Scherrie Keating is a keynote speaker, motivational speaker, and founder of Diabetes Kare Consulting, LLC, which aims to help people turn education into action to prevent Type 2 Diabetes. She’s a Membership Specialist at the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and the Producer and Host of Talk Me Healthy Show and Podcast.
Scherrie offers prediabetes risk screening and prevention education, evidence-based group education classes, webinars, workshops, CEU programs for healthcare professionals caring for individuals with Diabetes, corporate wellness programs, individualized health coaching, and monthly healthy living education on her show.
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Scherrie Shares Her Underdog Story of Rising Against All Odds
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of underdog. Today I have an awesome guest here with me, Sherrie. Sherrie, how you doing?
I’m doing great, how are you doing?
I’m doing lovely. Life is beautiful. I can’t complain and I’m just so blessed to have you here. Today, you’ve got quite a story. And the work that you’re doing is so important and remarkable in the diabetes realm. In the consulting world and the speaking world. And I can’t wait to get into all of the amazingness that you are. So my first question to you will be what inspired your journey to really where you are today?
Oh, that’s such a big question. So I’ve been a registered nurse for 37 plus years. And I have worked in the field of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in various parts of the hospital. As a staff nurse preceptor, nurse manager, starting a diabetes program, starting a cardiac rehab department. And then after a 31-year career, I was laid off and so I thought it was the most devastating thing. Then I realized that when one door closes, another door opens. So I was able to find a job as a telephonic diabetic nurse and then, a year later. I actually got laid off again and this time, I handled it much better than the first time.
So after that, I actually had enough hours to become certified as a Diabetes Care and Education Specialist. And then I was kind of googling, you’re gonna laugh. I was literally googling how not to get laid off again, as a diabetes educator. So this little commercial popped up and it said the diabetes prevention program. And I’m like, Wait a second. Diabetes is preventable. It was like, I had no idea because when we’re working with patients. We’re working with people that already have diabetes, we’re not working with people that are at risk for that type two diabetes.
So I was like, Oh, my gosh. What is this all about? So I did some research and I ended up taking a course through the CDC. And became a life coach for the National Diabetes Prevention program. And so I went back to my hospital and said, Hey, since I was laid off. I’ve got diabetes certified and diabetes prevention. And soI’d love to start a program with you and they said, you know, great idea. We’re not ready yet. But why don’t you go and work as a certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist, so I did that and I realized that it wasn’t going to happen anytime soon and I wanted it to happen then.
So I decided, I have all the skills, I have all the knowledge. I’m going to start my own company and so that’s kind of how my company started diabetes care, consulting. And so it was like an aha moment for me when I saw this picture of an iceberg. At the tip of the iceberg, were over 30 million people that had diabetes. And then under the tip of the iceberg, were 80 million-plus more that had pre-diabetes and I said, I have to do something about this. Because if I’m a nurse that worked in the field for all of these years and never knew we could prevent diabetes. How many other people don’t know.
So that’s when I started my company and so my mission has been to offer screening and prevention education to people. At risk for prediabetes and to prevent type two diabetes. So that’s kind of how my company started and I had terminal cancer. And so for me, prevention wasn’t an option. But what I want people to know is that prevention is an option for type two diabetes. It’s simple small steps that you can make and there’s science behind it, so I use my personal story to empower people to take those small steps. And to make those lifestyle changes that are proven to reduce your risk of type two diabetes up to 71%, so that’s pretty amazing.
That is amazing. Oh my gosh, and so what inspired you initially into the medical field just in general. So what inspired you to become a nurse?
I don’t know. You know, it’s so funny because me and my little brother, I have, I come from a family of eight children. And my brother and I always wanted to be a nurse and a doctor. I have no idea. My mother wasn’t a nurse, my dad wasn’t a doctor. You know or vice versa and I actually came from a military family and I don’t know. My mom said, I’ve always wanted to be a nurse since I was a little girl. And my brother had always wanted to be a doctor and so he became a cardiologist in Boston and I became a nurse.
So it’s very unusual for this to happen. But in my case, it happened. And it’s the right profession for me. I have absolutely loved my career as a nurse. It’ll be 30 years, it’s been the best thing, I have met amazing people. And I feel like I’ve made an impact in the lives of many people and so it’s been such a joy and a blessing. Totally.
My gosh, wow. Well, I was gonna ask you. What you wanted to be when you grew up? But you answered that question. Hey, was there a particular person that inspired you in your journey? I know you wanted to become a nurse since day one since we were young. But is there anyone in particular that throughout your early years? That stuck out to you in particular.
In the field of medicine and then anything? You know, I can’t think of anyone in my earlier years that inspired me to. I know, my parents were definitely instrumental in making. Sure that I got the education and the right moral compass. And so I came from a family that had good values and those kinds of things. But in terms of my left to be a nurse, I don’t know. I think it was just inborn in me, there were people along the way and my journey through nursing school.
