A Personal Memoir
Carol Ann Cole
A memoir by the woman known as the Comfort Heart Lady. The story of the founder of the Comfort Heart Initiative is as inspiring as the power of the Comfort Hearts themselves. Carol Ann Cole was born in Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, and at the age of 18 left to find a career in the “big city” of North Bay, eventually landing a job at Bell Canada. As she began to climb the ranks of the company in the early 1970s, she realized the obstacles that faced a single woman in the corporate world, especially a single mother. But she continued to persevere and became one of the first female vice presidents of one of the country’s biggest corporations. And then her world came crashing down. Within days both Carol Ann and her mother were diagnosed with breast cancer. While Carol Ann was able to beat it, the loss of her mother later that year had a monumental impact on her life. When she walked into a pewter store and discovered the Worry Hearts, small hearts that you would rub in times of stress, she knew she’d found the way to give back to the cancer community. By altering the design and renaming them Comfort Hearts, Carol Ann created the Comfort Heart Initiative and to date has raised over one million dollars for cancer research. That little piece of pewter has become a talisman for over 160,000 Canadians and their families. This is a story of determination and courage, and how you can accomplish all your goals if you put your mind — and heart — to it.
Carol Ann Cole is a professional speaker with her own business, Colemind, and the Comfort Heart Initiative continues to grow and have a life of its own. This year Carol Ann Cole was awarded the Order of Canada for Voluntary Service — the ultimate compliment for her dedication to the cancer community. She spends her time between her homes in Halifax and Toronto. For more about the author, please see her site at: www.carolanncole.com. Anjali Kapoor is an online journalist for MochaSofa.ca, a women’s web portal, based in Toronto. She has covered a variety of women’s issues over the years as a lifestyle writer for CANOE.ca and as a freelancer to publications such as Homemaker’s Magazine, Chatelaine, and the National Post.