Last week, I had the honor of playing music and leading a meditation for a cancer benefit (April 17th, 2015) at Bhakti Yoga Shala It was an incredible experience to say the least. The event was to raise money for Gabrielle Sundhari Olko, 31 year-old woman with a malignant brain tumor. I learned that she has had quite the journey the past 2 years, enduring quite a bit of suffering and uncertainty regarding her life.
For me, the highlight of the evening was when she got up and spoke to the crowd of people there to support her. Gabby shared about how the whole experience has really taught her to be less attached to things and to be willing to just let go and face her fears. She also spoke about how challenging it was at the beginning to allow herself to receive love and support from so many people. Then, she got up and sang "Somewhere over the Rainbow" with a friend. She sang with such an open heart, completely without a care about what other people thought of her. It was powerful and beautiful and moving.
I stood there, and thought about what my life would look like if I had her courage. I thought about what an honor it is to be a part of this experience, and how the best of me only shows up when I let go and surrender to something bigger than myself. It is such a shame that were are so hesitant to express joy in public, and that we can walk around feeling "squeezed" by life. Do the work you need to do to be comfortable in your own skin. There is great power in opening up and letting go. Thanks Gabby.

Paul Teodo 

I met Gabby back in 2009 while we were both bartending in Harrisonburg, VA. From the first time I met her, I knew she was unlike anyone else I'd ever met. She had a very unique outlook on life that was always positive. Gabby helped me to see the good in everyone and learn to turn any negative situation into a positive learning experience. When I first learned of her brain tumor, I was deeply saddened because I was afraid that not only would her health decline, but she would lose the wonderful perspective that made her who she was. I couldn't have been more wrong. Not only did Gabby retain her sunny outlook on life, she surprised us all when she referred to her tumor as a "blessing". Rather than wallow in self pity while she fought this disease in her brain, she once again turned a negative situation into a positive one. She decided that she would not treat her situation as a battle against cancer but more as an opportunity to change the way she was living her life. She began to truly live in the moment and appreciate everything that came her way, good or bad. It has not been an easy road, but Gabby has been walking it like the beautiful, zen goddess that she is and always has been. 

~Kate Trotta (Virginia, USA)

Gab is the reason I keep coming back to the west coast, and the reason I love your country. Her positivity is infectious and I wish I had her strength and courage. If I hadn't met her, I wouldn't be the same person today. I owe her a lot.  ~Will Owens (Townsville, Australia)

Dear Gabby,

Your words are so powerful. I enjoy reading each and every one of your posts.  This last post really hit home for me. I saw Brittany's story on a news website and watched a video about her journey a few weeks ago.  It is extremely powerful what she is going through and the decisions she is making.  As an oncology nurse I am reminded each and every day of death.  Some have happy stories and others are not as fortunate. I have many of these "end of life" discussions with patients and what always surprises me is how many people never think of their own death.  Everyone knows we have a finite amount of time but it is not something that travels into their thoughts as often as it should.  I rejoice when families are able to withhold treatments and let their family members go. It is such a beautiful and enlightening experience. There is no way to describe in words the energy or powerful vibes that come from a patients room and body while passing.  We are all born dying so telling your loved ones, friends, and enemies that you care for them and they mean the world to you is so important. Your journey itself has been beautiful as well. Though there have been some hard moments you have lived such an incredible life thus far and will continue to keep living as a beautiful, energetic, and inspiring woman.  It is contagious your energy and love you spread around.  All I can say is to keep on living as you are and spreading the beauty you emit to those around you.  Though we only got to spend a few hours getting to know each other I believe that is all I needed to get to know you.  Thank you for your positive energy and who you are.  
With Love,
Dana Corriere

Hi Gabrielle! I went to high school at Albemarle and was a grade above your sister in school. I think we had choir together at one point.. Anyway, I have followed your story on go fund me and am so glad to see via Facebook the progress you have made! I know you don't really know me but I needed to tell you how often you are in my thoughts and sending positive vibes your way - Christina Long


I have not met you in person, I am somebody who read your story and the letter you wrote for Brittany. your words are beautiful, hope Brittany can read your message.  God Bless you. -Janet Hernandez

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Welcome. This is my 30th post of this journey. The beginning of this blog was November 26th, 2013  My Journey: The Beginning .  One month pr...