And then, when I became a nurse, different people were very instrumental in just giving me opportunities to learn and providing encouragement along the way. But I don’t know, I feel like there’s a lot of people. But not one particular person that I could go back and say. This is the reason why I’m where I am today.
Right. So in terms of your pivot from nursing to basically starting your own business and consulting firm. Because it’s not normal that I hear of nurses like being a startup entrepreneur. What was your aha moment that told you like, this is what I meant to do that I need to do this?
Well, that’s so funny, because when I had the aha moment that I had to do something, I said to my husband. I’m going to start a company and now I am a nurse manager. And I started programs for hospitals. But I always had other people helping me doing that, Nurse Consultants or the hospital, senior management. But this was like, Okay, I’m gonna go out of my arms. I’m going to start a company, no idea what I was doing. So I had a friend who as a mentor and a good friend and he said, I’m going to mentor you. If you help me to lose weight, I will help mentor you in the business world. He said the first thing I want you to do is join the chamber.
So the day I started, my company was my eighth cancer remission and I went down to the chamber and I met with them. And I joined the chamber as a member, and they said, Hey. Tomorrow is what we call a sales leads meeting and that’s where people go and they give a 62nd commercial about their company. You meet other people and then you can network and grow your company and I’m like, awesome. So I went there and it was kind of funny. Because I didn’t realize it was only 60 seconds, so you stand up. You give you a little commercial and I just kept going on and on and on.
And I’m hearing people chuckle in the room, and I’m like, wondering why they’re laughing. This is like, serious. Diabetes is serious. Like. Why are they laughing? And so apparently, this timer kept going off and I had no clue because I was in my mojo and just telling all my passion and then all of a sudden. After about five minutes, they said, Okay, well, thank you so much and they kind of cut me off, and then afterward, they took me aside and said. You know, that beat that you kept hearing? I thought it was someone’s cell phone, they’re like, well, that’s the time. When that beep goes off. Your time is done and you get 30 seconds and so it was kind of a joke throughout the rest of all the meetings.
Like, Oh, my God, Sherrie, remember, you have 60 seconds this wonderful woman. I sat next to her and I just started a conversation with her. And by the end of the conversation, she’s like, you know what, I love you, I love your story. I want to hire you for your first talk and I thought, yay, I don’t have a first talk. But Yay, that’s awesome. So I had literally just started my company and had no clue what I was doing. And I just knew that I had this passion and this drive to make a difference in this world of prediabetes. But I had no clue how I was going to go about doing it, so I said, Oh, my god. She’s gonna hire me, I gotta go home and write a program.
So I wrote a PowerPoint program on prevention of diabetes. And then I presented it and then she said, You know what, I’m going to introduce you to somebody else. I’m going to take you to a networking event and then, you’re going to meet someone else. And then I’m sure she’s going to want to hire you. So I went to the group, she hired me for senior centres and I probably did 20 Senior centres with the same program because that’s all I had written. But then I went to this big networking event that someone introduced me to and there was someone there and he comes over to me and he says.
Hey, I need a continuing ed credit or ICU program for nurses and social workers can you do when I’m prediabetes? And I’m like, Yes, I can. But I have no idea how to do that. He says, No worries, I’ll walk you through the whole thing. So we met a puneri, he walked me through all the paperwork and how to go about getting approval for a cure. And then I had my aha moment and I thought, you know what. I’m the only company in Massachusetts that actually is speaking on diabetes prevention and now I’m going to offer CES. This is a great business opportunity and also a great way to get my message out. I started writing like crazy and I wrote a bunch of programs.
So to this day, I believe I have almost, 30 programs now. And some are for seniors and some are communities. Some are corporate wellness programs. But they all centred around diabetes prevention, diabetes, management, healthy eating, healthy exercise, toxic chemicals in the roles of chronic disease, brain health. So it was very interesting because I built this company strictly on word of mouth networking, 100%, paid $0 for marketing. And so before COVID hit, I was gonna have my best year. I had 40 programs, I had actually been asked to speak nationally as a keynote speaker and I was so excited, I had the keynote, I was going to Chicago to do my first corporate wellness summit. I had done regional conferences, I did a big conference for the National teaching Institute.
And then COVID happened and I lost all my business, it was devastating. I mean, it was really devastating. Because what was interesting to me and I kind of had another aha moment that I defined myself at this point as a speaker. When COVID hit and I lost all my speaking, I lost who I was. Or so I thought, I really kind of went down a spiral of feeling really sorry for myself and very depressed. Because I felt like I was worth nothing, because what my worth is tied to. Was being a speaker and being a nurse and I was unable to do either of those.
And so after six weeks, I really did soul searching, I realized that no speaking doesn’t define me. There’s so much more to me than that and so I kind of got back up, pulled up my bootstraps, put on my big girl panties, and then decided, Okay. What am I going to do? So I started an online school and I took all my in-person programs and converted them to an online platform that didn’t take off. Well, I think everyone was so tied up in COVID. At that point that no one was thinking about going online for an educational class.
