PrimeWOMAN - March Issue presents Donnalyn Giegerich - The Light in You Honors the Light in Me

This personal account tells the story of Donnalyn - a 20 yr Red Bank businessowner, insurance broker, former adjunct professor of Economics and Finance, motivational speaker, and most recently a Health/Life Advocate as a cancer survivor.
March 26, 2008 - PRLog -- Life was good. I had just returned from a yoga teaching assignment in Negril, Jamaica with a gal pal in October 2006. Balance, gratitude and longevity was the mantra for the week for my students during our yogic adventure in a lush, tropical paradise. It’s a good thing I was "reveling in the moment" as we yogis like to proclaim because when I returned home to New Jersey, everything changed, fast and furiously.

I began to notice sharp and intermittent right flank pain that began rolling toward my back and intensifying. I immediately called my doctor because I am accustomed to feeling great regularly. Besides, I had a sprint triathalon in the near future and frankly, I was having a hard time moving. In retrospect, thank God I was symptomatic before things got worse! I was admitted to Riverview for fours days where I learned I had a baseball sized tumor lodged between my kidneys and adrenals, pressing up against my inferior vena cava, the largest vein in the body that brings deoxygenated blood back to the heart. I was told the tumor was precariously positioned, anatomically challenging and was recommended to New York or Cincinnati for surgery as soon as possible. HUH?

Besides cranking my tri-bike on the back of the SUV and carbo-loading, I found myself pitching my "tender tumor" up the food chain at New York’s Presbyterian Hospital just in time for Thanksgiving. I felt like a real turkey! I found the perfect southern gentleman surgeon in Dr. Darracott Vaughan who compiled a team of experts to try to save my fit, but not so fab self. Needless to say, I didn't quite realize the gravity of the situation as I passed out boxes of Wheaties to my surgeons to keep them at the "top of their game" in the O.R. and poked fun at my kidney transplantation surgeon for looking like Doogy Howser. He seemed much too young to be proficient at tossing my organs around for an originally planned 10-hour kidney auto-transplantation surgery.

Bottom-line, I made it off the table and got the lucky news for the New was Cancer! Leiomyosarcoma, to be exact...WHO? Leiomyosarcoma (LMS) is a rare cancer (4 in one million) that attacks the body’s soft tissue. Great. Highly recurrent cancer, erratic cancer, no cure kind of cancer. Just when I was feeling lucky! Maybe I shouldn't have chanted so much Sanskrit in Jamaica. So now, the challenge was to get educated on LMS, determine a course of action and get busy. And LIVE, LIVE, LIVE! The first thing I did was rally my favorite girlfriends to a Cancer Cocktail Party at Nauvoo Grill in Fair Haven to discuss my course of action. Although my plan was a bit unconventional to some, I was all about personally disseminating accurate information about LMS, raising awareness, and having FUN with my special friends and family. Besides, the wine and the venue were tops!


DonnaLyn Giegerich Zapcic MBA CIC RYT is a 20 yr Red Bank businessowner, insurance broker, former adjunct professor of Economics and Finance, motivational speaker, and most recently a Health/Life Advocate as a cancer survivor. She has been awarded the 2008 Woman of the Year for Community Service by National Assoc of Women Biz Owners, NJ: will be the 2008 ACS Honorary Chair person at the Gala of Hope, Jersey Shore: was named Honorary Rotarian of the Yr 2007, Red Bank  and the 2007 Honorary Spinnaker Award Winner by EMACC. Her blog at details current projects in motion for advocacy for  cancer "thrivers" ....she is also listed at the Coachs link at can be reached at

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About PrimeWOMAN Magazine:       PrimeWoman celebrates today’s woman by offering a fresh approach to the current local media,  appealing to the upscale wants, tastes, and needs of every woman. Our mission is to enlighten, encourage, and entertain with local features relevant to today’s discerning women. From women’s health issues, saving the environment and volunteerism to fashion, home décor, and travel, PrimeWoman entertains the empowered woman.
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