Y ou know what we talk about a lot? Living. Better, longer and with purpose. But, in most of our conversations, we’re missing – or rather, avoiding, a layer of living: dying, which is inevitable, for all of us. Talking about death won’t make it happen sooner (swear!). In fact, it may make it happen better. Why not make a Grand Exit?
Enter “the conversation” with Tamatha Thomas-Haase – who’s living like she’s dying because metastatic breast cancer tells her that the scans, tests and treatments won’t end until her life does – and Chelsea Leader Fuller — whose family schooled her in how to live on. Leave feeling more alive.
In November 2019, Tamatha became a “camper” at Campowerment — a gift she gave to herself to celebrate living through, and with, a cancer diagnosis. After four days at camp, she left feeling cancer-free in mind, body and spirit.
Chelsea ran that retreat — her family’s business — days before her favorite person in the world — her “Grandy” — took her last breath. Chelsea dreaded that day her whole life, but because her family knew exactly how her Grandy wanted it, Chelsea and her loved ones were able to be completely transformed by the magic of Grandy’s death. And now they know how to access her within them, and through everything around them.
Together, Tamatha and Chelsea began a journey to create something meaningful about a month later. Since then, they’ve been building Grand Exit, conversation-starting conversations on living, dying & living on, for those who intend to be remembered.
We go deeper (and may get weirder) into ideas to get us — and you — thinking and talking differently about the grandest moments of our personal journey.
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More About Tamatha
A self-employed public health consultant for nearly 20 years, Tamatha believes that through intentional, cross-sector engagement – rooted in equity – transformative change of public health is possible and reckoning with its past, urgently required. Leveraging collective wisdom through artful group process remains at the heart of her professional calling to do just that. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned her Master’s in Public Administration from Evergreen State College.
Diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer in 2018 in which disparities in race and socioeconomic status on incidence as well as outcomes are well documented, Tamatha’s efforts to pull back the curtain on breast cancer as a social justice issue, and end the militarized language used to describe the treatment process and those who go through it, is one of the two last bodies of work of her lifetime.
Grand Exit, first an idea and now a compass, is all about what Tamatha loves most – having conversations, easy and hard, with those who have something to say about living and dying. That these conversations in the last months of her own living are alongside Chelsea – a rocketship she didn’t see coming.
More About Chelsea
Fresh out of Journalism school in 2011, Chelsea was determined to lead a career that offered meaning to her and those her content would serve. An early employee of TOMS (Shoes, at the time), she steered the founding social media team into its first 5 million fans, friends and followers through the power of organic connection and creative storytelling. From there, she expanded her career in digital storytelling, working with some kick-ass agencies, companies and movements, like 360i, Google, NBC and The Nature Conservancy, establishing a specialty in animating brand identities for other companies while making a side-hustle of inventing her own — Campowerment — with her family.
Since Campowerment’s inception, it has delivered Chelsea just about everything she’s needed for her next chapter — like Tamatha, and the impetus to found Grand Exit. With more than a decade of experience brand-building through the lens of human connection and collective impact, Chelsea is loving exploring the most meaningful terrain yet: legacy, with her partner who inspires her to live it every single day…and if you’ll let us, with YOU, too!