Something to “Ponder”: Make-up, Missions, and Re-Missions

When sitting down with Asheville-native, Lauren Ponder Boggs, it’s hard to believe she’s a person who’s ever faced adversity.  She is fresh, happy, and optimistic.  Some “quality” sort of dances on her like a light she carries around, but completely on accident.  She seems she is unscathed, untouched, and estranged to the things most people blame their scars on …however, this is hardly the case. Lauren was a competitor from day one.   Before she reached the more tumultuous times in her life, childhood prepared her to become a fighter.  She grew up competing in pageants, dance competitions, and cheerleading competitions before moving on to the ultimate competition that landed her a modeling contract with Hawaiian Tropic.  She spent hours in the gym perfecting her talents, determined to blow her adversaries out of the water. Blood, sweat, and tears were minimal effort. Though, often in the limelight, she still had to work with every fiber that created her to be the cream of the crop.  When she explained to me how she knew she wasn’t meant to be average, she blushed a little, as humans are often taught to do for having the heart of a contender.  Though her humility is a breath of fresh air, it becomes clear why her successes were meant to be.  They readied her for the battle of her life. At 24 years old, when most post-college adults are realizing the world awaits them, Lauren’s revelation came in the form of a rare pediatric bone cancer, living as an unwelcomed mass in her chest.  Doctors explained how they’d never seen a case like hers before, and she would be receiving the most aggressive treatment available. From a medical stand-point, her case had a grim outlook.  The prognosis was frightening. Lauren knew her friends and family were in a state of terror, though they tried to remain calm for her.

Fighting with a friend

Fighting with a friend

“I don’t know if I was naïve, or in denial, but I never thought I wouldn’t beat [cancer].  I wasn’t worried,”  Lauren told me casually. I looked back at her, noticing her demeanor hadn’t changed an ounce when our conversation transitioned to her life-threatening illness.  She didn’t look away, didn’t cry, didn’t flinch.  She couldn’t wait to share her story.  She wanted her half-full glass to spill onto others.  And there is water pure and genuine in that cup.  Sitting there, I wondered if I, myself was capable of this level of hope and optimism. Like she knew she would, she beat the cancer, and it hasn’t dared to show it’s face in town again.  Troubles over, right? Without much calm before the next storm, Lauren, now a wife and mother of two is facing a financial crisis.  The bills are stacking up and there are innocent growing mouths to feed.  It’s a struggle to keep the power on, and to have enough gas in the car for a normal daily routine.  Something has to be done fast.  The economy is in the tank, no one is hiring, and the ones that are won’t make a dent in the situation.  Panic time was an hour ago; the storm is here. She has to jump into mud kicking for the second dare-to-be-great situation of her life. It’s been less than a year and a half.  Lauren is currently a Senior Sales Director, and next month will be crowned Executive Senior Sales Director…except the crown is a shiny new BMW.  Like a mother lioness, she looked out unto the savannah, her cubs behind her, and reclaimed her territory with a vengeance gifted to her by nature.  She doesn’t lick her wounds, she doesn’t show off her scars, and she doesn’t wear any medals of honor.  She shares her story. It is simply a story of a woman, a wife, a mother, and a business person who as she put in her own words, “comes from a place of yes.” Lauren would like to use this story to bless others, as she feels Mary Kay is her mission field.  A quarter of any sales she makes as a result of this story will be donated in the purchaser’s name to WNC Cancer Care. For more information on how to donate or to become a part of Mary Kay please contact Lauren Ponder Boggs at or 828-785-9241.  She can’t wait to share in your mission!

Lauren and her gorgeous family

Lauren and her gorgeous family


Mary Kay face!

Mary Kay face!

Cancer Patients Survive, Thrive and Explore Intimacy with Support, Community

Marsha Rand, leading Asheville therapist, facilitates groups and counseling services uniquely designed to navigate life after cancer, leading to renewed passion and joy in relationships

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Cancer survivors often struggle to navigate changes in their bodies, life and relationships following the grueling ordeal of treatment. Now, two new programs from the Maitri Center for Women and Sexual Wellbeing Asheville,, offer support to individuals who are once again ready to reorganize their lives meaningfully and embrace the fullness of life in relationship.

Marsha Rand

“After weeks or months of treatment, doctor’s appointments, and a consuming focus on survival, many cancer patients believe finding your way back to passion and joy in relationship can seem too good to be true,” says Marsha Rand, a leading therapist and head of the Maitri Center, who will facilitate the groups and counseling services.

“With these programs, reintegrating and reorganizing one’s life after cancer treatment does not have to be a solo journey. Exploring the next phase is a much richer process with support and community.”

The two programs include:

  • Thriving After Cancer, which offers a combination of services tailored to individual women and men to aid in the journey of healing and serves the body, mind, emotions and spirit.
  • Woman, Cancer, Intimacy, an open, ongoing group program for women coping with changes in their bodies, sexuality and relationships as a result of cancer.

“Cancer may change how a woman sees herself, yet not necessarily in a negative way,” Rand says. “Women will come together to support and be supported, to learn from each other and from professionals.”

Individuals who are unable to attend sessions in person may also be eligible for distance support options via the internet, says Rand. Information about distance support options may be found at the website,

Women Cancer Intimacy takes place Wednesdays noon-1:30 p.m, as an open, ongoing class, $25 per session. Thriving After Cancer is offered on an private basis for individuals and couples. For more information or to register, call Marsha Rand, (828) 772-5315. The Maitri Center for Women is at 41 Clayton St. or