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A Crooked Smile: A story of courage

Terri Tate

Lise and Karolyn are delighted to be joined by Terri Tate, pictured left, author of A Crooked Smile. This episode is guaranteed to lift your spirit. You will learn the role of fun and humor in healing, the value of loving yourself from the inside out, and insights about living life with a wound the world can see. Tune in to, the Cancer Support Network to listen and ask questions.

Terri Tate became a nurse to please her mother and because she was inspired by the Sue Barton R.N. books that she devoured as a girl. Due to her fascination with the mental and emotional workings of humans and her deep-seated aversion to gore, she specialized in psychiatric nursing. She worked on psych units at the University of Michigan Medical Center and then launched a private practice as a psychotherapist. She was the first hypnotherapist in the Ann Arbor phone book.

Terri broadened her focus from individuals to groups and organizations and became a nationally known speaker and consultant. After experiencing her lively, laughter-filled talks, audience members often said, “You should be a stand-up comedienne.” And “You should write a book.” Before she had the chance to do either, Terri was silenced by two bouts of disfiguring oral cancer, which threatened her voice and her life. But her sense of humor was never in danger.

She found her way back to the stage via storytelling, performing in local showcases and then delivering her one-woman show, Shopping as a Spiritual Path to enthusiastic audiences from Berkeley to Boca Raton. Shopping won Best of the Fringe at the San Francisco Fringe Festival. Terri teaches storytelling classes privately and in organizations and coaches solo performers. She has published in professional journals and contributed to I Am with You: Love Letters to Cancer Patients. She presents TERRI Talks to cancer groups, health care organizations and general audiences.

Terri lives in Marin County, California. You can reach her at