To close out Nurses Week, I want to introduce you to an outstanding nurse in Charlotte - Lisa Miller Hedin. If you remember about two months back, I was a guest at the National Kidney Foundation Spurs and Sparkles Gala. Lisa was the coordinator and host of the event, which turned out amazing in Founders Hall. In 2015, Lisa was crowned the Ms. North Carolina America title. With her platform and background in Nursing, she has sought to promote awareness and change in Charlotte for Kidney Disease and awareness.
Describe yourself in three words:
Loyal, Determined and Focused
How did you become involved with Kidney Disease:
When I was a young nursing student 25 years ago, my father came down with kidney disease. I walked into the ICU unit while he was connected to life support and there was a dialysis machine attached to him. I was devastated that my father, who was only 48 years old was dying right in front of me and his kidneys had failed. I now realize that all that pain I felt while seeing my father in such a devastated state, that was God preparing me for my purpose in life. Most times, our greatest pain in life becomes our purpose in this lifetime.
From that day forward, I have always kept kidney disease on the forefront. My career has been around my passion of kidney disease.
When I won the Ms. North Carolina America title in 2015 I knew I wanted to align with the National Kidney Foundation to get the word out. Being Ms. North Carolina America was the segway for me to make several media appearances and events to bring awareness about kidney disease in the state of North Carolina.
It was so much fun and such a pleasure to work with the staff at the National Kidney Foundation, Carolina's office. We all had the same goal and we united to achieve those goals
My motivation has always been remembering how kidney disease impacts patients and families. More people die of kidney disease than breast cancer. That statistic puts it in perspective. As I work with the NKF by educating the public on the simple screening and bring awareness, I get more motivated each day when I hear stories of the lives we saved.
What do you consider your greatest professional achievement?
When I think of professional achievement, it does not include the corner office, climbing up the corporate ladder, getting a huge bonus or getting an award. I measure my professional achievement by my happiness. I am one lucky girl to have developed a career around my passion and purpose life.
Yes at one time I wanted that corner office, but as I grow older I now understand what is important in life. What is important is being happy and at peace.
I am a Registered Nurse that specializes in kidney disease. I am currently employed as a Senior Clinical Educator for a major medical manufacturing company that manufactures kidney disease products.
I go to work everyday and it does not feel like work. I think in life, that is so important because we spend so much time at work and so many people are discontent. In my case, when work doesn't feel like work--Now that is professional achievement.
2015 was quite a year for me because of the Ms. North Carolina America title and traveling to the Ms. America pageant. It was never about the crown during my reign as Ms. North Carolina it was all about living out my purpose and bringing kidney disease to the forefront. With that being said, I didn't win the Ms. America title but I won the award that was the heart and soul of what I was trying to achieve. It was the "Woman of Distinction" award that was based on beauty, intelligence and humanitarian effort of what the American woman represents. I couldn't have been more honored that the Ms. America pageant presented me with that award.
I would also have to say the success of the National Kidney Foundation's "Spurs & Sparkles" gala. It was the first gala in Charlotte and I was honored to be chosen as the chairperson for this event. I had an incredible team of people who executed my vision. We raised a lot of money and awareness in the city of Charlotte that night. I am proud to say that we will be having another gala next year and we are currently working on the plans. So stay tuned and look for details.
What are you professional goals in the next six months?
I am going to stay right on track with what I have been doing for the last 20+ years. I am firm believer if something isn't broke--don't try to fix it.
I hope to continue to touch lives and save lives. I am excited for some events that are coming up to raise more awareness for the National Kidney Foundation, Carolinas.
June 11th-Charlotte Kidney Walk (Come walk with us)
August 15th--National Kidney Foundation-Golf Classic (Peninsula Club)
What is your goal for retirement?
My number one goal is to retire healthy so I can enjoy retirement and live out the remaining items on my bucket list.
I want no regrets on the last day of my life whenever that may be.
Do you have any advice for our readers?
As I said previously that 2015 was quite a year for me. Not because of all the things I achieved and experienced, but because it was the final stage of rebuilding my life.
I know and see so many women go through divorces and scared to death to start over. If I can give any advice to starting over is focus on one step at a time. Only do one step and do it well. For me, I had started a plan that took years to rebuild because it was one step at a time. This final stage of getting myself healthy and whole again was the final step to allow myself to open my heart for anything new that may come into my life.
Yes, I wanted to give up many times during my peaks and valleys of life. In fact, when I won Ms. North Carolina America I almost gave it up and if that would have happened I would not be here today writing this for you to read.
During those times, I had an internal flame that would not die when faced with the hardest times that no one should have to endure.
So, keep your flame going and never let it go out because one day the right circumstance will happen or someone will come into your life and say the right thing at the right time--and in my case, I had a friend look at me with such determination and told me to "Own It". That was the fuel that I needed for that flame to ignite..and the rest is history!
FOLLOW ALONG WITH LISA
Check out the National Kidney Foundation Carolinas website for all the upcoming events this year and don't forget about the annual gala that will be held in Feb-March 2017. It's an event you will not want to miss. I loved attending last year and hope to attend next year as well!
National Kidney Foundation Carolinas