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Welcome Grace!

Lacuna Loft is excited to continue introducing some guest bloggers! These great folks represent a variety of perspectives on the myriad of topics covered here at Lacuna Loft. Before everyone starts really getting into the nitty-gritty of all they have to say, we wanted to introduce them a bit. Without further ado, here is Grace!

Hello all!

I’m Grace van Velden. I was born in South Africa, grew up partly in Michigan, and am currently living in Boston. I’m passionate about environmental conservation, public health, cancer research, beekeeping, and camping. Though I am beginning my Masters in Public Health program in Fall 2015, my health journey began a long time before.

When I was 17, I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare and painful form of juvenile bone cancer. After nearly a year of chemotherapy and several surgeries, I was declared cancer free (!) and began freshman year at university three weeks later. I held onto my cancer experience as a powerful and formative piece of my identity to give me strength and challenge me to be the most positive person I can be. When I was re-diagnosed at 21, this attitude, and my many wonderful friends and family, are what carried me through.

Today I am happy to be cancer free again, but I don’t regret my cancer experience. It taught me find strength of spirit, to live every moment with intention, to laugh at life’s absurdities (which most of the time involve me!), to smile at strangers, to appreciate the wonders of the natural world, and to seize every opportunity presented to me.

I am so excited to be a contributor on LacunaLoft and I cannot wait to learn and grow with you all. I welcome all new friends so please reach out to me in one of my posts if you like.