Photos and Story By Kate Anslinger
The Robert DeLeo Women’s Health Forum brought out members of the community last Wednesday evening. The high school cafeteria was filled with tables that offered all aspects of health education, from free flu shots to breast cancer awareness information.
Students enrolled in the new medical careers program at the high school, greeted guests at the door and offered free blood pressure readings. After guests checked out the many health service tables, they were invited to attend presentations in the new auditorium. Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo introduced the many speakers including the Dr. Jackie Fantes from the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center; Nancy Slamet and Paula Nolan from HarborCOV; Nancy Williams from the DeLeo Senior Center; Dr. Gary Pransky from Hallmark Health; and keynote speaker and Professional Women’s Hockey Player Jillian Dempsey.
Dempsey, who is also a Winthrop teacher, gave a heartfelt, honest and inspiring speech. As a young sixth grader, Dempsey developed her dream of playing hockey professionally, and through countless hours of hard work and pure dedication, her dream eventually came true.
“It’s the magic of risking everything for a dream that is only visible to you,” said Dempsey, as she shared the many sacrifices that she had to make to play the sport that she loves more than anything.
Her words offered hope for those who are chasing a dream no matter how old they are. Dempsey expressed the pain that she felt when she experienced failure, but she also showed how resilient we are and how failure is ultimately the key to success. Following her motivating speech, Speaker DeLeo presented Dempsey with a citation wishing her the best in all her endeavors.