When you get a life-threatening illness, it can change your priorities. For Jodi Orgill Brown, it simply magnified the life she was already living. After starting her career in high-tech Corporate America, Jodi had a “this is not what I want to do with my life” epiphany. She needed to obtain a job where she could make a difference.
She jumped industries and started working with non-profit organizations, beginning with raising money to help build the Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital. It didn’t take long to realize she had found her passion. Jodi loved being part of something bigger than herself and working with good people to find solutions for community problems. Within a few years, she’d developed a reputation for being a force for good in the nonprofit world and was often sought after when new projects would come up. But when she and her husband, Tolan, had their fourth child, Jodi decided to stay home and work as a mom. Soon, though, she was approached by the Weber Human Services Foundation, and she started working part-time around her busy family schedule. She found that, when she believed in a cause or project, her heart just wouldn’t let her say no.
During that time, Jodi experienced some odd health issues, which caused her to visit her doctor on a few occasions. But with no reason to believe the health concerns were related, neither she, nor her doctors, paired the symptoms together or realized there was a central cause for the changes. The symptoms, though individually explainable, continued to increase in gravity. Dizzy spells and headaches debilitated her normal functioning, and bouts of vertigo made it difficult for her to even walk without gripping a handrail. Eventually, her doctor ordered an MRI, and then all the symptoms made sense. Jodi had a tumor in her brain.
Though originally told the tumor was inoperable, the Browns found a neurosurgeon at the University of Utah who believed he could perform the life-saving operation. But the surgery to remove the tumor thrust her into a new battle with a series of major side-effects and complications, including facial paralysis , hearing loss, and a brain infection. The woman who always made the effort to give back suddenly found herself on the other side of the table. She was the one who needed help—her whole life had changed.
After a series of surgeries and a long fight for her life, Jodi finally returned home to her family. When she shared her story, people were shocked and inspired. With much encouragement, she wrote her memoir and started accepting invitations to speak. Her book, “The Sun Still Shines,” won multiple awards and became an Amazon bestseller and Prime Reading Pick. Jodi still strives to make a difference through her work as a nonprofit consultant, author (currently she has 4 published books), and a professional speaker. Her story is inspiring, and there simply isn’t enough room here to cover all that it entails, so we recommend getting her book to read about her amazing battle for life and healing.