Founder & Chief Visionary Officer of You Can Thrive!
About our Founder
As a leader in the field of integrative healthcare and disease prevention, Luana DeAngelis began You Can Thrive! as a community initiative in 2005 to transform the way cancer survivorship is approached; utilizing a cutting-edge multi-disciplinary program designed to create the best outcomes as a new care paradigm. Luana has been an integrative patient navigator since then, well before the phrase was coined; in this capacity, she trains others to give back to the community to ‘ease the journey’ for people with cancer and help patients advocate for themselves.
Luana was honored in Oprah's O Magazine in 2016 as a non-profit leader. She is an inspirational speaker for integrative medicine, patient needs, and spiritual activism—her own own diagnosis of breast cancer at age 35 led to the implementation of a vision that is transforming the lives of those undergoing a diagnosis. Luana DeAngelis descends from a generational lineage of women in natural health and has trained in natural and hands-on methods for most of her life. She is a Reiki Master working in the operating room. She is a trained Master Integrative therapist, specializing in therapeutic essential oils, restorative yoga and movement, compassionate presence. Her lifelong experience in holistic methods includes therapeutic sound, herbs and supplements, tapping, and the science of cancer, epigenetics, and preventative health. She founded thi non-profit model in 2005 to magnetize our community behind preventative and palliative health care, lifting the importance of integrative methods. Her full-time work at You Can Thrive! has guided and helped thousands of members and volunteers since it's inception. She now takes that model as a preventative paradigm for the masses and utilizes it to implement corporate wellness events and initiatives for the general public. Luana is represented by the National Council of Women of America for speaking engagements.
Luana's Story: Kissing the Dragon
At 35 newly married, uninsured, in debt, I was about to be diagnosed with breast cancer. While visiting my mother out of state, I had a profound dream….
I was standing waist deep in murky water, a swamp, and on my left was a what can only be described as THE divine feminine. She was shrouded in bright white light and serenity. On the shore was a dark woman veiled in mist; and in the water between the three of us was an alligator. I said to the dark woman on the shore, “Be careful, the alligator will bite you.” She began running around in fast motion, frightened and being chased by the beast. She yelled, “Look, you don’t have to let it get you. You can run from it.”
The alligator slipped back into the swamp and began heading towards the light being and myself. I warned her, “Be careful, the alligator will bite you.” She smiled so calmly, and looked at me beaming love, and then did the same to the alligator perched with his nose floating above the water. She gently cupped the chin of the beast, lifting his face to her mouth and kissed him softly. As she released him, he chomped down into her right thigh. Opening her arms wide she put her head back, and looked skyward, all the while smiling peacefully through the pain and emanating a beam of light from her heart all the way to heaven. I understood as with other dreams that I'd had in my life, that this one was a vision and it was giving me something to be used at a later date.
The following week I was in church with my mother hearing a moving sermon on pain and spiritual growth. “When confronting pain, your first response is to curl up into a ball and tense against it,” he stated “but this makes it so much more difficult. If at that time, you can remember to open your heart and let the pain wash over you, it makes it so much easier to bear. In other words, as an old parable goes -may you have the strength to kiss the dragon and let it bite you.” My mother and I looked at each other with shock, for she was with me when I woke from the dream.
Weeks later, I found a large lump in my left breast. After a long awaited sonar appointment, the doctor diagnosed me with invasive breast cancer. At that very moment; when I was in the dressing room about to be overcome by panic; the face of that goddess came to me; and a calm encased my spirit. I stretched my arms and heart wide open and said a prayer, “I know that if my feet are on this path, they are there for a reason. I know you’ll send me the wisdom I need to get through this with grace.” I believe that the Divine Mother came to me to share with me both a mission and the biggest secret on how not to suffer. I understand implicitly that it’s not what happens to you-- but how you respond to it. “Pain is inevitable, but suffering is entirely optional”.
Thinking back on that dream, I understand what the lesson was. The great leaders of throughout time modeled just as SHE did, those like Jesus, Mother Teresa, Buddha, Martin Luther King, Ghandi, Dali Llama and countless others. “Everyone loves a man who smiles on a sunny day, but the true worth of a man (or woman!) is one who can smile when nothing is going his way”. Facing the moment with calm and benevolence, even when facing ones own mortality and inevitable or existing pain is the true test of a human, man or woman. Breast cancer is a uniquely feminine experience of despair, and at this time in our evolution and consciousness it is imperative to heal the feminine. That is why the feminine divine appeared to guide me.
Although there are certainly times when the world feels sideways and blurry, cancer taught me acceptance and gratitude. To struggle against unfolding events is truly a worthless cause, being balanced in the face of adversity is its own reward. It’s a lesson that has truly freed me.
After getting through the worst of it, and dealing with the ongoing effects, some personal truths have emerged. This diagnosis guided me, ok it kicked me, to my true calling, and after much personal work including service and 10 day retreats at http://dhamma.org I founded You Can Thrive! I'm so blessed to be in service and since 2005 our community provides everything that breast cancer survivors outside of medical treatment to heal and thrive.
Ours is the model that all people can utilize to prevent onset of disease. We represent the feminine aspect of healing, a more compassionate, inclusive and patient way of healing. A way of healing that prevents disease as well by addressing the cause. While our current more male aspect of healing addresses the symptom with a much more harsh and immediate methodology. Together they fit perfectly as equals; male and female completely healed. All aspects of our society can be healed by raising up the feminine to the level of the masculine in all things. We started in medicine. Healing the one; healing the ALL.