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OUR STORY, by Claudia Drumheller-Tomkiel & Juliet Drumheller-Bushinski

The world is full of choices. Is your glass half empty or half full? Is the sky your limit, or do you believe that things are messed up beyond redemption? Not so very long ago, two sisters contemplated these questions. Here's their story.

life force by linda puiatti
"Life Force"
by Linda Puiatti

Claudia Drumheller-Tomkiel is a Home Economist who, in the past, ran her own personal chef service. She is the married, mother of three children, ages 14, 12, and 9. She has had fibromylagia for 25 years.

Juliet Drumheller-Bushinski is a clerical jack-of-all-trades who has been writing since she was 12 years old. She is married and the mother of two beautiful cats. She has had Multiple Sclerosis for 20 years.

As anyone who has either of these diseases can tell you, the sisters weren't diagnosed at the first symptom. They survived in the "blissful" state of ignorance where the medical community scratches its collective head and tells you that there is nothing really wrong with you. Then a few years down the road a couple of misdiagnoses follow the, "there's nothing wrong with you" verdict. Finally, medical technology catches up with what you've known all along and confirms that there is a medical reason why you always feel either like cold oatmeal or the victim of a hit and run accident.

Once these two sisters got names for their ills, a strange thing happened to them. People around them starting complimenting them on how well they "dealt with" their diseases. It began to dawn on these two survivors that somewhere along the line they had figured out coping strategies.

Here were two women who had, so to speak, run the gauntlet and emerged as victors on the other side. Women who dealt with the fact that they were tired and ill and just got on with their lives, figuring out ways to continue to do the things they loved and the things that had to be done. One of the things they loved was cooking. Their friends began to request tips and pointers from these two. After all, if they could work, and run households, and still manage to cook meals there had to be a way for the rest of the harried working population to do it as well.

Reality Check Cooking was born. Claudia and Juliet are daughters of their time. Raised through the years of the early Feminist movement and the middle of the Cold War they were weaned with the ideals of service to others and take charge of your lives. Lives were something that were meant to be lived with purpose and reason, to make the world around them a better place to be in. With that type of background there never seemed to be any question about the fact that any success of the book had to be shared with the community in some way. Donating a portion (30%) of the cover price from the sale of the books to medical research fit that niche. (Multiple Sclerosis won the coin toss. Fibromylagia gets the proceeds from our next book).

So that's the story, boys and girls. Just a little variation on the American Dream. We fight, we falter, we persevere, and we win our battles a day at a time. We'd like to tell that story to as many people as we can reach. We want to let people know that a non-curable medical condition is not a death sentence. The quality of anyone's life is what they make it. We also believe that all diseases are curable. Some diseases just haven't had their cures located yet. We want to ask as many people as we can reach to join us in that belief, for there is now, as always, strength in numbers. With all of us working together, you know we can take those "non-curable" guys down!

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