By Melanie Robitaille, Senior Staff Writer & Graphic Designer
Imagine literally staring cancer in the face not once, but twice, turning your mouth and ability to speak against you. Would you stop selling?
This is a story of perseverance, of wanting to be a real estate agent since childhood. It’s a story of a woman who would make five attempts at the real estate exam while helping her brother navigate a terminal illness. It’s also her story of success, and survival so please be warned there are triggers ahead. It begins in 1993 when EXIT Realty Franchisee, Angela Powell finally obtains her license and starts on a path to a promising career, only to have her own cancer diagnosis stop her in her tracks two years later.
“I noticed something on my tongue found to be cancer and underwent surgery. In 1997 it returned, and I proceeded through radiation treatment, which took a great toll on me, but I fought through,” she proudly shared.
Following these arduous years Angela returns to real estate as a broker’s assistant, determined as ever to realize her dream. She’s first introduced to EXIT in 2003 by her husband, Bob, who gave her a presentation on CD by EXIT Founder and Chairman, Steve Morris, and asked her to watch it.
“We both knew we wanted to open an office one day, but this came faster than I expected,” she recalled of buying their first EXIT Team Realty office in Georgia later that year. They’ve attended every EXIT Convention since, and hit the ground running, going on to open subsequent locations and even a real estate school.
Angela enjoyed 19 years in remission, building a successful REO agent career, when she began noticing a distinct shift admitting, “Business slowed down for me, something I hadn’t experienced in a long time. It changed my mind set. I stopped, listened to myself, and had to start over in a sense. Now I’m working with sellers and buyers, something I haven’t done in a while.”
Around this time, she started experiencing delayed radiation therapy side effects, like issues eating and swallowing. Speech problems came a year later when her jaw muscles on the left side shut down, but instead of giving up, she walked into a gym at age 55, signed up and hired a coach on the spot. She knew she couldn’t do anything about the effects, but she could take control of her body and mind. She now deadlifts 250lbs, back squats 255lbs, and pushes for more, knowing that if she doesn’t take care of herself no one else will.
After everything she still struggled with public anxiety, but Angela’s perseverance is palpable. You hear it in her reference to these issues as a mere “hiccup.” It’s in her diligent physiotherapy regimen, in her continued work with doctors to find a permanent solution, and thanks to an invitation from Senior VP, Susan Harrison, you can even witness Angela’s personal strength of purpose in her HUD Home webinar. Little did she know though this resolve would be tested yet again, in the most tragic of ways while we put together this story.
To read the full story of this truly unstoppable woman check out The EXIT Achiever, or text ACHIEVER to 83577.