An Inspiring Grandmother, Mother and Wife

Cathy Tolk lives in Avon Connecticut with her husband Andrew. Married in August of 1975, together they raised 4 children, all boys. She wanted to consciously live her life and knew a written plan was important to achieve her goals, so 36 years ago she wrote her personal mission statement. She stands behind these words today as much as the day she wrote them. “No matter how long or short my encounter is with anyone, when we part, we will both be better people for having met.” She repeats it every night before she goes to bed and every morning when she wakes.

She’s quick to remind everyone her life has had all the ups and downs any full life has. And in the face of her personal unforeseen circumstance of being diagnosed with MS in 1995 she once again reflected on what was really important in her life.

Throughout her life, Cathy has been motivated by opportunities to give back to the next generation. Here are a just a few of her experiences and achievements:

  • Traveled the country as a motivational speaker and podcast host for Biogen, speaking to patients with multiple sclerosis about future and present treatments
  • Recieved the American Red Cross True Life Hero Award and the Hartford Hospital Volunteer of the Year Award for her work visiting patients with her dog Hollywood
  • Recieved the Volunteer of the Year Award from the Jewish Women Association for her work with Meals on Wheels and performing roadshows for young chemo therapy patients
  • Interviewed on ESPN for her work as a speaker with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, inspiring people to overcome their unfortunate circumstances
  • Interviewed by Everyday Health on the topic of Facing MS as a Family


She believes that life is 10% circumstance 90% attitude and realized this was a perfect opportunity to put in action what her mouth had been saying for years. She had no control over the cards life dealt her, but she’s quick to add that she’s totally in charge of how she plays it and makes the conscious decision every day never to be a victim in her life.

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