Episode 9: Staying Resilient with Dalia Topelson Ritvo

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Sometimes life hands us the unexpected and we are left trying to figure how to fit it into our already busy lives. My guest this week, Dalia Topelson Ritvo, was a young professional busy starting a career as a lawyer at a large law firm in New York City. This is her story of staying resilient in dark times.

Dalia became a sideline member of the cancer club when her mother, of blessed memory, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Before that her grandfather and aunt had also passed from cancer. The guest she never wanted arrived at her doorstep on her 31st birthday.

Dalia’s ability to stay open and evolve in the face of adversity helped her create the life she has today, full of love, family, and the pitter-patter of tiny feet racing across the floor.

At base and core, a life well-lived means being authentic to yourself, being open and generous in your interactions with others so that light and goodness comes into your life, and for me, it’s keeping balance.

Dalia Topelson Ritvo

Although we didn’t talk about it specifically on the podcast, Sharsheret is an organization that helps young Jewish women going through breast and ovarian cancer. Jewish women disproportionately test positive for BRCA and are diagnosed at younger ages. The link is below.

Here are some highlights from our conversation:

  • 1:43 Becoming a sideline member of the cancer club.
  • 2:38 The beginning of Dalia’s personal cancer story.
  • 4:43 The process of getting diagnosed.
  • 8:30 Finding fortitude in family.
  • 10:38 Getting bad news on your birthday.
  • 13:40 Taking time to take care of yourself.
  • 15:00 The birthday that (almost) wasn’t.
  • 16:00 Living the New York (dream) life!
  • 19:58 On mindset and establishing a positive perspective.
  • 21:00 The hardest parts of the journey.
  • 23:50 When cancer isn’t the first impression.
  • 24:49 Finding humor on the journey.
  • 27:09 Unexpected affects of cancer – redefining beauty and opening to life.
  • 30:22 Appreciating life and deciding what you want in your professional career.
  • 37:58 A life well-lived.

Links mentioned in today’s podcast:

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