1. Episode 76: ⁠Cindy Gersch⁠ & ⁠Manifest: 7 Steps to Living Your Best Life⁠ by ⁠Roxie Nafousi⁠ John M Jaramillo 1:02:09

Episode 76: Cindy Gersch & Manifest: 7 Steps to Living Your Best Life by Roxie Nafousi

For this conversation, Cindy, an Entrepreneur and Rare Disease Advocate, walks me through how her life changed dramatically when she was diagnosed with Fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) in 2018. Cindy shares that she lost almost everything — her husband, her running, her job, most of her friends — she felt made her who she was at that point — her identity.

A close brush with death woke her up, though, showing her she could be a healthy person living with a disease instead of an unhealthy person living with a disease. She made that intentional choice and moved forward, doing what she does best — telling

Having studied broadcast journalism and spent years as reporter — a natural storyteller — she founded her own company and later became an advocate for those living with FMD. It was through that advocacy path of her journey that she realized her purpose
had put her on a stronger path than she might have otherwise experienced had she never gone through her painful health challenges.

Tough days, tough experiences — how do they change us and what do we get out of them? Everything happens for a reason. It’s up to us to explore and understand what that reason may be, no
matter how painful, no matter how ugly those experiences are.

Purpose has almost become cliché, brought up so often that with each mention it loses some meaning. I recently had a conversation with college business students, sharing with them that they would know when they met theirs. That it’s not the same
path for everyone — but they would know it. And that it fell on them, if they wanted to find it, to stay curious and hungry enough to keep exploring.

Don’t underestimate the power of purpose, that insatiable personal fire, fuel, and driver. Cindy herself here shares how much more she gets out of life now that she has that purpose
that fires her up. 

Conversation Highlights

  • Even though things may feel as down as they can be, there is always a silver lining.
  • The value of having the 1 dime (true friend) vs. 10 pennies (friends who might not come through)
  • We don’t give ourselves enough love.
  • What would the letters you would write to your younger self say?

The MAIN QUESTION underlying my conversation with Cindy is, In life, especially in those moments where you feel lost, how are you intentionally designing your path forward?



Cindy is a former CBS and military reporter who covered the attacks on September 11th. With a successful career in corporate marketing for multi-billion-dollar developers, she eventually founded her own award-winning agency specializing in strategic marketing. She is also a former marathoner who has completed 13 full marathons, including the iconic Boston Marathon. Her life took a unique turn when she was diagnosed with a rare vascular disease, becoming a spokesperson for rare and chronic diseases. As a world traveler and Buffalo Bills diehard fan, Cindy is also a dedicated single mom to her 16 and 13-year-old children. Her story is one of Resilience, determination, and advocacy, inspiring others with her unique experiences and passion for making a difference in the world.


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John M. Jaramillo Leadership Performance Coach

John M. Jaramillo is founder and leadership performance coach and consultant at Coach It Out, LLC.

In that capacity he helps clients throughout the organizational hierarchy break through to their next level of leadership performance and effectiveness. Clients realize just how much more of their abilities, experiences, and goals they can bring to the table. His professional experience in the public and private, profit and non-profit sectors allows him to transfer lessons across business industries, organizational structures, and leadership needs.

In addition to coaching, he enjoys writing, presenting and speaking on leadership branding and design as well as hosting two podcasts -- The Book Leads: Impactful Books For Life & Leadership and Mindset Talks: Life Beyond The Checkboxes.