MMC Faces Behind
Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Medical Massage Therapist - "Empowerment
Comes in the Strangest Forms"
Fallon's Photography Studio
Kathy’s story features more than its fair share of tragedy and sorrow,
but when she reflects on it, she sees her life as a gradual declaration
of empowerment rather than a cause for pity.
“I believe all the events of my life were stepping stones that led
me to the path I was meant to take,” Kathy said.
Growing up in Connecticut, Kathy was the middle child of a paranoid schizophrenic
mother who remained addicted to prescription drugs till the day she died.
Kathy’s father adored her mother, but 57 years ago mental illness
was not talked about freely. “My father was such a kind-hearted
man, but his life was difficult,” Kathy recalled. “He eventually
turned to alcohol and spent most of his time at the bars. I remember cleaning
the house and cooking dinners when I was 10. My older brother and I would
take turns on a Friday or Saturday night watching my mom and baby sister;
my mom made us feel guilty if we went out. I was always the peacemaker.”
Six years after Kathy and her husband married in 1983, the couple moved
to Cochranton, Pennsylvania, where they opened an auto repair service
business. They had two young sons, but life was not a bed of roses. Kathy’s
husband was mentally, verbally and physically abusive.
Still in her troubled marriage, Kathy was involved in a car accident in
1997. Two years later she required surgery as a result of the crash; after
another year, her body rejected the rods and screws that had been inserted
during the procedure. Kathy endured years of physical therapy.
As Kathy went through the recovery process, her sister began working as
a nurse’s aide and eventually became a massage therapist. “I
envied Diane. She had a job helping people, something I always longed
for,” Kathy said. Determined to turn her life around and someday
escape her abusive marriage, Kathy knew that her faith would get her through.
Following her sister’s lead, Kathy registered to start classes for
massage therapy in 2002, but her plans were unexpectedly interrupted when
her sister committed suicide at the age of 32. Adding to the grief, Diane’s
death came just a year after Kathy’s sister-in-law had been murdered.
As she returned home to take care of arrangements for her sister, it seemed
that life just kept dealing Kathy one blow after another.
Despite the setbacks, Kathy still dreamed of becoming a massage therapist
and the following year she signed up for classes again. As life would
have it, she was again forced to cancel when her mother passed. For the
second time in as many years, she had to return home. This time however,
the instructor was so moved by Kathy’s persistence that she rescheduled
the classes so Kathy could attend. Eventually, Kathy’s dream came
true as she became the only massage therapist in the area practicing the
modality of medical massage.
On a snowy, blustery day in February of 2007, God spoke to Kathy. She gathered
her things and left the abusive life she had known.
Today, Kathy is married to the man of her dreams and just celebrated her
second anniversary. She has two sons that she adores and a grandson that
is the apple of her eye. She has spent the last ten years as a licensed
massage therapist and a certified medical massage therapist.
“I am truly happy and cherish my life,” Kathy said beaming.
“I have a career that I love. All the craziness of my life empowered
me to follow my dreams. I don't believe for a second that it was okay
that I was abused, but I have forgiven my ex-husband and he has been making
tremendous strides on healing."
We are proud to introduce our September Faces Behind
Your MMC, Kathy Fidanza Holman, LMT, CMMT.
Kathy Fidanza Holman, LMT, CMMT may be contacted at (814) 373-3415 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org. Kathy's office is located at One Vernon Place,
11277 Vernon Place, Meadville, PA 16335