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I was a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who lived a childhood that nobody should have to. I went from a homeless girl living in a car to working along side some of the worlds most powerful people. If there is a mountain in front of me, it's getting climbed!
The first and most important thing to know about me is that family comes first and God is above all!
I'm Californian born, Ohio raised, and now full-time Florida free. I graduated high school in 1985, started military service in 1986, and served at the Swanton 180th Tactical Fighter Group as the Demand Processing Supply Technician. Wanting to grow in my job, I cross trained into fuels in the evening , which gave me the ability to drive big trucks around big, BIG planes. And I loved it!
I married in May of 1990, looking forward to what I thought would be your cookie cutter "White Picket Fence" lifestyle. My then husband and I immediately started trying to get pregnant. Little did I know the curve ball's life would throw at me...
My first pregnancy ended with the death of my first born daughter, Faith. Due to a neural tube birth defect, Faith was born into this world without a brain. While she was only alive for a matter of moments, she was and still is my daughter who I cannot wait to meet again in Heaven.
In November 1991, Nathan was born and I was the happiest woman alive. But like Faith, Nathan was also born with a neural tube birth defect, Spina Bifida. A non-cancerous tumor the size of a man's fist was lodged in Nathan's spine at birth. At three days old, surgeons performed a 5 hour long surgery to remove that tumor, and it became immediately clear that this beautiful boy was going to need every ounce of courage, dedication, faith, and love I could muster in order to not only survive, but excel in this world.
At 24 years old, I took it upon myself to learn Nathan's disability and medical history inside and out. The first 3 months of Nathan's life were lived in the hospital. In that time, I taught myself how to read CAT Scans, X-Rays, and MRI's so that I could be as equal of a decision maker in Nathan's medical and longterm care as the doctors who operated on him 14 times during his first two years of life.
From day one, I was always looking at the bigger picture for Nathan's future. I knew that in order for him to succeed as an adult that he was going to need to be as independent as possible within the parameters of his disability. From the beginning of his life, I looked at every decision I made for him and asked "How will this make his adulthood successful?"
This meant seeking out a surgical team who I considered then and now to be professionals at the very top of their field. I took a lot of criticism from the established Spina Bifida community at the time for raising Nathan differently than their community was used to. My approach to Nathan's medical care and who I choose to operate on him were completely different from the physicians and medical team that the SB community recommended.
My strength was required in order to raise Nathan. To date, he has had 52 operations and currently has two lined up for this year.
Over time, I gained and earned the respect of every medical professional that cared for Nathan. And as he grew up, the tough decisions that I made while he was an infant were beginning to pay off. Once Nathan's medical care was under control, it was time to grow my family.
In 1995, McKenzie was born and, while fairly healthy, had to spend her first 6 months on an apnea monitor. Apparently, my kids didn't like to breath in their sleep because Nathan also spent the first 18 months of his life on an apnea monitor as well. Hannah would complete our family in 1997, no apnea monitor required.
From 1991 until early 1998, I had become increasingly ill suffering from constant migraines and nerve pain that would leave me debilitated for hours at a time. For years, doctors didn't know how to diagnose me, leaving me to rely on pain pills in order to function throughout the day. It wouldn't be until a church trip to Isreal later that year that I would learn about my own neural tube defect. In a chance encounter with another tourist on the top of the Mount of Olives, I'd come to learn about my version of Chiari Malformation, and how the symptoms are widely misdiagnosed. By September 1999, I had reconstructive surgery done on my skull , alleviating years of suffering and pain. The entire back-half of my skull was completely removed and rebuilt.
Life had become more routine, but the medical bills never stopped coming. In 2003, the financial stress of 11 years of medical debt finally took its toll at the expense of my marriage. While I was scared for how I was going to raise three kids as a single mom, it was the best decision for my family and my overall happiness.
As I began life as a single mom, I made sure God and church were paramount to my kids upbringing. I served as the church children's choir director, attended regular mission trips, directed children's musicals for Christmas and Easter, was an active member of the United Methodist Women's groups and showered my kids in music as much as possible. We never had a lot, but as long as we God and each other, that was all that mattered. Nathan would ultimately make music his career going into college and was privileged to be a featured singer/dancer at Dollywood Theme Park for four years.