I said, Okay. Then what am I going to do? So then I wrote an eight week program to help people prevent diabetes. And it’s an intensive eight week course that gives you all the tools to prevent diabetes for life. I’m actually in the middle of doing one of those courses right now. So you know, I’ve had to pivot like everybody else and some event winners and some not so much. But I am hopeful that when COVID is over, that my business will take off again. And that I will get back to making a difference in the life of one person every day. Because that’s really what my mission is, so that’s a long answer for your short question.
That’s so Rockstar, because of the fact that you made the jump. Because most people stick to being a nurse manager. You’re secure financially, why would you want to go out into the trenches and basically create your own path. Because like you mentioned, you’re the only one in Massachusetts doing this type of work. Which I think is so crazy, because diabetes is such a terrible disease and it just keeps growing. And that’s the scary part and that can cause so many other diseases to come on and like heart issues. I know the mechanics are way better than I do. I’m not in the medical field.
I don’t want a great job
They do, I just find it so remarkable that you just jumped right in and that you basically said you didn’t know what you were doing. That was the same thing with me in construction. I tell people, all you need to know is. When you’re on a diving board, right? You just don’t look down, just jump some way. Somehow the universe is going to float you back up, I don’t know-how. But it always happens, right? And that’s the same situation with you had somebody in the crowd and lead you into the speaking world.
So I just, I find your journey so amazing. Because there’s different stepping stones along the way that you didn’t anticipate. But you just did it out of passion and it sort of led you down a different route and then, also to pivoting in the COVID world. And how that brought you back to nursing in a way because that’s some of the work that you’re doing at this point in time.
Right. So because my online school didn’t really take off I have where I had terminal cancer. I also have a chronic disease that I live with every day. And I have 4 therapy sessions once a month, so I can’t go out and work as a nurse. So that was another issue that was really bothering me, so I had the opportunity to get a contract job with the local board of health as a COVID tracing and part of their COVID team. I’m working 40 to 60 hours a week trying to keep my company going. But also I have a blessing of being able to make a difference in the pandemic.
So I’m really blessed and I feel very fortunate to be able to sit at home safely. But yet still impact this pandemic by using my expertise in nursing and you know. My other skills that I have, so I’m very fortunate to do that I have had people along the way. This journey has been amazing, because as a nurse. Starting my company was so scary, but I had the support of my husband 100%. And he’s like, you know what, Honey, don’t worry about the cost. I’m going to take care of everything, you just go and do what your passion is. And that gave me the opportunity to do that. So I’m so grateful to him for doing that. He was my biggest supporter and the people along the way. That I have met those who just believe in me, believe in my mission, and open doors.
For me, it’s all about friendships, it’s all about it really is not about selling yourself. It’s really about making relationships and helping other people. And they help you and believe in them and you believing. They believe in you and so I just really, I really believe in relationships and when I joined the chamber. I have been able to do a lot of things in the chamber and now I’m the chamber. Our business networking chair for the year and so the business networking group that I started my company. Now, I’m the chair of it this year. So it’s kind of come full circle and so I get to connect with other business owners and tell them. How this has really helped me. I’m also an ambassador for the chamber now.
And I’ve got to speak at the Women’s Leadership Group and I got to present scholarships. It’s been a wonderful opportunity. I’ve met so many amazing people in this journey. I wouldn’t trade anything. It hasn’t been easy. Trust me being a woman solo entrepreneur. There are other programs out there for diabetes prevention. But there isn’t someone going out and starting their company specifically to speak on this topic. And it’s so funny. I’ll tell you a funny story. I was actually speaking on type three diabetes of the brain. Have you ever heard of that?
So type three diabetes of the brain. There’s research at Brown University that started about 10 to 15 years ago and Dr. Susan de Lamont was actually a neuroscientist and she was researching alcoholism of the brain. And then, she was doing something with insulin in the brain and what she found was when she gave the brain insulin. The brain cells became smarter. When she took the insulin away, the brain cells died and she was like, how could that be? So she started doing research on the brains of people that had died of Alzheimer’s disease. And what she did was she looked at the brain’s post mortem and she saw that as Alzheimer’s disease progressed. So did the problem with insulin and insulin resistance in the brain.
And then, she did some studies by giving the mice a drug in their brain that Causes Diabetes in the body. Then looking to see what happens and the same pathology of Alzheimer’s disease is what happens when she injected that drug. So then, the next thing she did was she took the drugs that we use for diabetes. She injected them in the mouse and then, it reversed the process, so they’re looking at now using diabetes medications as a potential treatment strategy. To maybe halt Alzheimer’s disease.
