Perhaps fitting for this month, our May spotlight is an amazing woman I’ve had the pleasure of knowing since she became a first time mom. Shanna Zaharis was getting ready to celebrate the first birthday of her daughter, Elliana, when she contacted me about a Baby’s 1st year video. Truth be told now, she was my first official client; someone who just found me online as opposed to someone I knew. And she was exactly the best and right person for that first movie. She had a special story and overcame some obstacles in order to create her family. But as I learned early on, nothing stops Shanna when she wants something bad enough. Elliana was born to her and her husband, Lou, surrounded by a huge circle of warm and caring family members. She's really one lucky little girl!
Over the years, I've had the pleasure of watching Elliana grow up through the lens of Shanna’s camera. Every year, we’d add a new video chapter to her story and last year, a new character to the Zaharis family cast came into the picture. Elyssa Lynn was born, growing their family by one more heart and making Elli into a big sister. Elyssa is a very special child. She was born with William’s Syndrome, a genetic disorder resulting in the deletion of 26-28 genes on chromosome 7. While the effects of William's Syndrome vary from person to person, the most common concerns for Elyssa are cardiovascular issues and developmental challenges.
It’s often said that children are born to specific people for a reason. Another phrase Shanna herself coined, Elyssa and Eliana, are “perfectly placed” and I couldn’t agree more. I believe that because of who their mother is and the challenges she’s faced before even becoming a mom, these babies were born into the exact right family.
Shanna, a teacher and avid researcher, always strives to learn about health related problems and how to respond them proactively. When Elliana was a baby, she learned about the healing properties of essential oils. The “magical” lavender eased her child to sleep and the helpful Thieves oil kept her family healthy throughout the winter. She became a Young Living consultant, detoxified her home and continued her research towards healthier living, particularly for herself.
Recently, Shanna shared with me what she had been silently going through for decades. She was suffering from a host of debilitating symptoms, zapping her energy and making playing with her girls difficult. After years of doctor’s appointments and testing she was finally diagnosed with an auto-immune disease. Through her journey, Shanna found many other people, like herself, that were struggling without answers. Through research and perseverance, she managed to discover the source of her issues and create her new mission; to help those like her cut through the clutter to find answers faster.
Through her Facebook group, "At the Core", web site and speaking engagements, Shanna's search to improve her own quality of life, leads her to improve yours. If you've ever felt like something is keeping you from your best life, when nothing else "conventional" seems to help, perhaps you need a new listening ear from someone who's been there and know how it feels. Shanna is this person and she's got you. Her tenacity and fire are the qualities you need in a person who will help you fight to get to where you want to be.
To learn more about Shanna and join her growing community, visit her web site at www.shannazaharis.com