Passionate, adventurous and a fighter, Melanie has overcome many life-threatening battles such as domestic violence, PTSD, addiction, cancer, loss, eating disorders, and suicide.
In her 20’s - Melanie traveled to the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East as a missionary working with schools, native communities, prisons, churches, women and homeless shelters.
From 2004-2014 - Melanie served on the frontlines of crisis and disasters. She pioneered and managed a network of 250 chaplains, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, who deployed to assist victims of 25+ crisis and disasters across North America including Hurricane Katrina 2005, Vancouver Olympics 2010, and the Moncton RCMP Shooting 2014. She trained, recruited and deployed these responders across Canada. During this time, she worked closely with various First Responders and community leaders impacted by these critical incidents and their roles. As a result, Melanie personally experienced the impact of burnout, compassion fatigue and PTSD and as a result is a voice to help break the silence and stigma especially in frontline positions. She has been providing one on one care to individuals in crisis for over 20 years.
In 2016 - Melanie published her true story of triumph over tragedy entitled “Dare to be Raw”, which was a top 10 finalist for a global award in the memoir category. Her inspiring and candid memoir promises to inject the reader with newfound grit, renewed hope, and compassion for human suffering.
Today, Melanie’s passion is to help organizations grow in resilience while breaking the silence and stigma attached to human suffering. She speaks to students, organizations, helping professionals and first responders on building resilience, self-care, crisis intervention and leadership. She savours every moment she spends with her husband Chris, and stepson, Tyler, in their cozy log home. She loves the outdoors, archery, skiing, laughing, and having meaningful conversations with other humans.
What’s Melanie’s favorite quote you ask?
“Let me tell you something you already know.
The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows.
It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care
how tough you are it will beat you to your knees
and keep you there permanently if you let it.
You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life.
But it ain't about how hard ya hit.
It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.
How much you can take and keep moving forward.
That's how winning is done!”
Sylvester Stallone – ROCKY