So this is fascinating research, so somebody said to me, they called me and said, Hey. Can you be on our cooking show? I want you to talk about type two diabetes and I had no idea about it. And I’m like, there’s no such thing. There’s type two, there’s gestational, there’s no type two and she’s like, well. I thought you were the smart one and you were the expert in diabetes and I’m like, Okay, I’m not going on your cooking show. Because now you’re making fun of me. So I’m not going on your cooking show, so I kind of let it go, and then six months later. Someone came up to me and said. Hey. have you heard of type three diabetes? And I’m like, Oh, my gosh. There’s no such thing and they’re like, Sherrie, there really isn’t. I’m like, now there really isn’t.
So I went home and I’m like, okay, I better be right, so I went home and I googled type two diabetes. And what do you know, there really is type three diabetes. So I had to call the girl, who offered me the cooking show and I said, I would love to come on your cooking show, I feel so bad, I had no idea. That it was type two diabetes and so what I did to make myself knowledgeable. I literally called the neuroscientist from Brown University. Dr. Susan de Lama and I said, listen. I am writing a program on your research and I need to, I would love to sit down with you. Not thinking she would ever do this. Sit down with you and really learn about how this all came to be.
So guess what? She emailed me that day and said, I’ll meet you next Thursday at a coffee shop. And I’m like, Are you kidding me? So we got to the coffee shop. I took a selfie, but she won’t let me show anyone. But then I took a picture of the coffee shop and I put it in my PowerPoint on type three diabetes. And so I sat with her for three hours now, she’s a neuroscientist and I’m a nurse, so there’s a big difference in our intelligence levels. She’s here, I’m here. Okay. But it was fascinating to listen to her and so I’ve read multiple journals. Now I’m the only one that speaks on type three diabetes. Have the brain in the country and so that’s how I’ve been able to get a lot of the keynote.
The National keynote, they all want to hear about type three and so it’s fascinating research. So diabetes is a disease of insulin resistance, it means that your body produces insulin. But the cells do not respond to it properly and so insulin is like the key that opens the door for sugar to go inside the salad to be used properly. And then your blood sugar gets regulated and you have fuel for yourself. When you have insulin resistance, what happens is you make insulin. But it doesn’t open the door to the cell for the sugar to go in. So the sugar floats around and damages all of our eyes, kidneys, and nerves and it leads to a cascade of medical problems.
And then we end up burning out the cells that make insulin. Because the body tries to hyper-produce insulin to try to get the insulin. To allow the sugar to go in the cell and it’s this whole big process. So what insulin resistance in the brain is, the insulin has a different role in the brain. And it has to do with two proteins. That are very associated with Alzheimer’s disease. So it’s very interesting, fascinating research and so there is type three diabetes. I did run into that girl, I did apologize to her and I will be on her and I was on her cooking show virtually after COVID hat and I did talk about type three diabetes. But so you know what, it was very humbling.
Underdog Scherrie Keating Challenges Throughout Her Journey
Oh, my gosh, that’s amazing, what a journey. And so really interesting is just how everything had just went different routes and I just think it’s so beautiful. I never knew type three diabetes existed, I just know, type one, type two. That’s it. So I think it’s fascinating that you’re on the front lines of that and how your career has sort of evolved little by little? And I mean, every journey, no journey goes without challenges. So what were some of the challenges you have faced throughout your journey?
Well, I’m a solo entrepreneur, that’s one big challenge. Because I don’t have a staff that can help me do it. You know, as a nurse starting a company nurses, don’t market themselves, you know what I mean? They get a job and they work. So I didn’t know the world of marketing and so I took a so when COVID hit, I took it, because when I got hired prior to COVID. The company that hired me did all the marketing and so I didn’t have to ever learn to market myself.
And then word of mouth. Every time I speak, I get another program. So it was just a continuous ongoing moving forward sort of thing and then COVID hit and I had my online school and I and I’m like, Okay. What do I do? How am I going to get people there? So I took a three-day marketing retreat course and then, I took another three-day email marketing course. And so what I found out is that personally, I was thinking. I had to be on social media every minute of every day. Promoting and selling and really that’s not it, I started doing newsletters and I would do them a couple of times a month.
And I would share myself in my life, but applicable education to that. So I would tie in the educational idea of the month or the week. I would tie it into a personal story like apples in the fall. And how I was making applesauce and how easy it was and how healthy and then I told the history of apples and then I gave a recipe. But I was still talking about something healthy to eat. That could lead to health and diabetes prevention. So and then, that’s where I noticed people would start to say. Hey, can you speak on you know. Such and such? Or I’d like to book a program with you or can you work with me one on one.
So for me, I found out that that email newsletter was the key to getting myself out there to people and just really being true to who I was. And instead, selling doesn’t work. People don’t want to be sold to know I think the draw. To me getting the success that I’ve had is that I’m just really who I am. What you see is what you get. I share my life, I share my story, I show pictures, I talk about my why. So the challenge for me was marketing and so I tried to do something about it. I’m not gonna say I’m the best at marketing, I’m still learning, but I really have had some insight over COVID into marketing.
