Lois grew up believing that she could accomplish anything she set her mind to do. Little did she know, her mind would turn out to be her biggest challenge.
Twentyone years ago, Lois was living a life she loved. Newly married just nine months to Larry, their family resembled a miniature Brady Bunch. Both had five year old daughters and seven year old sons. Super mom, super wife, and entrepreneur! Lois worked as an independent contractor/sales representative for 15 companies in 20 retail stores.
In a split second, everything changed. Without warning, a utility truck violently crashed into her car, and shattered her promising future. The resulting brain injury she suffered may have destroyed Lois' life plans, but not her spirit. Learning to laugh and "hangin' on with humor" rescued her from the distress and despair surrounding her daily life and initiated her recovery.
Doctors told Lois that 2 years post injury was the best she could hope for her brain to recover. While her brain would not improve, she could improve her abilities by learning compensatory skills. Even though her situation felt hopeless, Lois never gave up striving to improve. She developed creative systems and strategies to compensate for her organizational planning and memory deficits and learned how to protect her brain from the outside influences which caused rapid cognitive wear-down.
Over the next twelve years, Lois acquired masterful coping skills to deal with her loss, accept her new reality, relieve frustration, and rebound quickly from disappointment. She developed a knack for finding a humorous perspective when "things didn't go as planned." She learned how to quickly turn disruptive events into valuable learning experiences and discovered many "treasures in her trials."
As long as Lois respected her limitations, and utilized her systems and strategies, she maintained a high level of functioning. She felt happy that she had conquered the chaos, but ached with a deep desire to do something more than just exist in her isolated environment.
Lois never lost hope that she would discover a new life purpose, even as the passing years worked against all probability. And "when she least expected, something wonderful happened!"
When Lois was 12 years post injury, she started to experience some noticeable improvements with brain function. When Lois asked her doctors to explain why her brain function was improving, they answered, "It is a result of your consistent effort of doing many small things over an extended period of time."
When Lois was 14 years post injury, she started her motivational speaker business, Lessons from Lois. She was accepted into National Speakers Association three years later.
Today, Lois passionately paves the way for others to "hang on with humor when life looks ugly." Her character Louis demonstrates that "things are not always as they first appear." Lois' signature story stimulates audiences to examine their own response to challenge and adversity, and relates how they can use the power of humor and the magic of laughter to survive life's difficulties and feel happy in the midst of trying times.
Lessons from Lois are hilarious personal stories which contain life-changing insights and humor strategies to bounce back when "things don't go as planned." The same principles and step by step systems that Lois developed to overcome her adversities provide practical application for others to deal with the demands and pressures of work and home, maintain a flexible perspective, adjust to constant change, develop creative solutions, survive the seriousness of their life challenges, thrive in the face of adversity, and have more fun.
Her universal message inspires audiences - "never give-up or lose hope." Lois motivates participants to boldly ask for help and be faithful to do the small things, so they can conquer their challenges and achieve their goals one day at a time.
Lois served on the board of directors for the Brain Injury Association of Montana (BIAM) for seven years, on the board for Missoula Businesswomen's Network (MBN) for six years and currently serves on the Governor's Advisory Council for Montana Vocational Rehabilitation and the Montana Brain Injury Council (MTBIC). She is a member of Toastmasters International, National Speakers Association (NSA), Mountain West NSA, Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), Brain Injury Association of Montana (BIAMt), Missoula Businesswomen's Network (MBN) and the Association of Applied Therapeutic Humor (AATH). A second year student of AATH's Humor Academy, Lois is currently expanding her knowledge about therapeutic humor.
Lois and her husband Larry reside in Missoula, Montana. They celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary last June. Their four grown children are 27 and 30 years of age.
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