Storyteller & Photographer
Int’l Award Wining Poet
Irish Wit & Wisdom
Art with Purpose
I Am One of Seven Sisters
I always felt that we were special. I have only ever met one other person who was one of seven sisters. During the time I worked at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, I administered chemotherapy for five years. I worked with an oncologist who was also one of seven sisters. She told me her sister in New York City had just met someone who was also one of seven sisters. I told the doctor, “She just met my sister who lives in Brooklyn.” It took awhile to confirm, but that is exactly what happened. Random, that we would work together in an ever growing Mayo Clinic. Even more random that the two in New York City would cross paths.
When I moved to North Phoenix in 2013, I discovered a nearby mountain range called “The Seven Sisters”. During my chronic illness, I also discovered a constellation named Pleiades with the nickname of “The Seven Sisters”. This is just one of many synchronicities that God has orchestrated as a sign for me during my illness. I have been receiving a great deal of healing by expressing myself through art during these 18 years but especially during the last two. Combining these abstract ideas is the grand design for the name of my company.
My mission to accomplish helping the disabled in general starts with holding states, cities, and companies accountable for blatantly breaking the American Disabilities Act – ADA of 1990. Noncompliance of this Federal Law is all around me in Arizona so this is where I will start. I don’t want to hurt or dismantle area businesses, I’m pro business! I want the City of Phoenix and surrounding cities and towns to thrive! I want to help build them more INCLUSIVE!!! With 25% of their constituents/customers/clients disabled, they need to understand the challenges a tad bit better. They need to modify where they can. Each one of is unique… like a snowflake. Disabled and Able. That is how I think of myself. Disabled and Able… I just need a little help. At least 25% of the profits from consulting and negotiations will be used to build the Seven Sisters Community Healing Centers (SSCHC).
I will also be an advocate for sexual abuse/sexual assault victims. By telling my own story publicly of being sexually assaulted at age 14, I want to steer other victims towards a website where you can tell your story in a safe environment RAINN.org. Like many victims, I held onto the secret of sexual assault for decades not understanding the toll it was taking and had taken on my life. I want to drive sexual assault out of the shadows.
The sales of my Art and Merchandise will be offered when I have more infrastructure. At least 25% of the profits of these sales will be used to build the Seven Sisters Community Healing Centers (SSCHC).
Another source of income will come from like minded individuals and companies large and small. Listen… I don’t have a trust fund. I have a social security check and some savings that I am using as seed money. Humanity that can envision the concepts documented below, please consider giving to my cause. In kind donations are also accepted.
My vision of the Healing Centers are these seven main features.
- Multiple warm water therapy pools with temps between 95° – 100° Fahrenheit. They have amazing healing qualities:
- Improvement of Chronic pain
- Improvement General Mental Health
- Improvement of tension on muscles/joints
- Safe way to start exercising
- Swimming lessons for all ages. Teaching kids and adults to swim will decrease the drowning rates within each community.
- There will be classrooms for art lessons. There will also be a Certified Art Therapist working with individuals for Art Therapy.
- There will be a courtyard for mixed use space, but at the center a beautiful pond with fish to teach young and old about nature. Astronomy classes will also be offered.
My goal is to create the first SSCHC in North Phoenix, then Syracuse, NY (my hometown), then Jacksonville, FL (my second hometown), then Tampa, FL (my third hometown). The buildings will be built so that replication will be easy. The pools will be outfitted with ADA compliant pool chair lifts so that most of the disabled can access the pools safely and easily. The centers built stateside will put to work as many Veterans per site and utilize as many “Made In The USA” products as possible. They will have A/C and heat making them operational all year long. We will use as much green technology as possible. The staff will be bilingual as needed. I will share these plans with the world because that’s what I do with a good idea! Now, I’m not going to turn down a donation for the blueprints, but one is not needed to decrease human suffering or death on a global scale.
The 5th feature of the SSCHC would be to construct a Watsu Instruction Center. This center will produce certified instructors that will offer their services at the SSCHC. Watsu is a warm water therapy practice that combines muscle stretching, massage, joint mobilization, and Shiatsu (acupressure). It has been proven to improve symptoms of chronic pain, arthritis, anxiety, depression, and PTSD to name a few. Why do I want to build a school rather than hire certified practitioners?
- Candidates must be licensed massage therapists with 300-500 hours of practice prior to school application.
- There is a severe shortage of Certified Watsu Practitioners. You will find most at resorts or in private practice. The certification process takes 2-3 years.
- There are only a handful of certified schools mostly operating in California and Florida. I would create just one school per region initially. The Watsu schools may be operated by a third party.