And the challenge is the lack of secretarial staff to do the admin work. That’s been really challenging and trying to have a balanced life trying to run a business. I’m a grandmother of six, I’m very, very connected to my grandkids. They all live 10 minutes from me and when I was growing up as an army brat. We were never around our grandparents and then when I married my first husband that was every Sunday with grandparents and everyone was there and it was awesome. So when I got married and had kids, I’m like. I want my kids to know my grandparents, so their grandparents, I literally lived next door to my parents.
And then my kids now live only 10 minutes away from me and I’m around my grandkids all the time and there’s no better joy in this world. Then being a grandmother. I can tell you, I don’t know if you are one, but I can tell you it is the 100% better thing ever. So just trying to balance work? And then when you have a home office, okay. Where do you shut? Where do you turn off from work and then go back to regular living. Because your office and work is always there.
So I really always struggle with that balance, that’s a big challenge for me is finding that balance. But it’s doable, I just have to be more disciplined. Because when I do something, it’s always 150%. And so I am always trying to improve speaking, trying to make my PowerPoints better, trying to do the up-to-date research, and all of this stuff. So I’m always running in my office and doing something. But I think anyone who’s a solo entrepreneur can relate to the challenges of just having one person to do at all.
Absolutely, you juggle many, many hats. Eventually, you get to the stage where you scale out a bit and start delegating. That’s always the hardest part. I myself, I’m on that journey. Personally, I just hired two more people full-time. And it’s like, it just got to be gradual. You just start with one, add a few hours, and then, kind of build off from there and I always suggest. Like freelancing, bring in a few freelancers, just to help you like a few hours a week with things that you can delegate out to. So that’s always my recommendation. But it’s the toughest thing in the world, I’m telling you to duplicate yourself is the hardest thing in the whole wide world.
I have type A plus. So I’m a perfectionist. I’m like, nobody can do this as good as I can, so I’m just gonna do it all. Seriously. You know, it’s so funny. I’m working on that. Definitely working on that. But yeah, it’s hard to delegate your baby, so to speak to somebody else because they never meet your standard. If you’re a professional like myself, I am going to work on that. But you know, with COVID I haven’t had to do that. You know, I mean, but yeah, I love it and for me, it’s all about the why. And I know there’s many books out there on why can I share my Why?
We’re gonna ask you that next.
So my why so this is what happened. I told you I had terminal cancer, I was married to my first husband. We met in high school. And we got married after nursing school. We had two beautiful children. I have a son and a daughter and my son’s a police officer. My daughter is a nurse and my daughter has two little boys and my son has four kids and they’re just amazing people, all of them. So about, let’s say I was married 23 years together. 30. And then we just kind of got divorced. Because we kind of grew in different directions.
You know, we started as highschool sweethearts, we kind of grew in different directions. So then I married my soulmate and a year later I ended up with this finger. Now melanoma, so I have an amputated thumb and my finger now melanoma. It’s a very rare cancer, and it affects the matrix or the cuticle part of the fingernail. And all I had was like a little lump on the side and a little red cuticle. I was having my nails done at the time. So I thought she nicked the cuticle and I didn’t know what the bump was, so I kind of let it go. And then around a month later was Christmas time and my brother who’s a physician, kind of looked at it and said. Oh, if it continues to look like that, just have your doctor check it after the holiday.
So I did and he did a culture and it was MRSA and MRSA. I was working as a nurse manager in a cardiac rehab department and so they said, I got it from a patient who had had open-heart surgery. It’s an infection and it’s very contagious. So you come out of work and I just started on some new medication for my Crohn’s disease and it was interesting how I just started on the medication and then I get this bump and then I get this infection. And this medication suppresses your immune system, so they never took me off that medication, they treated the MRSA. Then about a month later, I went back to work and life was good again. I was married, happy, everything was great.
Six months later, I looked down and I have that same problem again and I’m like. That’s strange, so I went back to the doctor and they did a culture and it wasn’t MRSA was another infection. So they ended up taking me off that medication that suppress my immune system. And they ended up sending me to an infectious disease specialist. I ended up going to a hand surgeon and it wasn’t healing, so they were cutting off parts of the nail and everything. And then I had this feeling nurses get this. I had this feeling that I had cancer.
So I told that to the surgeon and he’s like Sherrie. Who gets cancer of their thumb. I said, I know that’s so weird. But I just had this gut feeling and he says, Well, you know how nurses can be and I said, I know how nurses can be, but I honestly feel like something is wrong. So what ended up happening was I demanded a biopsy. And he kind of laughed about it, but he agreed to it eventually, he did it when he started cutting down this side of my thumb. He said I’ve never seen anything like this before and I’m glad I did this. And I said yeah, I’m glad you did this too, so he said I’ll call In a week. We’re gonna get it, you know the results. It’ll be nothing but we did it all set, a week goes by nothing.
