By Gwendolyn Sutton
These days, Stephanie Momon is a vibrant and fulfilled woman. But she has battled depression, attempted suicide, and two bouts of cancer. Yet, despite these challenges, she earned two college degrees, obtained many certifications and awards, and has become a champion and model for physically challenged people who feel hopeless and helpless.
How did Stephanie climb out of her valley of despair? Stephanie became severely depressed as a teenager, which led to an unsuccessful attempt to take her life by carbon monoxide poisoning that left her in a coma and with a brain injury, and the inability to read, write, walk, or speak. She entered a recovery center in Springfield, Massachusetts, where she relearned how to use her natural abilities again.
Subsequently, Stephanie earned an Associate Degree and a Bachelor of Science in Human Services from Springfield University. She attributes her ability to overcome the valleys of life to group therapy, self- care classes, and a desire to change. She encouraged herself through prayer and affirmations like,
“I move past all limitations into a no-limit life,” and began to volunteer at shelters where she had once been a guest.
In 2008, Stephanie was hit by a drunk driver but healed quickly. Then she earned a bachelor’s degree in 2013 and fought off breast cancer a second time that resulted in a mastectomy in 2015. She quietly tells me, “That was hard.” She speaks lovingly of her boyfriend of 21 years who, along with her mother, nurtured her back to health.
Her mother, Billie L. Momon, passed in 2016. She left her daughter with the faith and belief that she can accomplish whatever she sets her mind to do. Her caring father and family supported her throughout all her trials.
Although she walks with a cane to maintain her balance, Stephanie lives independently, and rides the bus, or takes LYFT to her part-time job. She says, “I wake up with joy each morning glad to see another day.” In this season of Kwanzaa celebrations, Imani/faith is promoted. Remember Stephanie’s powerful example of this principle.