St. Michaels OCF Walk

Thank you to everyone who came out to the first St. Michaels Oral Cancer Foundation Walk on November 18th! It was a cold but beautiful day on the Nature Trail and I am so grateful for everyone who attended. Several oral cancer survivors and family members of patients attended the walk as did two warriors who are still battling this terrible disease. Together we raised over $7,000 for the OCF!!

Thank you, Gloria, for sharing your amazing story of resilience and courage! For more information on the foundation that Gloria started to help young oral cancer patients please visit Bravely Beautiful .

Thank you, Pam and Kia, for traveling from Tennessee and Arizona to volunteer at the event! Huge thank you to my dad, Eddie, Uncle Keith and cousins Josh and Alyssa who were a massive help at the walk.

Thank you to our awesome sponsors for funding the walk and Dr. Jared Nave and Amanda Ward for giving free oral cancer screenings to everyone who attended.

St. Michaels Oral Cancer Foundation Walk

Gloria is an oral cancer survivor and founder of Bravely Beautiful. Gloria will be sharing her story at the St. Michaels Oral Cancer Walk on November 18th and just celebrated her 5 year in remission anniversary! Thank you, Gloria, for sharing your story of resilience, determination and bravery!

“Take what life gives you and rock with it.”

– Gloria , oral cancer survivor

The Oral Cancer Foundation will be having a walk on the St. Michaels Nature Trail on November 18th, 2017. Registration will open at 8am and we will have free oral cancer screenings leading up to the walk. The two-mile walk will start at 9am and conclude with breakfast. Additionally, Gloria, an oral cancer survivor, will be sharing her amazing story of resilience.

In April 2012, at 26 years old, she was diagnosed with Stage II Squamous Cell Carcinoma on the left side of her tongue. She underwent treatment at Johns Hopkins Hospital, consisting of two surgeries and seven weeks of IMRT radiation therapy across three months.

In 2013, less than one year after her battle with oral cancer began, Gloria founded Bravely Beautiful, Inc. a Washington, D.C. based not-for-profit which aims to help young adults diagnosed with tongue cancer become fearless. The mantra of Bravely Beautiful is “take what life gives you and rock with it”.

In 2014, Bravely Beautiful submitted its business plan to LiveSTRONG’s Big C competition, a one-of-a-kind competition that generated innovations aimed at improving the daily quality of life for the 32.5 million people around the world living with cancer. With more than 750 entries from around the world, Bravely Beautiful qualified as a semi-finalist and was honored as a “promising project.” Additionally, Gloria is a proud supporter of the Oral Cancer Foundation and contributes much of her survivorship to the OCF and other groups who have connected her to fellow warriors.

Gloria is a marketing professional with more than ten years of professional experience working in advertising agencies and professional services. In her free time, Gloria loves being around her family and friends and staying active through indoor cycling classes and stand-up paddle boarding.

We are so honored to have Gloria attend our event and share her story. Please click the link for more event information.

St. Michaels Oral Cancer Walk

Rising Strength at Miles and Stockbridge

Yesterday, we had an awesome day at the law firm of Miles and Stockbridge! I shared the story behind Rising Strength and LeCarlo Beaty taught a self-defense course to the female lawyers who work there. We reviewed basic self-defense and situational awareness. Thank you, LeCarlo, for again teaching a great and fun course!

I can’t thank my dear friend, Beth Koloup, enough for helping organize this class. Beth is a lawyer at Miles and Stockbridge and has been a tremendous supporter and advocate of both Rising Strength and Carol’s Fight. Beth is the epitome of a great friend. I could not have gotten through the loss of my mom and overcome the attack without the support of amazing friends like Beth.

Thank you, Eddie, for always being so encouraging and supportive!

Free Self-Defense Class April 8th

“But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begin.”
-Mitch Albom

Free Self-Defense Class
April 8th
St. Michaels YMCA

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month and my sweet dad has asked to sponsor the self-defense class on April 8th in honor of my mom, Carol Layer, who lost a 9 year battle with oral cancer. I have no doubt that the fight I saw in my mom over the 9 years she fought cancer directly impacted the fight I had in me the night of the attack.

I saw my mom go through insurmountable obstacles due to oral cancer, but she continued to carry on and fight for more time with her family. I was so fortunate to have a mom like mine for 24 years and her influence continues to play a large role in my life today.

LeCarlo Beaty from Divas in Defense will be coming back to St. Michaels to teach life saving skills on April 8th. Thank you Tracy Cohee for again donating the space at the St. Michaels YMCA!

The class is free and all ages are welcome. We will be selling Rising Strength tanks at the class for $25 with 100% of the proceeds going to The Oral Cancer Foundation. My awesome and talented friend Beth Murray designed the logo. Thank you, B!!

