There is hope for the future. Just ask Angelia Dunbar. By all measures, Dunbar should not be here: She was a mother at a young age. She moved out of her parents’ home at 19. She was kidnapped, beaten and left temporarily blind.
Now, a top Realtor and philanthropist, Dunbar is founder of My Story, Our Journey, a Dallas-area nonprofit that uplifts other survivors of domestic violence, cancer, suicide, child molestation and seeming insurmountable events.
In October, My Story, Our Journey will host the 3rd Annual Survivors Ball, a celebration of locals who have overcome life-altering challenges. The ball will feature a performance by Grammy Award-winner Le’Andria Johnson.
It will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 2 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, 400 N. Olive St., in Dallas.
General admission tickets include dinner and are $125. Meet & Greet tickets with Le’Andria Johnson are $175. To purchase tickets, click here: www.survivorsball.com/buy-tickets.
We talked with Dunbar on a recent broadcast of From Marva with Love. Here are excerpts from our conversation:
MS: Please tell your story.
AD: I’m just a little country girl from Conway, Ark. who found herself in a position where life happened. I tell people that life happens to all of us. It’s how we choose to live with ‘when life happens’ is how we survive. I grew up rushing life, living my life on a fast track. What I realized is that I had to slow up and make sure I was doing it in God’s time. I found myself missing all the red signs and warnings. I was beaten and left temporarily blind and unbearable things. I was kidnapped by someone who was supposed to love me….but I missed so many signs. I could have avoided those things.
One day, I woke up and realized that I had to take my power back. For so many years after that, I stayed silent about what happened to me. I was embarrassed. I was broken. I was still bruised internally, and I never really properly healed. I went to lunch with some girlfriends and I saw my attacker. I realized that I was shaken. I’m still traumatized, and I said ‘Guys, I have to take back my power.’ He can no longer have control over me. I control who I am and whose I am through God.
So, that day, I took back my power and I wrote my book Slaying with My Broken Pieces. After that, I went through breast cancer. I had Stage 3 breast cancer. I felt a lump in my breast the day after visiting a Halloween haunted house where I was knocked into a wall and fell flat on my back. I then looked up and asked God to save me. On Good Friday in 2014, I had surgery and God saved me. I tell people ‘life happens’ and I continue to choose to live.
MS: Why did you create the Survivor’s Ball? What will we expect at this year’s Ball?
AD: I created Survivors Ball because I realize in going through, it’s my story but our journey. We all have a story, but it’s the people around us that help us, that are on that journey with us, that get us to that next level and help us overcome obstacles that we have to defeat. The Survivors Ball gives back to so many people and to realize that they, too, have to choose to live.
So, I reach back. My motto is ‘Pay it forward.’ The people that you’re paying it forward to are moving. So, reach back to those who are stuck, share your story and don’t leave anything out. The part that you leave out is the part that is going to save them.
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