The impact of the SSCHC and the Watsu schools will be felt in many areas of the state and local economies. Increasing tax revenue, increasing jobs, and a happier and healthier community to name just a few. There is a HUGE BENEFIT for those taking pain, anti-anxiety, depression, or PTSD medication. With regular use of warm water therapy your symptoms should decrease. During this process, your MD can evaluate when a possible decrease in your medication can be attempted. I dream of a day when doctors and insurance companies will look at these treatments and other “alternative treatments” as front-line therapy or at least as a combination with medication vs. medication alone. This concept may be earth shattering to those in their IVORY TOWERS but COMMON SENSE to those who have lived with chronic illness. Insurance companies know if they approve warm water therapy and Watsu for people in need, they will have to ensure that their members have access to it. My words to the Big and Powerful Oz… I mean Insurance Companies… to build it and they will come… with copays.
The 6th feature of the SSCHC is that it can foster a sense of community. The sense of belonging to something bigger than yourself is an innate need we all have. I pray that neighbors can meet neighbors where all ages, races, genders, religions, the disabled or not are welcome.
The 7th feature of the SSCHC is an Oath of sorts. A Declaration of Independence that all patrons will be asked to recite as they enter. It goes like this…
I am beautiful!
I am smart!
I love myself!
I love others even if they don’t look like me or speak my language!
I can accomplish anything!
I have a great imagination!
I will DREAM BIG every day!
- Americans with Disabilities – 61 million
- That is 1-in-4 adults
- Most common disability – mobility issues
- Info From: Disability Impacts All of Us Infographic – CDC
- Americans with Chronic Pain – 53 million
- That is 20.4% of the US population
- Worldwide chronic pain 1.5 billion. That is 1-in-5 people!
- Info From: Chronic Pain and High-impact Chronic Pain Among U.S. Adults, 2019 – CDC
- Sexual Assault Victims’
- 1-in-3 women will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime
- 1-in-4 men will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime
- 1-in-2 LGBTQIA2S+ will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime
- Info From: Sexual Violence is Preventable – CDC
- Sexual Abuse & Pain
- 12% – 40% of survivors of childhood sexual abuse will go on to develop chronic pain as adults
- Info From: Here’s How Chronic Pain And Sexual Abuse Are Connected
- Americans Living with Disability Related to Traumatic Brain Injury – 5.3 million
- 2.8 million accidents w/ TBI per year
- 50,000 of those fatal
- 2.3 million American’s per year added to the stats of TBI’s
- Info From: International Brain Injury Association
Add the untold thousands of people that got COVID and developed “Long COVID” and “Brain Fog” and still have it many months out. These people may be in need of neurocognitive testing done to identify the cognitive deficits and how that relates to them doing their job and/or performing activities of daily living. This information was found on the BIAAZ.org. The results of testing would determine disability status.
This picture of me was taken in 2001 looking out the Leprechaun Door @ Coleman’s Irish Pub established in 1933 by my Grandfather!
Coleman’s is located on Tipperary Hill just 2 blocks down from the Infamous Traffic Light!
Legend has it that I was born under the infamous traffic light on Tipperary Hill. As a young child I always had fun at Aunt Mary’s art table anytime she visited. A kind local photographer placed a twinlens camera and film in my 10 year old hands. Mr. Speedie published my photographs in a small local newspaper. I also dreamed of being a writer. Becoming disabled 18 years ago awakened the creative I was always meant to be. The creative I always was.
Art with purpose
Seven Sisters Advocacy with Art
About Kathleen Coleman
I was born and raised in a sheltered and strict Irish Catholic family in Syracuse, NY. I am one of 7 daughters born to a working-class family. We lived in a 150 year old farm house. The mice ran through the walls at night telling me bedtime stories. I did not receive much love and affection from my parents as a young child. In 3rd grade, I received a “spanking” from my parents. The next morning I could not open my mouth and my whole back, neck and shoulders were not able to move. No one took me to the doctor. It was one of many family mysteries that no one wanted to help me solve. I graduated from Fayetteville-Manlius High School Cum Laude… No, that wasn’t me, that was two of my four older sisters. I was the Class Clown. A few other things happened during high school.
In September 1976, I was playing soccer at FM and fractured my ankle. I was 14 and a sophomore. A week later it was discovered my ankle was not set correctly. As an inpatient awaiting surgery to reset my broken ankle, I was sexually assaulted by 4 doctors (interns & residents) one after the other. I told no one of these assaults carrying the blame, shame, and guilt with me for 40 plus years.
5 months later my Mom would die at the same hospital of metastatic breast cancer. Being the oldest at home, I became mini mom for 1.5 years. Weekly grocery shopping with my dad and making dinner every night. Keeping the house running and an eye on my 12- and 14-year-old sisters. My dad would wander in between 9-11pm for the second shift dinner while I was doing homework at the kitchen table. Homemaker and high school student and I didn’t even take Home Ec.
