Trish fighting for her life….. stricken by cancer
and faced with an inconceivable adversity which too many women face today. Here is where Cowgirlz Surf comes to life.
Inspired by the strength of her mother, her unconditional love, and the admiration she bestowed on her daughter, vows to make a difference.
Kids and Cancer
Have you ever heard a ten-year-olds response to his
mother when she tells him she has breast cancer? Trish’s son Matt-Matt responded, “Mom, who will take care of me when you die.”
Die? Trish was far from planning her death. Instead, Trish was still processing this dire diagnosis and strategizing a plan to embrace this journey in her life, all while looking like her normal self. To her youngest son, Trish has always looked like a rock star. Matt-Matt followed up asking his mother if she would be wearing a wig. Trish questioned Matt-Matt, wondering why her hair, or lack of hair, was a concern to him. Matt-Matt’s response was quick and very honest. Trish was (and still is) different than all the “other moms”. He was quick to point out Trish would not be her unique self without her long-flowing tresses which tumble freely out from under any one of her embellished cowboy hats. After all, these were Trish’s trademarks which made her a unique and commanding presence when she walked in a room. Matt- Matt reminded Trish she possessed a strength which is admired by many.
Dominic, Trish’s 14-year-old son reminded his mom she was chosen to take this journey with God. Dominic had faith his mother’s positive attitude and outlook on life would resonate with many others who found themselves in the same battle against cancer, inspiring them to fight. Realizing a shift in the family dynamics, Dominic embraced his new roll as a strong pillar in his mother’s support system. He took it upon himself to select a family theme song, to listen to every day. “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz became their household motto. When feeling defeated, or having doubts as they travel this journey alongside their mom, Dominic and Matt-Matt would rally around their mother, letting her know, they won’t give up.
A Single Mom Raising Sons – Life Lessons
Trish’s public speaking events have allowed her to share her mission of raising her sons as respectable, positive young men who have been able to embrace and learn from this cancer journey. Trish’s unique parenting approach and style with her boys is derived from her life experiences of growing up the youngest of five children in a strict household and her career in law enforcement.
Taught early on by her father, Trish is a strong believer in introductions and self-presentation. With a proper introduction and a proper attitude of approach, Trish has learned absolute positivity, coupled with self-propagated confidence leads to incredible opportunities. Trish works to instill these essential life skills in her boys and others.
Where has chivalry gone? Chivalry, is defined as “the qualities by knighthood, such as bravery, courtesy, honor and gallantry toward women”. Trish has worked diligently in an effort to make chivalrous action second nature in her boys. Somehow, the traditional courteous mannerisms of ours young generation has diminished. Determined to raise her sons, as we say “old school”, Trish often goes on dates with her sons, role playing so they fully understand and learn the courtesies of past generations. Their date is complete with a proper introduction, to holding the door, to pulling out the chair at a table and making sure they know how to pay the bill, including a tip… it is a life lesson which Trish holds dear. While some may feel chivalrous actions highlights an inequality of the sexes, Trish believes otherwise. Instead, these actions boldly highlight a level of respect which has been lost.
Honesty is constantly reinforced in Trish’s home. The majority life hurdles of divorce and cancer have highlighted the need to eliminate the “I wonder…” from her sons’ minds. Trish quickly realized the power of a wandering, young mind as it wondered. Wondering was proven to be poisonous as they faced their adversities and obstacles. Since then, Trish implemented an honesty policy in a direct effort to squash the natural “wonder factor”. Her honesty policy was duly reinforced with her breast cancer diagnosis. Trish’s open, and sometimes brutally honest, communication allow her boys some peace; they never need to question where there mother is in her fight against the cancer.
From her work in law enforcement, Trish has come to first hand realization that chivalry and honesty is learned behavior by children from their parents. Being a single mom, Trish strongly encourages her sons to live by the examples she sets. Chivalry should not simply be actions they demonstrate with women, they should be internalized into a quality which characterizes you. Likewise, dishonesty will destroy your integrity and creditability. However, pure honesty which originates from a place of sincerity will help guide you closer to your goals in life. Bundled together, chivalry and honesty will provide today’s youngsters with a solid foundation to build upon as they continue on their life’s journey.
Cancer As a Gift
Cancer is a unique journey, and, as Trish quickly learned, a gift. It is a jolt to one’s system as he or she hears Trish refer to her breast cancer as “a gift”. Whether one has personally battled cancer or watched a loved one battle cancer, most would describe cancer with negativity. Not Trish. Listening to her describe what cancer has done for her life, leaves one awestruck and with a new perspective on the hardships of cancer.
