Burn survivor Kelly Falardeau in City for empowering presentation

  • Sep. 17, 2014 3:15 p.m.

Soroptimist Club of Red Deer is pleased to welcome Kelly Falardeau, a woman who was severely burned as a child as she shares her story of overcoming self-esteem issues, battling negativity and turning her life around.

The event will take place on Oct. 5th at the Bower Kin Community Hall from 1:30 to 5 p.m. Women ages 12 and up are invited to come and listen to Falardeau speak about her experiences, as well as to enjoy presentations by motivational speakers Trish Ellis and local Kalisha Mendonsa.

“My purpose is to teach women to love themselves. My message is to get women and teens to love their bodies no matter who you are or what you look like,” said Falardeau.

As a woman who lived with severe burn scarring for her whole life, Falardeau has had her share of depression, lack of self-confidence and struggles as she grew up requiring multiple surgeries, facial reconstruction and constant rejection.

Now, Falardeau shares her story as a successful keynote motivational speaker and has written multiple books on how women and teens can love their bodies and learn to appreciate themselves.

On Oct. 5th, she is welcoming women and teens to come and hear about how they can embrace whatever faults they feel they have and become strong women comfortable in their own skin, she said.

“My whole life I struggled with feeling beautiful, loved, wanted and needed and not being rejected. I remember praying to God and asking to not wake up or to wake up scar-less. I remember my last doctor’s appointment when I was 18, when I was told there was nothing left that they could do for me,” said Falardeau.

“My whole life I felt ugly, unwanted and rejected. I never believed I would find somebody to love me, but now I know that’s not true. I know that because of the man I’m dating right now.”

Falardeau said that she’d like to keep this presentation for women and girls ages 12 and above, because they do deal with some mature themes such as sex, suicide and depression. She shares stories of depression, anger and rejection but also of hope, encouragement and strength.

For years, Falardeau has been presenting herself to people and has been given many awards for her motivational speaking. Her presentation surrounds sharing the ‘three traps that keep women and teens feeling unloved, ugly and unwanted.’ She said that along with her three traps, she will, “Share the secrets that helped her grow from an ‘ugly, scar-faced girl’ into the beautiful successful woman (she) is now.”

Working with Soroptimist International is not new to Falardeau. She has spoken at previous events held by the international volunteer organization whose aim is to transform the lives of women and girls through empowerment, information and connecting with communities.

Joining Falardeau will be Ellis, advocate and coach on the relationship between happiness, empowerment and wealth. She has created multiple programs and web-based coaching experiences that focus on the connection between emotional stability, happiness and financial success.

Red Deerian Mendonsa will also be speaking at the event regarding how her experience with bullying and a long struggle with depression helped her become a confident, successful young woman.

“Too many times we let strangers control our thoughts, and I decided strangers would not control me. I met a great speaker and was told to use my scars as my gift and be a speaker. I spent my whole life trying to ignore my scars and blend in. I just wanted the feeling of being in love with myself, and now I am,” said Falardeau.

Tickets for the event are available online at www.howtoloveyourself.org/events or by calling Sherri Smith at 403-391-7912. Tickets and registration are only $20, and teens are free when accompanied by their mothers.