The Woman Who Inspires Me Most: Melissa Mather

In life, we are fortunate to meet people who make every encounter and every minute we spend with them full of laughs, smiles, and positivity. They are always there for you and they make the most of every moment in life. You know that your life would not be as cheerful and positive without knowing them. For me, this person is Melissa Mather. I met her about five years ago when my mother opened her salon, and when I am working there, she is one of my favorite people who walk through the door. She has become more to me than a client at the salon, I consider her both an inspiration and a friend. Melissa is always positive and upbeat and lifts up everyone’s moods when they see her. Throughout her life, she has faced some challenges that may have held back others, but her strong and courageous spirit has made her a fighter and one of my biggest role models.

At the age of six years old, she was diagnosed as a Type 1 Juvenile Diabetic. Regarding how this diagnosis has affected her life, she says, “My life has changed dramatically since then. I now have to be careful with the ‘little’ things that most people don't think twice about, things like diet, sleep, blood sugar, exercise, calorie/carb intake, and listening to my body.” 

She also talked about how she is able to remain positive. Mather explained that some of the ways that she remains positive are through choosing to concentrate on things in her life that make her happy. She also says that she has a large support system who helps her stay positive and motivated. “I am a daughter, sister, aunt, friend, and most importantly, the mother of a beautiful, healthy nine-year-old baby girl, Lauren. I also have my best friend. Together these people always help me pull through my darkest of days.”

Melissa believes that staying positive is very important, and above all else, she chooses to be happy. “Personally, maintaining a positive attitude is imperative in so many ways. By ‘thinking good thoughts,’ I am able to look on the bright side. It is easy to get wrapped up in the plight of having Type 1 Diabetes, but one of the silver linings of it is that I have learned not to sweat the small stuff. Happiness is a choice, and I choose happiness.”

Mather uses talking to and educating others to help herself navigate and understand the disease. She offers a lot of advice to others who may have similar situations. First, she tells others to make sure they always put their health first. It is critical to be aware of your blood sugar level and how and when to give insulin. She also talked about the importance of knowledge surrounding the disease. Throughout her diagnosis, she has seen a large amount of evolution in regards to technology and treatments. Lastly, she mentions that it is important to make sure that friends and family are also educated on the disease, especially those who are close and around often. They need to be able to recognize when you are unwell, and what needs to happen if there is an emergency.

Melissa believes kindness is very important. “Being kind is important for so many reasons. Mainly, because you never know the battles someone could be fighting silently. Your kindness could just be the only thing making a difference in someone else’s life. Personally, during the hard times, the kindness shown by others is something that pulls me through, every time.” 

She also is a strong supporter of women’s empowerment and is very proud to do so. “Women are in this together. We should always build each other up and NEVER tear each other down. We need to be each other’s biggest allies- women globally have fought hard to be seen and treated as equal to men. I’m proud to be a woman who chooses to be kind, supportive, and proud of my fellow ladies.” 

Melissa is one of the toughest people that I know and has inspired everyone around her to follow her lead and be positive, upbeat, and happy, just as she is each day. She is truly one of the best people I know and a true example of strength.