Listen to Trish and she will explain; while cancer attacks, it also teaches. Cancer also provides an opportunity to embrace important life lessons only the struggle of cancer can reveal. Life with cancer is full of new appreciations, significance, gratitude, and unadulterated love.
Random encounters have proved to be pivotal points throughout this journey. Exuding a sunny confidence, and a sincere gratefulness to be meeting someone new, Trish’s willingness to share her story with everyone is heart-touching. Whether she shares a story about any of the diverse friendships she’s forged all throughout the world, an unbelievable and exciting undercover case during her days in law enforcement, or her experience with cancer, Trish is able to connect with others. From these initial connections, important friendships bloom.
Trish has undergone six surgeries in past eighteen months. The first surgery, a bilateral double mastectomy was expected to eliminate all traces of the mutant cancer cells. Five surgeries followed, either emergency surgery or planned, exposing her boys to their mother in constant discomfort and pain. Despite the shock of witnessing their strong, vibrant mother in this uncharacteristic state of being, Dominic and Matt-Matt rallied around her, providing her the strength and fortitude she needed to continue her fight.
Most recently, on November 1st, Trish had a radical hysterectomy. A surgery which was once considered an option at diagnosis, became a necessity when her body rejected all cancer treatments she received this past year. Trish’s battle continues as she has yet to fully recover from this most recent surgery. On the last body scan, spots were showing their ugly faces on her liver and lungs. Once an MRI is concluded next week, we will have confirmation if the cancer has found yet another new home. Pending the MRI and the results, Trish will continue to be monitored when she begins another stage of cancer treatment this month.
Despite this crippling news, Trish continues to embrace this cancer as a gift.
A Lifetime of Adversities
Facing adversity and judgment is second nature to Trish. Standing at a mere 5’3” and weighing-in at 265 pounds after the birth of her second son, Trish was scrutinized for the way she looked. Trish astonished her law enforcement community and her social sphere when she dusted off her running shoes, determined to lose weight. With a heavy dose of determination, courage, strength, bravery, positivity and inspirational attitude, Trish whittled herself down to a size 2. Over the course of two years, she lost over 140 pounds with solely diet and exercise. And, despite cancer, Trish has managed to maintain her healthy lifestyle of diet and exercise even while battling.
With her outsides matching the way she felt on the inside, Trish’s atypical style and new look lends itself perfectly to undercover law enforcement work. During her eighteen year career as a Detective, Trish has investigated a variety of horrific crimes including, but not limited to sexual assault, battery, and fraud.
Recently, Trish was forced into early retirement as she battles her cancer. However, her law enforcement background and skill set will never retire. Trish has discovered a new passion as a motivational speaker, mentor and life coach.
Trish strives to help others “arrive” earlier in life, rather than waiting for a diagnosis of potential death to serve as enlightenment as it has for her. Trish’s beauty shines from the inside out when she enthusiastically describes the challenges she has overcome and shares the lessons she has experienced, and the love she has witnessed. Trish’s energy is electrifying and magnetizing. Her message vibrantly resonates within many regardless of the type of adversity they are currently struggling against.
Throughout her life, Trish has faced constant adversity, always persevering and growing into a stronger, better woman. Cancer is no different.
A Foundation is Born
Arguably, the most heartbreaking point in a cancer journey is sharing the diagnosis with young children, especially when the children are learning the cancer is living within their mother. As Trish broke the news to her boys, she realized this was a scenario she never wanted any parent and child to experience. An overwhelming sense of responsibility fell upon Trish to help the children of cancer patients.
Trish is a firm believer that no child should ever have to experience what her boys have. Only a child knows and can share the feelings of fear they encounter, while watching their mother fight for her life. Keeping an open dialogue with her son’s and wanting to empower other kids, facing the same battles, they collectively decided to orchestrate the funding and research to start their own foundation.
Propelled by Dominic, Matt-Matt, and her sister, Mare, Trish outlined a foundation to support, educate and empower other children who lived within the shadow of cancer. The foundation offers and underscores the necessity for a safe environment where these children can openly discuss their fears of cancer. Like his mother, Dominic is a passionate speaker, sharing his mother’s cancer message with other children of cancer patients.
