Episode #15: Lauren Chiarello
Lauren Chiarello is the founder of Chi Chi Life which melds her passions: fitness, event production + fundraising, corporate wellness + cancer advocacy. A graduate from Villanova University with a degree in Accounting + Marketing, Lauren has 12+ years of experience fundraising + producing events for non-profits, for-profits + agencies — including Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Lauren's most recent work includes: NationSwell for their Summit on Service, Food Allergy Research + Education for their Annual Ball at The Pierre + AMNH and LeadDog Marketing Group working with clients including the 9/11 Memorial, Hearst + Reebok.
Lauren supports, motivates + teaches rockstars who value the importance of strengthening the mind + body. She teaches Barre, Pilates + TRX classes at exhale + Flex Studios + holds the following certifications: 200-hour Core Fusion Barre Teacher Training with the award-winning exhale spa, Pilates Mat with LindaFit Pilates, Pilates Through Pregnancy, TRX Suspension + Functional Training, Primary Group Exercise Instruction with AFAA, AED/CPR with the American Red Cross + Fire Guard with NYPD. Lauren has completed multiple half + full marathons while fundraising $75,000+ for cancer charities.
When Lauren Chiarello was just 23 years old, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Over the next couple of years, Lauren would undergo two separate rounds of cancer treatments, ultimately culminating in a stem cell transplant. Now over nine years in remission, Lauren is deeply involved in cancer advocacy at Memorial Sloan Kettering. Doing everything from speaking at nurse orientations to acting as a resource for patients currently undergoing treatment, one thing is clear: Lauren believes that community is everything, and by sharing our stories, we cultivate positive connections. On this episode, Lauren and I talk about her journey as a two-time cancer survivor, her recent experience with an ectopic pregnancy, and how she stays contagiously optimistic through it all.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS LAUREN AND I CHATTED ABOUT:
Being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma at 23, and why she didn’t want to back down to it
The devastation she felt when her cancer came back after six months of remission
Why she now has two “birthdays,” one week apart, thanks to her stem cell transplant
Why listening to and being a resource for people in cancer treatment is so important to her
Her other forms of cancer advocacy, including helping plan a new stem cell transplant floor at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
How her love for fitness, and running in particular, plays a role in her advocacy work
The challenge of learning to say “no,” but why it’s essential to taking care of her health
Her experience freezing her eggs before undergoing cancer treatments for the second time
Having emergency surgery this May, once doctors discovered she had an ectopic pregnancy
The lilac tree she and her husband planted at their home in honor of their little wandering soul
Why she believes community is everything, and continues to openly share her story