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Toastmasters at CSUSB: CalmandStrong Book


On Feb. 22nd, I completed my fourth Advanced Manual speech for Toastmasters at CSUSB. The objective for this speech was to talk about a touching story, and my speech was entitled, “CalmandStrong Book.” I spoke about throughout the last few years’ people were encouraging me to write a book about my life of being a two-time cancer survivor.

The book is about my experiences and realities of being a two-time cancer survivor and hip amputee. I also spoke about my pain, struggle and accomplishments along with my connection with the inFAMOUS videogame franchise and superhero Cole MacGrath.

In this speech, I spoke about why I decided to become an inspirational speaker.

I started with a summary of the history of my cancer diagnoses, which started with Stage I knee cancer called Osteosarcoma in my right knee at 14 years old. While doing chemotherapy treatment, I had to get a knee replacement.

I was able to return to high school my sophomore year, but during my senior year, the cancer came back in my right knee at Stage IV when I was 17 years old. While doing chemotherapy treatment again, the cancer had traveled to my right lung, and a needle biopsy was used to have the cancer removed, which was a success.

Since I already had a reconstructive knee at 14 years old, there was nothing further Doctors could do but amputate my right leg to save my life in 2003. Now I’m a hip amputee and could only walk with a prosthetic leg.

After giving that summary, I spoke about eventually graduating from California State University, Long Beach in 2012, and landing my first job ever with United States Investigative Services (USIS) as an Associate Investigator in 2013. I explained I wasn’t at the job long because I couldn’t understand the position thoroughly, and it took a toll on my physical disability.

I got another job selling legal services for Legal Shield, and my co-worker asked why was I limping while walking. I told him I am a two-time cancer survivor, hip amputee and I walk with a prosthetic leg.

He expressed to me besides selling legal services, he is a Substitute Teacher, Mentor and Life Coach. I eventually left the Legal Shield position due to not making enough commission.

My co-worker offered his Life Coach services to me for free, and I began to meet with him regularly.

He asked if I wanted to be a Substitute Teacher and that wasn’t resonating with me. Then he said how about being an inspirational teacher because I have such a unique story.

I hated public speaking when I was in school, but when I got home I thought about it, and eventually created a PowerPoint Presentation. I called my Mother and asked her to send me all the pictures from when I was 14 and 17 years old. After I was finished, I felt something was missing…


inFAMOUS


inFAMOUS is a videogame about a bike messenger turned superhero Cole MacGrath. Cole was doing a routine delivery when a package exploded, but he was at the center, alive, but changed and able to control electricity.

When I had my PowerPoint finished with inFAMOUS embedded in it. I was nervous to show my Life Coach because I thought he was going to judge me because I was talking about my connection with a video game character.

Turns out my Life Coach liked how creative I was talking about my experiences and realities with cancer and becoming a hip amputee and connecting that to the digital world of inFAMOUS and Cole.

My Life Coach said if I was serious about being an inspirational speaker. I needed to come up with a company name, tagline, create a website and business cards.


During one of our meetings, we were brainstorming and he said “CalmandStrong.” He said I have a calming personality, and I’m strong because of the adversities I was able to overcome.

One day, I was looking at an interview on YouTube about Hip-Hop Artist Ice Cube. The interviewers asked him why did he leave his rap group NWA at the peak of the group’s success.

He said he always knew he was going to leave the group when he realized his money situation wasn’t going to be handled properly. He also said “Nothing is More Powerful Than a Made up Mind.”

When Ice Cube said those words. I thought about my story connected with Cole’s and how we both are strong minded, strong willed and followed through on the decisions we made in life. “Nothing is More Powerful Than a Made up Mind” became my tagline because it fits perfectly with my story and Cole’s.


I spoke about the history of my company name and tagline, but what do the Doves and the World mean?

I chose to create a logo with doves flying around the world because the doves symbolize God’s angels protecting and healing people around the world.

For example, within my CalmandStrong PowerPoint Presentation. I have doves on every slide where I express what I’ve been through and how I was feeling while in the process of defeating cancer. The doves represent God’s angels who were protecting and healing me from cancer when I was a teenager.

When I perform my speeches to a wide audience and people see my PowerPoint Presentation. I want the doves to represent God’s angels protecting and healing everybody around the world who are currently sick in the hospital or has ever been sick with a serious illness.

I concluded my speech by saying so far, my book, CalmandStrong: Some People Walk in Each Other’s Shoe’s… I Carry Mine is 39 pages, and as of 2017, I’m 14 years’ cancer free and healthy.

My evaluator liked how I created a great balance between my story and the inFAMOUS videogame, and she liked the spiritual connection that the doves represented as being God’s angels protecting and healing people around the world who are in the hospital or has ever been sick with a serious illness.

She also liked how my Life Coach gave me a specific strategy to follow if I was serious about becoming an inspirational speaker.

My evaluator said even though my speech was good, I should work on having a more powerful closing statement to end my speech. Also, I still sound monotone when I speak and she suggested I should change the pitch in my voice while speaking.

Overall, I did good and would give myself a “B” rating because even though I feel I got my point across, I stumbled over my words a little bit, but I quickly got back on track.

To check out my CalmandStrong Speech video on my Official YouTube Channel, click here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCow7_Ahq_1huNK98fONfmDQ

To check out a sample of my book, click here: http://www.calmandstrong.net/calmandstrong-book-sample

* I got an e-mail on Feb. 22nd from SRL Networks (The artist relations company located in London) and they thanked me for auditioning. The judges didn’t vote in my favor and I didn’t make their roster. I was disappointed when I got the bad news, but I must move forward.

* I put 110% into everything that has to do with “CalmandStrong” and I know what I’m doing isn’t going to resonate with everybody because it’s different. One of my goals is to make CalmandStrong great, and I want people to recognize that my creativity and talent can’t be denied.

* I’m also going to e-mail the book publisher I met last year, and see if she is interested in helping me to get my book published.

Disclaimer…

I do not own any image or video content from the from the inFAMOUS videogame franchise.

No Copyright Intended. All image content is copyright to their respective owners. All content is property of Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA), developed by Sucker Punch Productions.

He said he always knew he was going to leave the group when he realized his money situation wasn’t going to be handled properly. He also said “Nothing is More Powerful Than a Made up Mind.”

When Ice Cube said those words. I thought about my story connected with Cole’s and how we both are strong minded, strong willed and followed through on the decisions we made in life. “Nothing is More Powerful Than a Made up Mind” became my tagline because it fits perfectly with my story and Cole’s.

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