enough

Yeah, so I did that whenever I could. Yeah. Yeah, and we've got such a thriving theater community here We really do with the Fort Gordon dinner theater. You've got Aiken. You've got the Augusta players Yeah, of course. We've got La Chateau Noire And Riverfront Theater Company in North Augusta. And Edgefield had a theater company as well We did we did. Yeah, so it was the Edgefield Edgefield County theater company and through many Unusual circumstances we had to close down

But there is a, the Historical Society does put on some historical reenactments in some place every now and then. It's just a different type. They're not exactly going for like the Broadway professional stuff. It's more of like the historical happenings around town, which is still cool. It's still cool. And they're like, it's written by local people. So that's even cooler. Yeah. That's really cool. That is so cool.

in your journey through everything. You have also had some bouts with health. Yes, yeah. And tell us more about that. Okay, so I've always been very, very healthy. I've been blessed with a really, really good life health-wise, and then when I was 27 in 2016, I got diagnosed with breast cancer.

I think I can't remember if it was a magazine or if I saw it online or something But I saw some ad about learning how to do self checks With your breasts and it just stuck with me and so I learned how to do it and it just became like a monthly thing and then towards the Towards the end of 2015 I found something and I'm like, oh, you know, you immediately jumped to you know Oh, no, this is bad. This is gonna be bad

But my husband's job, he was just starting a new job and so our insurance was kind of in an iffy place. So I couldn't get an appointment with a good doctor until January of 2016. And so I went to the appointment, got checked out, and when the results came back, it was breast cancer. And upon further exams and scans and everything, it was stage four right away. Yeah.

So not only was it a tumor in my breast, it had spread to spots on my lungs, my liver, my sternum, a few on my ribs, in my lymph nodes, and some on my pelvis, I think, as well. But it was really almost everywhere. And so immediately, you start to panic. I mean, I'm 27 years old. This is not supposed to happen until you're an old lady. But here it is. And looking into it,

whereas now one in eight women under 40 will be diagnosed with breast cancer now. So it is becoming much more common for younger women to go through this. But God provided, we had a really great doctor at Augusta Cancer Center and he got us what we needed. He hooked me up with the right treatments and I ended up having six chemo treatments. And since it was stage four,

therapy. So every three weeks I'll go for an infusion and every four weeks I'll go for an injection. But that's really just because the cancer was so severe right at the beginning. It's just to manage it. And thankfully, you know, nothing major has come back. Every now and then something will, I'll have like a spot or something that needs to be retreated with radiation or something. But if that happens, the doctor is,

Now it's almost seven years that I've been a survivor. Wow. Yeah. That's awesome. Yes. That's awesome. Very thankful. What, I mean, what was that first thought through your head? Gosh, I mean, you never, you never imagine, you know, you might imagine, oh, you know, someday I might get sick or something, but you never really fully, you don't really just stay on that thought. You know, it just kind of drifts through your head and then it's gone.

So, you know, of course cancer is like in our society, it's a death sentence really. And I really blame that on like the TV and movie industry, the entertainment industry, because when a character in like a medical show or something or even a sitcom, if they utter the word cancer, like they have a month to live or something. It's very, it's very dark right away. And that's not really the case anymore. In most cases, you know.

some cases that are very severe and unfortunately there's not a lot of treatment options for some cases. But in the last 10-20 years medicine has made so many advances that there are so many more options about if not curing your case management is really big now like mine. I will never technically at least as I foresee be cancer free. I'm technically living with cancer

So I'm stage zero now. There's still cancer in my body, but with the medicines and the progress that I've made, it's not spreading. It's managed, it's stable, and I'm able to live a normal life. So there have been so many advancements made in the medical community, in science, and but at the beginning, of course, you panic and think, well, this is it. This is the end of my life.

where I was meeting with the doctor and having all these scans and tests and getting pricked and poked by needles and everything, where you just sit back and for me at least, I thought, you know, I know I'm going to heaven. I know I'm a Christian. I know I'm saved. I just don't wanna go through this. I'm just gonna sit back and I know where I'm going after I die. I don't wanna deal with this. So I had a couple of those moments where, you know, I thought, I just don't wanna deal with this.

