For years, Cathy Tolk found incomparable joy from giving back to the next generation. Whether it was visiting terminally ill children in hospitals around the country with her dog, Hollywood, or participating in the Meals on Wheels program, Cathy dedicated her life to ensuring that the world was left a better place than she found it.
In 1995, Cathy was diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis), a disease that would eventually rob her of nearly all motor function. However, this did not stop Cathy’s unquenchable resolve to overcome the hardships life was throwing at her and continue to give back. And so, with the help of speech-to-text technology, Cathy began to write, filling the pages with her inspirational thoughts of perseverance, hope and miscellaneous details in life that often go unnoticed.
Empowered by her newfound creative outlet, Cathy has gained a loyal following of readers. She believes that life is 10% circumstance 90% attitude and realized this was a perfect opportunity to act on what she had been saying for years. She had no control over the cards life dealt her, but she’s quick to add that she is in charge of how she plays them and makes a conscious decision every day to never be a victim in her life.
Despite her diagnosis, Cathy continued to inspire others with similar disabilities. For years, she traveled the country as a motivational speaker and podcast host for Biogen, speaking to patients with Multiple Sclerosis about future and present treatments. Additionally, Cathy was featured on ESPN for her work as a speaker with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, inspiring people to overcome their unfortunate circumstances. For many years, she also worked as a wellness practitioner at Tolk Wellness Center, providing the Simsbury community with natural healthcare.
“I, as well as others, have benefited from the positivity of Cathy’s speeches and texts,” says Pamela Smith, Program Coordinator at Biogen. “No matter the circumstance, she always sees the silver lining in the dark cloud and the rainbow at the end of the storm.”
As medical technology continues to improve, so does Cathy’s ability to connect with her audience. With the help of OakLeaf Wellness + Health, Cathy recently launched her website, www.Cathy-Tolk.com, giving readers access to weekly articles, vlogs, inspirational messages and her published book, A Wisdom Left Behind.