Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year, New Endeavor

Happy New Year to you all.

 I am taking 2016 by storm. After a few months of preparation I am ready to start the new year with a brand new business. Golden Gate Independence Advocates is on the launchpad and ready to begin.

When Maggie passed away, I not only lost my daughter, but I lost my entire way of life. I spent her entire life managing her very complicated care. I had to deal with not only with my grief, but also had to reinvent my life. Either situation is difficult. Both together are crippling.

Initially I returned to UCSF Benioff Childrens' Hospital as a Parent Liaison helping other parents of hospitalized children navigate the hospital. That was okay for a while and really helped me get my feet back underneath me. I enjoyed it,  but the hospital could not give me enough hours or responsibility to make it worthwhile for me. I left there in April determined to find a job that would marry my professional training as an attorney with my personal experience being a health advocate for a person who could not advocate for herself.

I assumed that would be easy; in fact I got an interview for a good position almost immediately but that didn't pan out. Neither did the next thing. It wasn't easy at all. I was not getting the interviews or offers for the positions I wanted and was being invited to interview for positions that either did not interest me or could not pay me appropriately.  To be honest, my personal experience doesn't quite translate to a resume very well. One woman suggested I put Maggie on my resume, which was not bad advice, but I simply could not bring myself to do that.

After a while I had to reevaluate what I was doing and how I was going about it. Yes, I want to be paid and will not consider too low of a rate, but money is not the driving force. I need flexibility and independence; I have obligations in the world that I want to continue to honor and cannot be tied to a low paying 9 to 5 job. I realized that the only way to accomplish that was to do something on my own.

So I did.

My thought was to offer medical advocacy and benefit management services to those who need it focusing mostly on seniors. My sister Joni suggested widening that to include day to day errands, pet care and many other services that can help people stay independent. So I did. And Golden Gate Independence Advocates (GGIA) was born.

I am excited to be doing something to meet a growing need in our community and happy to be moving myself forward on my own terms. Doing this kind of work honors all my years with Maggie as well as my professional experience.

Check out and let us know if someone you know in San Francisco or Marin County can use our help.


  1. How fantastic. I feel almost bursting with pride that I know you. Honestly!

  2. This is a great idea on so many levels - it's a fantastic match to your skills and it's sorely needed by our society. Many of us live so far from our parents and feel keenly the need to have a local advocate on their behalf. So even if the elders themselves don't seek out your services, their children will!

  3. Wondered if you saw 13 Hours? Or does it hit too close to home. Thought of your family when the movie came out


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