Free Self Defense Class

Self Defense Class
St. Michaels YMCA
March 11th

LeCarlo Beaty from Divas in Defense will will be teaching a course on self-defense and situational awareness. These classes are about prevention, safety and building confidence. I started taking self-defense classes after surviving an attempted rape and murder in my home during a home invasion. Self defense gave me an outlet to channel my frustration and fears after the attack and lead to growth and healing. I hope to give as many women as possible the positive experience I had from self-defense classes.

We are able to provide this class for free due to the generosity of Benson and Mangold who is sponsoring this class and Tracey Cohee who donated the space at the YMCA.

Self-Defense in St. Michaels

1 in 6 women in America will survive an attempted or completed rape. 1 in 87 women in America will take a self-defense class.

Thank you to the women who braved the snow on Saturday to attend the self-defense class at the St. Michaels YMCA! It was a great morning with LeCarlo Beaty from Divas in Defense providing many life saving skills. We went over how to properly punch, kick and get out of holds. Thank you, LeCarlo, for your enthusiasm, professionalism and traveling over two-hours to get to the class!

We had women of all ages in attendance and received great feedback. Thank you,Tracy Cohee, for providing the space for the class and to your awesome staff for staying open in the snow storm! We will be providing another free self-defense class in the upcoming months.

Thanks, Eddie, for being the best “attacker” and photographer on Saturday 🙂

Free Self-Defense Class in St. Michaels


On December 10th, I will be hosting a free self-defense class at the St. Michaels YMCA from 10am-noon. LeCarlo Beaty will be teaching a course designed for women to learn how to prepare to physically defend themselves from being assaulted. LeCarlo is a personal trainer and has been practing MMA, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai Kickboxing for over 10 years. LeCarlo teaches self-defense classes to individuals privately and through the Divas in Defense programs.

In 2013, I was targeted by a paroled rapist who followed me back to my home while I was running. I was attacked in my home several hours later. I will be sharing the full story of my attack at the class and the role that self-defense played in helping me heal. This class is critical for women who run or take walks by themselves and high school students that will soon be heading out to college. If you are interested in attending the class please feel free to contact me directly at or through Facebook.

Rising Strength Farm Flow

Farm Flow

“Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise”

-Maya Angelou

This past fall, I reconnected with my high school soccer teammate Jamie Weymont after ten years of living in different states. Within moments of us spending time together it became clear that Jamie and I share a passion for connecting and empowering women. Before the day was over we had started to contemplate how we could combine our efforts.

On Saturday June 18, 2016 we held the first Rising Strength Women’s retreat, aptly called Rising Strength Farm Flow because of the beautiful farm that it was held on. I’ve been fortunate to have many incredible experiences but this past weekend will stay with me as one of the most powerful days I’ve ever had. The day was supposed to be focused around yoga, meditation and sharing the story behind Rising Strength but it became so much more when we opened the conversation in a group sharing circle. I cannot thank the women who attended enough for joining us and sharing your experiences. It was impossible to leave the day not feeling empowered by the strength and resilience of these women.

Thank you to all of the amazing women who shared their time and hearts with us on Saturday.  Thank you for making the Rising Strength Farm Flow such an unforgettable day.

Thank you to all of the amazing women who shared their time and hearts with us on Saturday. Thank you for making the Rising Strength Farm Flow such an unforgettable day.

Jamie, thank you for organizing a day that was called “magic” by more than one attendee. We are all blessed to know you and call you a friend! Thank you, Shelly for hosting us on your gorgeous farm.

Thank you, Kia for making it to this event!  So grateful for our friendship that has last long after our ETSU soccer days ended!

Thank you, Kia for making it to this event! So grateful for our friendship that has lasted long after our ETSU soccer days ended!

One of the coolest parts of the day was getting to spend time with women I went to high school with at John Carroll.  Thank you so much for coming it was beyond awesome to see you all!

One of the coolest parts of the day was getting to spend time with women I went to high school with at John Carroll. Thank you so much for coming it was beyond awesome to see you all!

1 in 6


1 in 6. That is the statistic reported by RAINN for the amount of women in America who survive an attempted or completed rape. I never would have believed this statistic until I became it on September 21, 2013. Unfortunately, every time I speak at a school or organize a self-defense class I have women and men share with me their story of abuse and rape. I was so fortunate to be able to get away from my attacker before I was raped or killed, but so many others do not get away.

Please take the time to read a powerful letter from a victim of rape to her attacker…Letter to Rapist

When I read her story, I think of how close I was to enduring the horror of rape and then having to deal with being in a hospital getting photographed and prodded while answering questions from police and having to face my family and friends after knowing that life would never be the same. I’ll never forget the look on my dad’s face when investigators told us how lucky I was to be alive. I think of that moment often and it fuels my passion to prevent this from happening to anyone else. While my heart breaks for this victim and what she has endured, I am also so proud of her for detailing her experience and putting it out there for the world to see.

I believe that we live in a country that is better than a 1 in 6 statistic. I will keep sharing my story and working to keep women safe and help survivors heal until we are better than that. Thank you to all the amazing people who are supporting me on this mission.

Upcoming Rising Strength Event