Second week goes by and I call the office, they said, Well, we had to send it to the NIH. Because we really don’t know what it is and so they’re going to look more into it. So anyways, three weeks later, I’m sitting in cardiac rehab, where I was the nurse manager. I just finished a class, my secretary comes in and says to me, share your doctor’s on the phone and I’m thinking, Okay, this is awesome news. He’s right, I was just being crazy. There’s no such thing as cancer in the finger now, because if I had cancer, a doctor would not be calling me on the phone at work telling me I have cancer.
So I get on the phone and I’m like, Hi, this is Sherrie. I’m so glad you’re finally calling. What’s the good news? And he says, you have a very rare finger, no melanoma, you’re going to die and we’re going to amputate your finger tomorrow. Wow. Talk about Wow, wow. That was the beginning of an incredible, incredible time in my life. One of the worst times of my life, but yet it came out to be one of the best. So I screened all the patients there. I said, Oh my god, I’m dying of cancer. They call my brother who Boston who’s a doctor, they called my husband. And they took me out of work, I had all these tests, I went to Boston and the bottom line was I had fingered out melanoma.
I did have cancer in my fingernail and so they amputated. And then I had multiple complications and then, they started me on this medication that was an experimental protocol. It was 4 therapy sessions. Five days a week I truck into Boston, it makes you so sick, I am literally bedridden. But I had to get up every day and go back for another treatment. And they told me at the beginning, the sicker you are, the higher chance that you have of living from this. So I’m like, okay, make me sick as you can make me, so they did and then finally, on the 18th out of 20 treatments, they said you’re done. We can’t do it. Your liver and lungs are failing. We can’t do anything else. You’re done, we have to stop.
And I was begging them. No, you said this is the only dream and you can’t stop. I want to live and he says we have to stop. So they put me on high-dose steroids and I ended up with some dead bone in my knee. And I had cadaver transplants and blood clots after that. It was just like one thing after another and then, finally, they said there’s nothing else we can do. We have to wait 10 years to see if this cancer is going to spread through your body. So you were going to do CAT scans every three months and all that. But in the meantime, the husband, his second husband who was newly married for a year, said I can’t do it. I didn’t bargain for all of this, I can’t do it, he left.
So here I am with not knowing if I’m going to live or die 50% chance of dying in six months. My husband that I was just married to leave. And I spiraled down into a really bad depression. I start getting panic attacks and anxiety, I am isolated in my room, I can’t even drive. I am giving away everything I stopped eating. It’s horrible. My doctors put me in the mind-body clinic in Boston, they put me on medications. And I just lay there every day and say I just take me, I’m done living.
So when I go into my doctor’s office and he says to me something that changed my life. He says to me sharing your attitude is going to kill you before your cancer does and to hear a doctor say that at first, I’m like, Well. How dare you? And all I could think of was like, you’re not living in my shoes. I’m going to get a new doctor and I was so upset, I’m like, that’s it, I’m never going back there again. But then, of course, you know. We come to our senses and after a couple of days of laying in bed and thinking about what he said. I said, Well, okay, Sherrie, let’s look at it from his lens.
What do you have to live for? Do you have anything in your life that you want to live for? So I laid there? And I thought, well, of course, I do. I have a one-year-old granddaughter, Mackenzie, I want to live for her and so that gave me the motivation. She became my wife, she became the reason that I started getting out of bed every day, she became the reason I started eating, she became the reason for my life. And she became my purpose and if it wasn’t for that comment that doctor made. I don’t think, I would be here after that, I became a born-again Christian and started walking my faith and then, a bunch of things happened during that time. That it was all destined to be.
I learned that this was the perfect plan, that I was married to a man that really wasn’t the right person for me. And then after getting through that whole process and getting off of medications and feeling like a living, breathing, functioning person. When I was dying, I wanted my granddaughter to remember me. So we went and bought a little tree and we planted it in a little garden, so when I died she would see that. And so after that, I decided I wanted a living garden and so, whenever one of my grandkids turned three. We would go out and buy, whatever they wanted and we planted it in this beautiful garden. So I have this beautiful living garden.
That was one signifying death, but now signifies life and as it grows. It’s just such a beautiful thing and so I’m writing a book about my story. And I started speaking at women’s empowerment conferences and I wrote a PowerPoint on my story. I turned it into a book, which I’m finishing. Hopefully, one day, I speak on it and I share a picture story of my journey. And then I go around the room and this story is so incredible, I was presenting to this independent living. I was showing him the pictures and then telling them a story that goes along with the pictures.