But thankfully I had a wonderful, of course I have a wonderful family that is strong in faith and then friends and our church community that surrounded us, me and my husband, and really helped us to refocus, you know, to encourage us to fight this thing. And so for a while my brand, quote unquote brand, was a pair of boxing gloves.

and talked with my husband about what we were gonna do, you know, how I wanted to face this. I said, you know, we've got our boxing gloves on, we're gonna fight this. And so from then on, he's a graphic designer, and so he designed a little icon of pink boxing gloves, and that became like the symbol in front of me when I was going through everything. Wow. Yeah. But, and I'll still have, you know, cancer is not fun for anyone,

even though I'm a generally positive person and I am able to be thankful and positive about my journey, everyone has those days where you're just like, oh, life sucks. And you have those kind of crashes, but you kind of have to, otherwise you'll go crazy. If you're like, oh, everything's great, everything's great, I'm happy bubbly all the time. You just can't be that or you will go crazy. So thankfully God does allow us to have

But he'll always if you turn to him He will always bring you back up and remind you of how far you come his healing the encouragement around you You're not alone in that situation. Yeah, for sure. Yeah, do you think the Well, I was gonna say do you think the the early? Detection of it, you know, you're you're going through that process of doing self-checks. Mm-hmm Obviously that's very important to do

It's still, you know, by the time you get to a doctor. But I assume that that's something that everybody needs to do. Because I know there are men that get breast cancer and it's never talked about. You know, that yes, as a man, you should probably still self-check in the shower. And that type of stuff. Yes, so I really think, I don't know if it is so much now, but cancer has always been kind of one of those taboos that nobody wants to talk about.

And it is scary, but at the same time, it's kind of along the same lines of mental health. It's a serious issue that needs to be brought out in the open. Because there are so many people, I think everyone that I've ever met has been affected by cancer. Whether they have had it, they know someone that has had it. So it's really everywhere. And it's something that needs to be talked about. Because in so many people's minds, it's still this big scary thing that's unbeatable.

you know, maybe we won't have an all-ending cure, but there are ways to fight it, to go through it, and to have a support system. You need to have a support system, otherwise you'll go crazy thinking you're the only one going through this when you're not. And so it needs to become one of those issues that we are more forward about, because otherwise you just go crazy and you think, I can't do this,

not popular, but it's so well known and it's spreading everywhere. So we need to take the stigma off of it and really talk about, you know, what are the issues? Why are we feeling this way? I feel nauseous, I feel sick, why am I hungry? Why am I not? And as more survivors and more people going through treatment kind of share their stories, we can, I think, you know, I'd hate to use the word normalize cancer, but then it's not as scary. Yeah.

like other diseases that are terminal, you know, technically, but have we've come so far at the same time that we really need to bring the stigma down. Yeah. That there can be life that is lived while going through cancer. Yes, absolutely. You don't have to, like you say, hang up. You don't have to hang it up and say, that's it, I'm checking out. Exactly, yeah. You know, you can live with it. Yes. And the more we're able to spread that message of management

living with, and living through, I think that would help out a lot of people. Yeah, it's not the death sentence it once was, and that needs to be shared, I think, because in a lot of people's minds, it still is, and it's just really not for the most part anymore. So Rebecca, for you, what's bringing you joy now? So honestly, first and foremost, it's my relationship with Christ. He brings me joy.

is the joy in the storm. Like, you know, there's a difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is fleeting. It can change in an instant. When joy, you can have joy in tragedy. And that's one of the things I learned in my journey with cancer. You know, even after a really scary diagnosis and going through treatments that no one would ever really wanna go through, there was still joy. He showed us mercy in so many ways with, of course, how he was healing me with the medicine and the doctors

provided for us, but also just encouragement through his word, through the friends and the family that he brought close to us and provided for us. It was just such a joy. And that joy still is there for me today. It's really just the sunshine in the morning. I wake up and I'm thankful for being able to breathe.

with Christ and just the blessings that he brings.

Rebecca, this is the second segment of the show. We dive a little bit more into the mental health aspect. We touched on it earlier, but there are people that deal with issues of mental health, and they do feel alone. And I think the more we can talk about that, the more we can make people realize that they are not alone. Everybody goes through these, especially if you're going through a tragedy, or some people just every day is a down day for them. But for you, how do you keep the darkness

So, like I referenced before, I make it a priority to talk with God every day, like whether it's through prayer or sitting down and reading a bit of scripture and doing some sort of devotional or reading. But then also, I keep moving. I'm a very active person, not necessarily with exercise like I should be, but I always try to stay busy.

