Turning Trials into Triumphs – Creating Your Legacy

Valeri Bocage CEO
Powerful Women International Connections

Our lives are a journey filled with unlimited choices, new lessons to be learned, and endless possibilities to turn trials into triumphs. We have the freedom to choose our career, hobbies, friends or life partners. We define our lives with emotion and reason, and our journey gives us many incredible stories to share.

When life flows in a positive manner, we feel we have made positive choices. However, what happens when we face trials leaving us no choice, feeling helpless and off the path of our life’s journey?


Unexpectedly and unfortunately, we experience hurricanes, fires, car accidents, etc. We are thrown a curve ball, immediately forcing our life off course. When this happens, I say, “We have our plans for our lives, then God has His.” This helps me emotionally prepare for detours and trials that may come my way and opens my mind to the limitless, bright future I can create from it. I’ve heard the quote by Han Nolan, “There is always light after the dark. You have to go through that dark place to get to it, but it’s there waiting for you.”

After experiencing my own trials, I have learned they are not obstacles but rather stepping stones to a brighter future. I’ve said, “If there is light after the darkness fades, my light is going to be REALLY bright!!” This gives me the power to create a brighter future. The positive thought enables me to move toward where I need to be.

During harrowing circumstances, we often gain new focus. With a new focus, comes new found strength and vision. Our belief in that vision prompts us to action. We may feel there is a new person inside ourselves, which we didn’t know existed until this trial came into our lives. With our new mindset filled with energy and focus, we forge a new, better path, turning our trials into triumphs.

Donyel’s Story

One of our members in New Orleans, Donyel, went through three months of horrific trials. Donyel was working as an X-ray technician and her husband, Scott was a musician who wrote and recorded songs. He sent a CD of his music to a California producer, who invited him to visit and discuss a contract. Scott meticulously rehearsed his songs to ensure he was fully prepared to meet with the producer. Donyel prepared to make the trip to California with Scott.

Just as the two were ready to leave, they learned that Donyel was pregnant. She was in need of completing home updates in preparation for their new little addition. Donyel was overwhelmed with joy in anticipation of her first baby and knowing her husband was ready to negotiate a music contract.

The Dark Tunnel

Soon, Donyel began to have abdominal pain and went to see her Obstetrician. The doctor told her she had lost the baby. Both Donyel and Scott were devastated. Together, they made the trip to California and Scott landed the music contract! But while they were away, their house caught fire and they returned to ruins. Freeloaders took whatever remained after the fire. They were now homeless.

A week or so later, Scott began to experience some lower back pain and visited his doctor. He and Donyel were not really worried, as Scott was a picture of health, working out daily as a body builder. Once test results came back, they revisited the doctor only to learn that Scott had Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. The prognosis was dim as the doctor told him he had three months to live. He died within a month.

Donyel felt numb for over a year. The trauma of losing her child and husband was more than she could bear. Little by little, she began to awake from her dark nightmare which took a three-month span of her life. Energy and focus began to arrive. Donyel knew she needed to act and educate as many people as she could about the disease. She wanted to help others prevent cancer, so they did not have to experience the same trials as she did.

Donyel’s Bright Light

Donyel diligently did her research and then, began speaking to organizations and corporations about pancreatic cancer. To raise more awareness, she started The Scott Jackson Foundation, a non-profit. Her new vision was to save lives! She moved to action, spreading the word through events she coordinated with doctors, hospitals, and city leaders. She also completed her first golf tournament fund-raiser in New Orleans City Park to help raise money for families with pancreatic cancer.

Donyel took her trials and turned them into a triumph, building her legacy through the Foundation, educational events, and fund-raising. She has found great healing through helping others fight for their lives.

Donyel Jackson (fourth from left) and her Team at the first
Golf Tournament for Pancreatic Cancer in City Park, New Orleans.

Donyel Jackson (top left picture) with city leaders and
community citizens with her pancreatic awareness event to help save lives.

“We can turn our greatest trials into triumphs, creating our best legacies.” ~Valeri Bocage

Ms. Marion Bieber

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