And then after that, I went around the room and said. Would anyone like to share their and there was this little cute couple and the husband said. I’ve never told and he’s looking at his beautiful wife of, like, 70 years and he says, I’ve never told you this. I can’t get through every day, as if there was no dry eye in the place. And so I got a call the next day,
That his wife passed away in the middle of the night. And for me, the last thing that she heard from her husband was that. Oh, my goodness, wow. It was incredible and that’s when I knew that there are so many people out there that need a Why? Because the people who motivate you. So I wrap it into every one of my talks, I share my story, I talk about my why, and I show pictures. If I didn’t find out why I wouldn’t have seen my son pin his police badge, I wouldn’t have been my daughter’s Maid of Honour.
I wouldn’t have found my true soulmate. I’ve been married 10 years, I wouldn’t have seen my grandkids being born and cut the cord on my last grandson. I wouldn’t have had my dad died in my arms. So challenges are challenges. But that gets you through, so I speak about, and then, I always end all my presentations with to empower yourself and others to find them and use it to change their story. Because we all have a story. My story is no more special than your story or someone else’s story. It’s just my story. But we all have a story.
And if we use that, why can we change our story and impact the lives of millions of people and that’s what my mission is. To use my story, to impact others, to empower them to find their way. So that they change their story. They become healthy, they can prevent diabetes for life and they can use that, to help other people and make a difference in the world. So it’s really come full circle like it’s just unbelievable. How the last 12 years of my life. When I look back, I’m like, Oh my God, this had to happen or wouldn’t happen and I would not be where I am today. If all of these things didn’t line up.
And so, I truly believe that it was the perfect plan and God always has a perfect plan. I believe that I had to go through that pain of losing my husband to find my true soulmate. To find the power of the why to use it in my speaking engagements to empower others. Because we all have a why we just need to tap into it. We need to use it to stay motivated to make simple lifestyle changes to stay healthy for life. And it can apply for anything.
It doesn’t have to be healthy, it can apply to relationships, It can apply to family dynamics, it can apply to business, it can apply to anything. Your Why is your why. And you know. You can use it, however, you see fit. But it’s a powerful motivator. It’s changed my life. It has brought me to the person and to the place that I am meant to be. And so yeah, that’s kind of my story.
I love that so much. And thank you so much for sharing that. It’s incredibly powerful as you were speaking, I was just getting chills throughout the day. And one of my last questions is always this you know. What piece of advice would your older self, tell your younger self? Based on what you know now?
Wow, that is a hard question. Boy, I think, I would tell my older self, I would tap my older self, would tell my younger self, to have faith that everything happens for a reason. And that you may not know, what the reason is. But it will become clear when it’s time and to never lose faith and just to keep moving forward. I think surrounding yourself with positive people is so critical. I’ve done a lot of things like looking at my relationships and deciding what are healthy relationships for me.
So I think I would tell my older self now, telling a younger self that faith is number one. Family and friends are number two, follow your passion. Because if you do something with passion. You will make a difference in this world. So if you have a passion about something go. Don’t let fear prevent you from taking your passion and moving forward and sharing it with the world. I wasn’t born to be a speaker, trust me, I never thought I would be on the national stage speaking. But do you know how much easier it is to speak? When you have a passion about what you’re speaking and how that responds to people’s heart.
You touch people’s hearts when you share yourself. And always be true to yourself. Don’t try to be somebody that you’re not. Be true to yourself and be passionate about what you do every day. Never forget your why. Remember, your faith comes first and it does for me, and surround yourself. With incredible people that are positive and supportive and honest, that will tell you Okay, Sherrie. Let’s bring it down a notch, girlfriend and I think balance two would be such a good thing. I’m still working on balance. But I think that’s what I would do.
And never give up, never give up because when one door closes, another door is gonna open. If you’re blind to that opportunity and you don’t take that step, look at what you may miss. Look at what I would have missed, If I hadn’t taken this opportunity yet, it would be scary. So scary, but look how worth it is at the end. I wish I had someone who was my older self telling me my younger self. All of these things, because it would have saved a lot of heartache. But as we get older, we get wiser, so I hope that information. My goal is to impact the life of one person every day. So I’m hoping for something that I said today. Somebody who needed to hear it heard it, yeah, and is going to do something with it. That’s what my goal is.
I love that. In a couple questions in terms of what would be your biggest piece of advice, in terms of diabetes prevention. Since I know, that is your forte, so I figure a couple there won’t hurt, and then also gotta let everybody know what you’re up to next.
Well, in terms of diabetes, okay, everybody, listen to this. This is a secret and I’m going to share it with you. It’s preventable. Type Two Diabetes is preventable to simple lifestyle changes. Here’s the secret everyone listen 7% body weight loss. So calculate 10% of your current body weight. And then do two things healthy eating and exercise in terms of healthy eating. Watch the saturated fat, which is your bad fat. Mediterranean diet is a great way. It’s not a diet, it’s a great way to eat Mediterranean, the DASH is another one.