My Dad remarried in October 1978 to a wonderful woman. We all loved her, and she made my dad so happy. And I was able to be just a kid my senior year.
Then onto Niagara University where I graduated with a triple major. A BS in Nursing, a BA in Student Government and a BA in Alcoholism (Niagara its not your fault, Alcoholism has been in my family for generations… past and present. I started my professional career back in Syracuse at the same hospital where I was sexually assaulted. After one year I moved to Jacksonville, FL. I needed to see the sun and not see the snow! And I needed to forget about my past. But it was etched into my soul and I carried it with me everywhere I went. In Jacksonville, I served as a Lieutenant in the Naval Reserves during Desert Storm 1990-1999. As a part of my military training, I was assigned to a school and became a Certified Health Care Risk Manager. I also worked at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville for 11 years.
I left Mayo Clinic and moved to Tampa for love, marriage number two, but unfortunately no baby carriage in June 2001. On July 1, 2004, I had a career ending accident at work that would leave me disabled in my contorted left hand, wrist, arm, shoulder and left upper back. I had been a Nurse for 21 years. I was diagnosed with a neurological pain condition called CRPS, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, aka The Suicide Pain Disorder. I would be in severe pain 24/7. In June 2005, the CRPS, aka RSD, spread to my right hand, wrist and arm. In October 2008, while visiting a friend in a 2-story house, both knees swelled like watermelons. It was determined that the CRPS has spread to both knees making it very difficult for me to move for years. It took me three years before I could bend my knees again with mild to moderate pain. While I lived in Tampa with CRPS I was never out of pain. Pain everyday for over 9 years ranging between 5-10/10.
In August of 2008 I sustained a moderate whiplash injury in a motor vehicle accident after leaving a Healing Mass. Yes, even God has a sense of humor! In 2010 and 2011 I was involved in smaller car accidents in parking lots. I kept telling my doctors that something was wrong with my brain. Over the years they did two MRI’s that were normal, but I was unable to understand what to ask for next. Although I was married, I had no advocate. I moved to Arizona in September 2013 by myself. Within 3 months one of my doctors suggested some testing. I was found to have a traumatic brain injury affecting the Executive Function area of my brain with significant cognitive deficits. I was evaluated to be functioning at an 8th grade level! This led to occupational therapy and speech therapy 3x a week for over a year. At another facility, I had eye therapy 2x a week for a year. When I would read a sentence one eye tracked forward and one backward at the same time. And then I would lose my place and reread starting the process all over again. In Tampa and Phoenix I was speaking three or four word sentences. I would look to my husband to fill in the blanks when people didn’t understand. A six year gap from the MVA to therapy starting is a crime that I was too ill to seek justice for.
I divorced in 2017, and we have found a path of forgiveness and friendship. Like most former spouses, there are times of tension and silence then times of trust and friendship. I would not only have to forgive him but to rely on him again due to my poor health while detoxing off 3 narcotics over 3.5 years. I tapered of OxyContin in 2018. I tapered off Oxycodone in 2019. And I tapered off Nucynta in 2021. I did not go on Methadone or Suboxone. Most people doing so take that medication for the rest of their lives. In my case, it did not make sense to me to add an additional medication to a full array of other pharmaceuticals. Forgiveness was pivotal for me to accomplish my destiny. During my 18 year chronic illness, I would lose all of my college and high school friends that had been with me for 30+ years. I also lost Mayo Clinic work friends, other Florida friends, immediate and other extended family members. The few that I have, you know who you are! They dropped out of my life one at a time. Pain experts say very few people will understand your pain condition on any level. I thought by giving them a website to reference, they would better understand my pain and the changes it caused in me. I learned you can’t make people love you or care about you. Believe me… I tried for most of my life. 18 years of isolation! This emotional pain was added to my already intense physical pain.
On 7/1/21 was the 17th anniversary of my accident at work that disabled me. On 7/1/21 was the first day of me being narcotic-free in 17 years! I still have pain in both arms but I manage it with a variety of techniques and other meds. My knees are much less painful in this Arizona climate and as long as I avoid stairs they keep quiet. The power of prayer is undeniable. It gets you where you need to be physically, mentally and spiritually. I would not be here without my Faith.
I have written about many of the challenges I have faced in my life to inform the readers about my character. I have tenacity, grit, boldness, determination and perseverance. I am ethical, honest and a truth teller. I am a VICTIM turned SURVIVOR. I am “The Salt of the Earth” born in a city known as “The Salt City”.
I am a Modern Day Warrior
Let Me Introduce You to My Staff
Fiona Coleman, CEO
Chief Entertainment Officer
Fiona Coleman, CESO
Chief Emotional Support Officer
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