An inspirational speaker may motivate us to make a change or inspire us to improve our lives. But what if an inspirational speaker actually saved the life of someone in the audience? This was a question I posed to a group of cause speakers. Here are their stories:

Alexis Moore

“At a speaking engagement, a member of the audience was experiencing domestic violence in their relationship. During October Domestic Violence Awareness month, the audience member came to one of my speaking engagements and listened to me share my story. An audience member was at the point of wanting to take her own life because of how bad and miserable her situation was. After listening to me speak about my attempted suicide, and why I was so glad that I didn’t take my own life.. well it inspired her not to take her’s. She contacted me months later to thank me for speaking out about abuse, and for helping to inspire her to flee the abusive relationship she was in and restart her life.”

Alexis Moore is a risk management consultant, author of the book Cyber Self-Defense and a speaker on topics pertaining to cybercrime and abuse, including domestic violence.

Crystal Brown-Tatum

“I spoke at a hospital fundraiser and shared my story of finding my own lump after a shower. One woman in attendance had found a similar lump that she was ignoring. A few weeks later, I received an email that she had gone to the doctor after hearing my speech and she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She said if I had not been specific in my details that she may not have taken her own lump very seriously.”

Crystal is a highly sought out breast cancer speaker and advocate and has spoken at the Sisters Network National Breast Cancer conference, Susan G. Komen Survivoship luncheon, The Mermaid Project fundraiser, Job Corps of Shreveport, Kiwanis International, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. Regional conference as well as sharing her journey on Capitol Hill. Her story has been featured in dozens of oncology publications including Prevention: Guide to Breast Cancer book, Cure, Coping with Cancer, SHAPE, Breast Cancer Wellness, Amoena magazine, Essence magazine and Ebony magazine.

Dawn Alexis Anderson

“I am a stroke survivor  so I advocate for those who find themselves in that situation. I spoke in 2013 at the National Heart and Stroke Association. I spoke of how I am a very young, athletic, sensible/healthy eating person that never smoked or usually was not a high risk for stroke. I never even knew the symptoms of a stroke yet in November 2012 I suffered 2 strokes within 2 weeks time. I spoke about how it is not just an old persons disease and the symptoms that I brushed off that were telltale signs of a stroke and pleaded with the audience to not ignore those signs and to get to the hospital immediately because you only have a small window of time when they can administer the antithrombotic to reduce residual effects from it. I shared my healthy habits and all that I had done to prevent any sort of disease but found myself immobilized and right side deficit in 2012.

During the luncheon a man came over to me and said his wife  was at the table behind me and wanted to speak to me. I noticed her when she came in because she looked to be struggling to walk as her husband helped her across the room. She was crying and said every symptom I shared that I had leading up to the stroke, she began experiencing that morning and it seemed to be becoming worse. She said to me “I think you just saved my life”, with tears in her eyes. I shared with her to go to the emergency immediately. Don’t wait. Her doctor told her to see if it worsened and to go in the next morning if she felt worse. I shared that I am not a doctor yet I am a person that has had those symptoms and a stroke so please go to the hospital and at least get it checked out. She said she would because of what I shared. We exchanged numbers. She left and I called her that evening. She said it changed her life and that speech saved her life. I am grateful.

Dawn Alexis Anderson is a cause speaker and author of the book “The Healer of  Them All”.

Barry Adkins

Barry Adkins is a speaker and the author of “Kevin’s Last Walk”. After the untimely death of his son to alcohol poisoning, Barry made it his mission to warn others about the dangers of binge drinking. His final walk with Kevin’s ashes from Arizona to Montana became the inspirational book on which he bases his speeches. After one such speaking engagement he received this letter from someone who was in the audience:

Barry, I just want to let you know that your presentation at our school just saved one of our student’s lives. You came to speak to us just a few weeks ago. We learned that this weekend there was a party and one of the students passed out. Because of what they learned from your story they were scared, but decided to get help for their friend. They put the life of their friend above the chance of them getting in trouble. The student had to be air lifted out and put on a ventilator. If they wouldn’t have called for help, he surely would have died. Even though it’s unfortunate that the student did drink as much as he did to get to that point, I am glad that his friends realized how serious his condition was. I just wanted to let you know that your story helped save a life!

3 Responses to “When an Inspirational Speaker Saves a Life”

  1. Ann Andrews CSP says:

    Julie hi – love it. Can I post this article on my website – Realise there are a lot of people mentioned in the article – hopefully they will want to share these stories. Let me know – ann

  2. Julie Austin says:

    Hi Ann. Sure, that would be fine. Thanks!

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