And then just watching your fats. Because fats have more calories and carbs and proteins. If you decrease your bad fats and eat more fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy, you use my plant. Which is great for looking at portion sizes and making sure that you’re getting all of the food groups. And then remember that diabetes prevention is a lifestyle. It is not a quick fix, I want you to think about when you’re changing lifestyle habits. That you’re doing it for life, you’re not doing it on a diet, that you’re going to stop in two weeks, and then it doesn’t work. It’s a lifestyle, It’s a lifelong process, baby, baby steps, significant rewards.
And then the other thing is exercise. The goal is five days a week for 30 minutes, but the research says 10 minutes. 10 minutes three times a day gives you the same benefit as a 30-minute workout. So if you’re not doing anything, clear it with your doctor. And then, start with one minute and just walk. God gave us all two legs. Hopefully, most of us have two legs and if we don’t, we have two arms. We can do other types of exercises. But just use your body to do the exercise. You don’t have to spend money, you don’t have to buy equipment, you don’t have to join a gym walk is what the science showed.
If you can walk, just walk, if you can’t, then there’s upper body exercises that you can do. There’s other things that you can do in other parts of your large muscles. 10 minutes, 10 minutes, and 10 minutes 15 and 15, 20 and 10. The goal is 30 minutes and five days a week. And it’s moderate exercise, just walking so that you can still carry on a normal conversation. You’re not running a marathon, but yet you’re not walking so slow. That you’re just kind of going 10 miles an hour enjoying the scenery Sunday drive speed.
You’re kind of bringing it up to 30 or 40 miles an hour, but you’re not going 6070 like a marathon. It’s in the middle, moderate, and it’s okay. If you sweat, sweat is good. It’s okay if you sweat and you want to just make sure you can carry out a normal conversation. But like I said if you have any history of heart problems. Or you know had a stroke or high blood pressure clear with your doctor first, always check there and start slowly. And then the last question you said was
Yes. Last question is basically you know, what are you up to and one what’s the newest news and Sherrie’s world.
The newest news well hotsy COVID, COVID, COVID Let’s see the newest news. And in the COVID, I always tell people to live in the COVID dream. So the newest news is I actually hope to get my company back on track. I’m looking for speaking opportunities, I’m looking for a one on one health coaching. I have this eight-week course that I’m in the middle of now. But I’ll be offering again in the spring for people that are at risk or living with prediabetes.
I also have a podcast called talk me healthy and so I look for guests for wellness, I want someone who has a passion for a health and wellness topic. And they’ve turned that passion into something, to improve the lives of others. That’s what I look for and so if that’s you out there, call me definitely get a hold of me, I’d love to have you on my podcast. So I don’t know that I’m going to develop any new programming. Because I have, you know, 30 something programmes. I want to just start to speak again, I love it, I want to get the information out there, I want to grow my eight-week course. And right now that’s my goal, I don’t have this big, tremendous, huge goal, I just want to get my company back on track. Doing what I love to do.
And that’s being out there impacting people. Whether it’s virtually, whether it’s on the stage. Eventually, I want to get back on the stage, because I love it, it’s so much fun. But I want to impact health care providers so that they can impact their patients, but I want to impact employers. So that they can keep their employees healthy. I want to impact the individual, I want to impact the senior world. And what I really want to do, I want to really start with children. Because there’s one in Florida, one in five adolescents and young adults that have prediabetes.
We have 88 million people and 90% don’t know. If we all work together, we offer screening and prevention education. We can start with kids, because don’t we form our habits when we’re younger? And then we bring them into adulthood and then, we think oh, we’re too old to make changes. Why don’t we just start making good habits when we’re younger and then carry them through our life. So I want to start working with kids, I don’t have any grandiose plans. I want to do what I love to do and that’s get back into speaking and sharing this critical life-saving life-changing education.
I love that so much. Thank you so much for sharing that Sherrie and where can everybody find you? Where can everyone contact you?
Okay, so my website is diabetes care with a K consulting.com. I can be reached at diabetes care with a K email@example.com. I’m on LinkedIn, under diabetes care, consulting. And I’m also have a Facebook company page diabetes care consulting. So you can reach me anywhere. And I’m happy to help individuals groups, speak at conferences, have people on my podcast. I do have one goal for 2021 to finish my book so that I will do and I will be giving you a free copy of him.
I can’t wait. You got to keep me posted, I can’t wait for that. I’m out. And I just want to thank you so much for your time today. You’re such a rock star. And just thank you.
Well, you know what, I can’t thank you enough. Because this is what I live for, I live for sharing my story. I live for talking about my passion and having an opportunity to do that on your show is been amazing. And just our little talk that we had about a month ago and you’re a rock star girl. You are a rock star, you exemplify rock star. So thank you for all that you’re doing to have people on your show and to share people’s stories to impact other people globally. I think that is unbelievable. So you keep going because you are a rock star.
Tune in to the episode to hear the rest of my incredible interview with the amazing Scherrie Keating.