WOW Event: A Story of Discovering Purpose
Thursday, April 25, 2019

Speaker: Michelle Wulfestieg 
Executive Director, Southern California Hospice Foundation

In April, our Women of Wisdom had the privilege of listening to Michelle Wulfestieg speak about her personal journey of discovering her purpose.  She is a two-time stroke survivor, suffering her first stroke at age 11.  She never let the obstacles in front of her stop her from living life to the fullest.  She played high school volleyball, went to college, and traveled the world.  Through her studies in college, she was drawn to helping the dying, which eventually led to her finding her purpose.  During this time, she suffered her second stoke and had to relearn daily living tasks all over again. It was through this experience that she was able to relate to her hospice patients: bedbound, weak, wounded, vulnerable and anxious.

It was profound for her to understand how much the dying needed someone to care for them, give them attention, or just be present. Understanding how her patients felt made her even more determined to recover after this second stroke, so that she could return to work and live out her purpose.  This determination led to her graduating with her master’s degree 5 months following her stroke and returning to her full-time job at the Southern California Hospice Foundation in only 7 months.  Through her experiences, she was able to live her purpose of serving the dying and showing them kindness and dignity in their final days.

Her experience is a reminder that we were all born to serve in some capacity.  To this day, Michelle Wulfestieg continues to serve those who are dying through her work at the Southern California Hospice Foundation.  Michelle is an inspiration to us all.