to mope. I start getting down, I start focusing on the things that I maybe should be doing or that I haven't done, haven't been able to do, that in my mind is a goal and I'm just like, well, you just haven't done it. You're not going to do it. So I've found that even cleaning the house, folding laundry, while I don't really enjoy it, just the act of doing

things to do, I can be reading a book, I can be playing with my dogs, I can take a walk around my neighborhood, you know. So activity and just staying up and moving and not allowing myself just to sit and be immobile and just kind of sulk. Yeah. Yeah, that's been a big help. Yeah, I definitely think that anything that you can focus on, you know, things that take your attention and, and yes, I think engaging your body while you're doing those things

because it does access other parts of your brain, that it makes you so involved in whatever it is you're doing, it's hard to kind of stay in that down spot, whether it be, for me it's like theater, it's learning lines and learning blocking and moving and that type of stuff and being in that moment, even creating that character and being someone else. Again, it's not necessarily like an escapism that you're forgetting that stuff,

it's not giving it that other weight. Exactly. That way, the darkness doesn't win. If you are continuing to pursue something else and not just sitting and letting darkness or grief or whatever it may be just take over, you're fighting it away by chasing other things. Yeah, yeah, for sure. Any thing like for you,

that you can point to that really helped you come out of a dark time? Because I mean you've performed during all of this time of having parents and things like that. Anything like that that really sparked? So yeah, so I was diagnosed early in January 2016. That, I think it was like two months later, Aiken Theater or Aiken Community Theater announced that they were going to put on a production of

my bell was my dream role from childhood. And that was a goal that as soon as they announced it, I said, I'm gonna go for that. I think that was right in the middle, right in the middle of chemo treatment. So I had done three and I had three to go and things were going well. And so I focused on, I started doing exercise again, like I had kind of taken a break from that because I wasn't sure how the treatment would work on my body, how it would affect me.

able to start doing a little bit of exercise and started working out again and working my body physically toward being able to dance and sing again. And so I was trying to prepare for that. But also, I started praying and I started just like talking myself into it. I was like, this is going to work. Like you're going to be able to, even if you don't get the part, you're going to audition. Because I hadn't auditioned for anything in probably a year and a

Let's see, I auditioned in June and I got the part and that was just a life changer for me It was a wonderful experience Our friend Ryan Abel was the beast and that was great to work with him I'd known I think I've known him for about as long as I've known you but always fun to work with but Yeah, it was just a huge victory in that moment because I had had the first month the first six months of the year Was battling cancer and then on the other side of it

come, literal dream come true. And it was such a good experience. And just, it made all of that worth the fight, you know, that my family could come, my friends could come and see this dream come true with me and experience through the rehearsals and the performances and everything that, you know, just what had come out of this, this battle. And it was really rewarding.

All right, Rebecca, this is the third segment of the show. Time now for the Fast Five. It's the Fast Five. It's the Fast Five. Fast Five. I'm still working on a theme song. I got my music guy working on it. I like that one. I think you should stick with it. The Fast Five is powered by Poddex. It's an app created by my friend Travis Brown. It's created for podcasters, so it's interview questions, ice breakers. We're gonna use the app that's available in your app store, but there are physical decks you can get as well,

just to have, just to break the ice if you ever have to talk to folks. I mean they'd probably be great thought starters in a drama department or something like that. As a matter of fact, if you go to slash pod decks and use the promo code chew you get 10% off your deck. But we're gonna go ahead and use the app here. Again, no wrong answers. First thing comes off the top of your head. You ready? Alright, I'm ready. Alright, question number one.

What do you think is more important in a song, melody or lyrics? Hmm. Wow. That's a tough one. You could say that they're both equally important, but I really think the melody in my opinion, the music moves me a lot more, I think than the lyrics to themselves. In my opinion. Yeah. Um, cause I mean a good melody will bring tears to my eyes or it'll even make me laugh, you know? Um, so that can evoke a feeling in me,

sometimes more than the lyrics. Oh wow. Yeah. That's awesome. That's awesome. Yeah, especially with your background coming from a musical family and all of that. Yeah, yeah. Because you were always surrounded by it. Yeah. Yeah, I'm personally a lyrics guy. I've always been a words person. Mm-hmm. And so just the turn of phrase really does it for me. But I also listen to a lot of music that has no lyrics. Yeah. I am a big jazz fan and classical. And so I definitely understand that you can be, you know, like you said,

just a musical form. So I definitely get that, that's awesome. All right, question number two.

You could choose anyone in the world to become friends with. Who would you choose? Judy Garland. Really? Yes. Yeah? Yeah. She was my inspiration for a lot of the music I listened to when I was in middle school and high school. And I've read two biographies of hers. She had a beautiful, tragic life. But she was so talented and tried so hard to make her life worth something.

and make herself happy. And she worked just tirelessly on any project that she was a part of. And I really admire her. So I would love to like sit down, chat with her, have a cup of tea, you know. Yeah, that's awesome. And question number three.

