Being emotionally healthy has never been more important as it is today. One year into a global pandemic, Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids’ Melissa Budzynski will sit down with members of our community navigating life’s tough stuff. Our conversation will center around the impact of the pandemic on our panelists and how it has compounded their journeys in cancer, grief, addiction and anxiety, and speak to strategies for all of us to navigate these tough times.
Melissa Budzynski, Program Staff, Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids
Now known as The Unemployed Alcoholic, Aaron started performing comedy at the LaughFest First-timers showcase in 2018 while pursuing recovery from alcoholism and simultaneously facing an extended period of unemployment. He finds purpose and wellbeing when sharing both the funnier points of his story and the lessons learned along the way.
Margo is a passionate improv comedian, self-care fanatic and young professional. She’s recently been diagnosed with a unique form of Brain Cancer called anaplastic astrocytoma and is figuring out how to cope with this diagnosis at her age and in the middle of a pandemic.
Kyle has worked within the high anxiety world of beverage for the past 12+ years, from barback to cider education specialist. If there’s a job relating to beer, wine, or cider, he has probably done it. He is currently employed as an account manager at Imperial Beverage, where he’s worked the past 2 years.
Wendy Dee Cross is the loving mother to her children, her grandchildren and many other children. Wendy works as an office administrator at a school that supports 480 students. In her free time, Wendy enjoys camping with her family and close friends, social gatherings and tubing down the river.
Wendy lost a daughter and step daughter in a overwhelmingly tragic double muder suicide in 2012. When human beings experience trauma it is not uncommon for their lives to unravel. Most people never experience the death of a child, and it’s extremely difficult to know what to say to someone facing this type of loss. The death of a child is unnatural, unfair, and tragic. Wendy believes that parents who have lost a child want to feel supported in their grief and receive permission to grieve in their own way and in their own time.