Last week approximately 400 people from around the world gathered in Nashville, TN to attend the 7th Eden Alternative International Conference. The Eden Alternative, whose mission is to eradicate loneliness, helplessness and boredom from the aging population, was also celebrating it’s 20th anniversary!
The awards recognition ceremony was a highlight among the many events that took place. Lisa Shaheen, who lives at Signature HealthCare At Sunrise Manor, was honored with the International Eden Elder Award!
Lisa, pictured above with Dr. Bill Thomas, founder of the Eden Alternative, was one of several nominees for the prestigious award.
In 2013, Lisa’s journey began to inspire many at Signature Healthcare when she learned to paint using only her mouth. Lisa, suffering from MS had lost control of most of the muscle strength in her body. When the opportunity to participate in the online art gallery presented itself, she was immediately saddened because she knew there was no opportunity for her to learn to paint. With the help of Quality of Life Director, Sally Rineker and Restorative Aide, Amanda Ploude, Lisa learned to manipulate a paint brush using her mouth only and soon created her first masterpiece “Sunrise Over The Ocean.” The beauty of her art serves as a reminder of how purpose and passion can teach us to overcome any obstacle that life may throw in our path.
The inspiration doesn’t stop there though. Lisa also worked with a team of Elders this past fall to raise $20,000 for a local child with Leukemia! I remember when I asked her about this, she said, “We can accomplish anything we want to!”
Lisa’s positive attitude and determination have inspired so many. It is through her wisdom and life experience that we learn to eliminate fear and follow our dreams! The barriers that life give us are nothing if we press forward with sheer determination and vision. dreams.
To learn more of Lisa’s experience check out this video profile Reflect N Us Artist Profile
– Angie McAllister, Director of Cultural Transformation – Rural