Where is one place you hope to visit before you die? Spain. Yeah, just probably just the take a whole, I don't know, a whole summer and tour Barcelona, Pamplona, Madrid, Salamanca, everything. Yeah. You know, like I said, I was a Spanish minor, but I've been taking Spanish since I was in middle school. So it's been a love of my life for a long time. And after being now a Spanish teacher, you know, I get these questions and I studied the culture of Spain and you know,

heritage and everything, but I would love to actually go and experience it and be in it. And so I would without a doubt, I would love to go to Spain. Awesome. That's awesome. John Boy, if you're listening I'm just saying That might be a trip you need to play. Yes, we've talked about it All right, question number four

Where do you go when you need to blow off some steam? Hmm. I actually go and, let's see, I find a shade tree or something, I bring a book, and I try to be where no one else is. I don't want, because a lot of times when I need to blow off steam, it's because my mind has just been overloaded. Like I've had to either answer a lot of questions or just had a weird day where there's been either a lot of people around

So I want quiet. Yeah, that introvert. Yes, I need to be recharged. To be recharged by getting away from people. Yeah, I totally understand that. That's great. And question number five.

If you could go back in time and give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

you don't have to be in control all the time. Yeah, I struggle with anxiety. I have anxiety medication that I take every day, sometimes twice a day, depending on it. And a lot of that comes from growing up as an oldest child and thinking that I always have to know what's going on. I always have to know what the situation is. I need to be aware of what everyone else is doing.

that if something goes wrong, I need to fix it. And I just don't need to put that pressure on myself. I've learned, thankfully, as I've grown up, I can say no. I can create boundaries, and I'm not responsible for everyone. I can throw up my hands and say, nope, not my problem. Not my circus, not my monkeys. So I would tell my younger self, just be a kid.

and try to help them when you can, but you are not in charge, you are not burdened with everything else that's going on. Yeah, yeah. I think there are a lot of people that learned that lesson just over the past couple of years with COVID and locked down and things like that. And discovering things that were important to them and things that they could just let go of and say, you know what, I'm not. Yeah. So one positive thing about the pandemic and everything is that did, you know, like

focus on myself in a selfish way, like putting myself above all others, but it really helped me to step back and really communicate with God and be like, okay, so what do you want for my life? Not what do I think I need to do and not what other people expect of me, but what is your path for me? And so putting his priorities, putting his plan above mine and what I think is expected of me has been a real life changer.

That's awesome. That's awesome. Rebekah, that's our Fast Five. And that's the show. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you for having me. This has been great. This has been so good. If people want to keep up with you, what's the best way they can do that? OK, so I am on Facebook, Rebekah Robeson. It's R-E-B-E-K-A-H-R-O-B-E-S-O-N. It's a tough first and last name, so it's easy to misspell. But more often, I'm on Instagram and that's bekah

So, B-E-K-A-H underscore B underscore R-O-B. So, Bekah B Rob. Awesome. Awesome, I will make sure to put those links in the show notes and of course you can find out more about Rebekah and all of our past guests on the guest section of But again, Rebekah, thank you so much. Thank you. It's such a pleasure to see you and to have a moment to talk with you. It's great to see you again. It's always fun to see you. It's awesome, and I can't wait till we can share the stage again sometime too. Yes, we need to make that happen. We need to make that happen.

we know some folks and stuff. Yeah, I think we can get that working maybe. Some sort of ball rolling. Yeah. That's awesome. Again, thank you so much. Thank you. If you would like to support this podcast, I would appreciate it if you bought me a coffee at But until next time, I look forward when we can sit a spell and chew the fat.

Rebekah RobesonProfile Photo

Rebekah Robeson

Wife, Teacher, Arts lover

I grew up all over the southeast, moving with my family as my dad led music in several different churches through my childhood and teenage years. I graduated from Augusta University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications with an emphasis in Theatre and a minor in Spanish. I met my husband John during our college years while we were working as youth interns at a church in Augusta in 2009. We started dating that year, and have been married for nearly eleven years. We moved to Edgefield, SC eight years ago, and it has become our hometown. We have three dogs and one cat, and we live in a 200-year old country house just outside the town square in Edgefield. We are both very involved in our church and our community. I am a six and a half year breast cancer survivor, and try to use my story to tell what God has taught me and as an encouragement for others. I have performed in several productions in the Augusta area, and now I enjoy directing my students at Wardlaw Academy in Johnston, where I teach musical theatre and high school Spanish. I also love Italian food, watching Disney movies, reading fiction, and the color yellow.