Darryle Pollack is an author and "accidental " artist whose inspiring journey has made her a role model for resilience, authenticity and vitality. Her life has included a series of pioneering experiences: at Yale, in television journalism, health and social media. At the same time, challenges including Stage III breast cancer caused Darryle to say "I never signed up for this" so often, those words are the title of her TED talk, her book and her blog. An online influencer and thought leader, she mines her own life experiences and expertise to deliver her platform messages with humor, humanity, and hope.
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Featuring her inspiring TEDx talk on its website, Upworthy describes Darryle Pollack as "a woman on a journey." That remarkable journey of unexpected highs and lows has made Darryle a role model of resilience, authenticity and vitality.
Darryle's life started off almost magically positive: being in the first class of women to graduate from Yale, a pioneering career as a woman reporter and anchor in TV news; Mel Brooks introducing her to her husband. But she also encountered speed bumps and boulders - her mother's premature death at 41, a divorce, a diagnosis of Stage III breast cancer as a young mom with two small children.
Forced to face what she most feared, Darryle's life spun around. Cancer was the catalyst which helped her tap into her own strength and resilience, and to realize that she could help others access those same qualities in themselves.
Always "artistically challenged," while trying to recover from cancer Darryle accidentally discovered the healing power of art, developing a passion that led her to open her own art studio and to become, as she puts it, "the artist of her own life." Her epiphany was realizing that making mosaics was not just therapeutic; it was also a metaphor for life itself.
Life often breaks things that are beautiful to us. Picking up and putting together broken pieces of tile was exactly what Darryle was doing with broken pieces of her life, rearranging them to create something different that could be beautiful in a new way.
After nearly 19 years as a survivor, cancer remains a big piece of Darryle's life. A pioneer in the field of patient advocacy, she teaches others to advocate for their own health; and has served as an advisor for the American Cancer Society Blogger Advisory Council.
Her Power Pieces mosaic workshops help others de-stress and develop a resiient mindset.
Cancer is only one example of how Darryle mines her own life to deliver her platform message focused on what can make the most difference and value for others, helping them become more resilient, more authentic, and more vital whether that applies to health, body image, parenting, relationships, and aging.
In addition to anecdotes and expertise, another essential element of Darryle's style is humor. During her
recovery from cancer, she collected stories and created a video called "What's So Funny About Cancer" , empowering survivors to be able to laugh at what they feared most. She's even found humor in the loss of her breasts, via her line of mosaics called Boobalas, which she calls "thinking outside the bra". Inspirational, Imaginative, and irreverent, these pieces represent a creative way to address body image issues and express the message that our bodies don't define who we are.
Equally determined to prove that our age also does not define us, Darryle is a shining example of aging with vitality. An early adopter of blogging and social media, she is an online influencer and thought leader, who writes for many websites including The Huffington Post, and co-founded WHOA Network, Women Honoring our Age.
Because she never expected any of the above to be part of her life, Darryle's upcoming book, her TED talk, and her blog are titled "I never signed up for this...." In honor of all the times in her life she's said those words. And she continues to be, as Upworthy calls her, a woman on a journey.