A Love of Surf
As Trish continues her fight towards remission, her relentlessly optimistic and jovial personality pushes her towards more exciting endeavors. Through her journey, Trish often finds herself paddling out in the ocean, her second home, where she finds inner peace and clarity. In the cool, blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, despite being faced with critical, life altering decisions which she must make alone, Trish finds completion.
If you were ever sharing a white, sandy California beach with Trish, you’d know it. Wearing her blinged out cowboy hat and bikini towing her surfboard, Trish is easily the most recognizable force on any beach.
Building her new brand by combining her love of fashion, country music, and surf, Cowgirlz Surf came to life. Trish, with a unique sense of style, an appreciation of quality and comfort, has created a surf apparel line with an authentic and profound purpose.
Cowgirlz Surf is a product with a message. A repeated message Trish experienced while dreaming of dying and her boys growing up without their mother. Trish’s bold and dynamic personality is illustrated through its logo. The Cowgirlz Surf logo originated very simply from a photo of Trish. Taken as she reflected over the Santa Cruz waters, she leaned against her surf board, soaked in the horizon, and reflected on her battle against cancer. The silhouette outline, captures not only Trish’s authentic self with her surf board and country flare, but also beautifully merges the otherwise dichotomous nature of surf and country; loving life and living with cancer. The logo projects a powerful image bringing opposing notions together. With so much depth and symbolic meaning, the Cowgirlz Surf logo signifies the essence of Trish’s exuberant, all encompassing, and powerful spirit. Hope, Faith, Surf. A tag line her son Dominic created to describe his mother’s journey.
Cowgirlz Surf first production run sold out before ever making it to a store front window. Already proven by the consumers and sales, Cowgirlz Surf stands unique, combining surf with a bold country twist.
Cowgirlz Surf has quickly fulfilled Trish’s lifelong dream of building a successful company. With a branding image that has already turned heads and is being recognized as a hot, new trend in the branding industry, working to broadcast the Cowgirlz Surf message. Cowgirlz Surf is a legacy for Trish’s sons who have vowed to continue spreading Trish’s message of hope, positivity, honesty, and faith even when she no longer can.
Building a Legacy
Cowgirlz Surf will continue designing new and exciting products for a special product line with a percentage of proceeds, to support the development and funding of their foundation. This special foundation will honor, educate, counsel and inspire other children who have watched, or are in the process of witnessing a parent battle the waves of cancer. With Trish’s teenage son, Dominic, as a key spokesperson for their foundation, the foundation is ready to make a difference. Dominic’s openness and willingness to connect with others is remarkable. He is committed to sharing his own stories, and coping mechanisms as he experienced his mother’s battle with cancer. Dominic, born 7 weeks early, is a fighter himself. Referred many that meet him as an ‘Old Soul”. Dominic often tells his mom that he can feel her pain, even when he’s not with her. The most often question Dominic and Matt-Matt are asked is how their mom looks so good if she has cancer. Dominic, speaks up for his brother and returns the answer with a question, “What does cancer look like.” This usually leaves, the person inquiring speechless. Dominic continues his response with…. “My mom looks like someone who is fighting cancer and not giving up”.
Trish has taught her sons, about the meaning of the “dash” between your birthday and the day your journey ends. Trish emphasizes that although these dates are all important and should be celebrated; the days in between the dates are what people will remember you by. Trish wants to be remembered by inspiring people to look at her and say because of you, they did not give up”. The message Trish impresses upon others, is what will leave a lasting memory. Those are the days to which Trish will be remembered. Trish’s positive energy is contagious and she uses this to make people smile. Trish’s gift of talking to people and allowing them to open up and share their stories, in a safe environment, builds strength and courage within their soul. A calmness that overcomes any fear which often disappears from the conversation. These are life tools that can only be taught by life experience and passion, two qualities, Trish exudes when helping others.
By purchasing and supporting Cowgirlz Surf, you are directly communicating your support of children who find themselves in the foxholes on the war against a parent’s cancer. Cowgirlz Surf has already begun catching the waves to success and the story behind Cowgirlz Surf is sure to be a legacy. Be a part of that legacy.
Hope~ Faith~ Surf
Trish is available for Public Speaking Engagements. Each engagement can be catered to your respected audience… she is certified in countless trainings coaching, mentoring and facilitating parents who deal with strong willed children. Every event may begin with greeting Trish with a traditional handshake. However, once the chemistry shifts in the room when she shares her electrifying high energy, inspirational message, with her “keep it real approach”. Upon the conclusion, a line is usually formed to end the event with a hug.