Gillian Nicole (right) and Lauren Kelley (left) met through unusual circumstances: both of their daughters were in treatment for different forms of childhood cancer. Through a common home health nurse, Gillian and Lauren discovered they had many things in common, such as being moms to four (at the time) children and a mutual love for vintage things and red lipstick, and an instant friendship began.
Gillian Nicole was born and raised in Santa Barbara, CA, where she and her husband met and were married. They have four children who keep them entertained constantly. Gillianhas a love of animals and nature. She currently has a mini farm on her one acre. Ducks, chickens, cats, dogs, rabbits, fish, and a pink snake make up her little zoo. She loves to write, read, garden, knit, crochet, cook, and tell stories. Gillian has dabbled in writing and creating recipes for a small newspaper. She has enjoyed teaching classes and creating crochet patterns. When she is not podcasting, she is homeschooling her kids two days a week in a home based hybrid charter school program.
Gillian is constantly looking for ways to bring awareness for childhood cancer. After her youngest daughter was diagnosed with Infant ALL (leukemia) at 10 months, old her family has been involved in fundraising for St. Baldricks, Cure Search, and children’s hospitals. Gillian also works in raising awareness of the lifelong side effects of childhood cancer. The family has rallied around Violet’s special needs since finishing treatment. From Dr’s visits to Violet’s many weekly therapies, their little village makes it work. Raising awareness and finding support for families going through medical trauma is something that is very close to Gillian’s heart.
Lauren Kelley, a lifelong lover of reading, writing, performing and public speaking, lives in Simi Valley, California and is wife to Aaron and mother to five children: Micah, Elizabeth, Hazel, Jonah and Zoey. In high school, Lauren’s commitment to the community was expressed through her dedicated membership in Girl Scouts of America, finishing the entire program; mission trips with her local church; and contributing countless volunteer hours. She was honored with awards in performing arts, interview skills and community service. Lauren was also named Ventura County Outstanding Teen and competed for California Outstanding Teen. She attended California State University Northridge and has always had a passion for writing and theatre—handy in her role as chaos coordinator for her husband and five children.
Lauren is an advocate for families affected by childhood cancer and speaks to groups about the devastation of these diseases. Her articles and interviews have appeared in local newspapers, Parents Magazine and The Huffington Post. Lauren is a fundraiser for St. Baldrick’s Foundation and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She has made childhood cancer advocacy trips to Washington D.C. to meet with members of Congress which were instrumental in the passing of The STAR Act: the most comprehensive childhood cancer legislation in US History.
Gillian and Lauren both share of love for human connection with honesty and transparency, and wanted to do more to keep their conversations about finding joy in the struggles of life going, so they decided to start a podcast. After only a month of talking about it for the first time, they were recording their first episode in their home studio and are not looking back! They hope they can inspire you to listen and to talk and can remind you that you are not alone!