Susan Case : I was born in Alaska, the first of four girls my parents would lovingly raise, while my dad was in the Air Force. We moved every 1 1/2 years when I was a youth, all around the country from Alaska to Mississippi, California, Oregon, Washington, Virginia, as the oldest daughter, I was the one who reached out in each new place to make friends for both me and my sisters. I developed such a passion for all of humanity and different colors and cultures and developed my voice to speak to anyone in order to both surround myself with people as well as to break into less superficial relationships with them quickly knowing I’d likely be leaving soon so I wanted to make an impact quickly. So many people tell friends their deepest secrets and traumas, and I had an ear, a shoulder, a non-judgmental way of building them up to help them make peace with their troubles by letting them know they were not alone, weird, at fault, etc. I was able to unite cliques and groups by teaching and modeling empathy, even at a young age.
My dad is truly my hero, and his love and empathy, compassion combined with action, lack of judgment and acceptance of all people, no matter what, are the most important things he taught me both through his words of wisdom and his tireless example of what “God’s love” for us is. We had very little money growing up, but I became resourceful, maybe even a bit funky, taught myself to cook with whatever we had around (not much), make toys and games out of things others may consider garbage, using my imagination to create fun for my sisters and me, even putting together crazy outfits from clothes others discarded which started trends with others.
I began working for a benefits company in the San Francisco Bay Area at 18 when I stayed back in the Bay Area and my family moved to Denver for my dad, who became a sought-after civil engineer, and I was on my own-sink or swim. I worked with empathy and personal responsibility as my driving ethical forces. As I was able to work directly with HIV patients (over the phone and in person) during San Francisco right at the beginning of the epidemic. I nurtured young men cast off by society, fought for their treatment, even just brought them soup or referred them to doctors I knew were having success in treating this disease. I made great strides there and was rewarded both with verbal praise from the people and companies I helped, as well as my own, a 6 week backpacking trip to Europe and the Greek Islands which helped solidify my global view of racial, social and equal human justice, as well as a scholarship for my final two years of University in the beach town of Santa Cruz where I majored in linguistics, minored in French and Spanish.
I had a near death accident in college which lead to some major back surgeries (fusion, etc) and I was able to have 2 amazing children who still light up my every hour. A 19 year old son, Owen, who’s studying computer science and playing college ice hockey in Arizona, and my daughter, Eva, 16, a senior in high school off to sports medical university next fall.
I write. I talk. I encourage. I am tireless and always available to help companies grow, people get through their problems and put them in a less egocentric viewpoint as well as to see we are all humans and just need validation.
I am currently working on a couple of incredible projects, after having never truly found just the right thing. Motherhood and friendship and volunteerism, writing but not submitting, has always been the right thing. But My life is coming full circle, given my passions, gifts and experience, and the offers of speaking nationally, a podcast, a blog, an urbanAMA invite, have come in, along with some incredibly exciting consulting opportunities which bring me back to my roots of passion for health care for all, especially those who are ill and not receiving an income.