Between school concerts, hospital stays, and homework, I learned to enjoy hobbies I never had the luxury to pursue during my marriage. I quickly fell in love with ballroom dancing, while at the same time learning to be a host for Reality TV web series that reviewed shows like Big Brother, Survivor, Dancing With The Stars,, The Apprentice, and The Amazing Race. My kids were happy and healthy, and that's all that mattered.
By 2015, my two oldest were off at college while my youngest was finishing her senior year of high school. After 18+ years of being the #1 advocate on behalf of Nathan's health, I found myself at a crossroads with what to do with my life now that this job was over. Having had to live on financial assistance while he was a minor meant that I was forced to live in poverty in order to ensure he was given the best medical care possible.
During this time, I became increasingly interested in politics. After having to live within the welfare system in order to survive, I came to learn about my deeply conservative ideals and wondered how I might be able to help like-minded conservatives win office. Then, Donald Trump made his way down the escalator. From that very moment, I knew that this man would be the next president and that I was going to do everything in my power to ensure his election.
I started by volunteering all of my available free time to the Trump Campaign team in the primary of 2015. Within three months time, my daughter, McKenzie, and I had been promoted as full time staffers on behalf of the campaign. Nathan and Hannah, while not official staffers, also volunteered their time and talents as they both were honored with singing the National Anthem at two different Trump Rally's leading up to his 2016 election.
After living in Ohio for over 30+ years, I was relocated to Southwest Florida to run five counties on behalf of the Republican National Committee for the 2018 election cycle. During this same cycle, Nathan and Hannah decided to join me in Florida to help "Keep Florida Red" as we decided to make politics our family business. My daughter McKenzie remained in Ohio working for the Ohio Republican Party. At the end of 2018, we were happy to claim victory for Gov. Ron DeSantis, Senator Rick Scott, & State Att. Ashley Moodey, along with every major state representative and senate seat within our five country boundary.
My family and I continued politics for one more cycle in 2020, this time exclusively running four candidates for county wide and congressional office. As the campaign manager for four active campaigns, I learned to make powerful business connections and allies with the local community. While the results were not in favor of our candidates, I was more encouraged then ever about my next career endeavor .
From the moment I moved to Florida, every person I ran across in politics would ask me "Diana, why don't you have your real estate license, yet?" When an overwhelming majority of people tell you that you would be fantastic at something, you should probably listen to them. What I've found so far is that real estate marries my desire to help people with my ability to connect people.
The thing you need to know about Diana the most is that my life has been about service. When I'm taking care of another human being, whether I'm advocating for them for office, advocating for their medical needs, advocating for their rights, or advocating for the purchase of their first home, I take extreme pride and joy in being able to solve their problems.
As your next real estate agent, I promise to give you the attention and dedication you deserve when making such a large decision and commitment. Whether you are window shopping, passively shopping for a future property, or looking to buy a new home as soon as possible, I will not stop until you are happily in the home of your dreams. Give me a call or email today!
As a veteran, taking care of other veterans is part of who I am. Honor Flight is a nationwide organization that takes WWII, Korean and Vietnam veterans for a special trip to Washington D.C. where they get to go see the monuments that were made to them. These men were young boys when they went off to war, war is ugly, they saw things you don't ever want to see. On Honor Flight days, old men become young soldiers again. They laugh and talk about the old days with people who actually understand the heroics and horrors they lived through.
For as long as I live I will remember Ernie Boer. Ernie and I were matched together to be Honor Flight veteran and guardian. In 2019, I met Ernie at lunch after being matched with him and I knew in that second that he and I would be friends for as long as we were both alive. Ernie later told his family that he had dreamed about me his entire life and the day I walked into the room, he knew that his guardian angel had arrived.
Ernie was a Dutch citizen during WWII. As a teenager he had to dress as a girl to escape Nazi-occupied territory. He told anyone who would listen how he watched his fellow countrymen turn other countrymen into their certain doom, just to save their own skin and make life comfortable. He despised people who would turn innocent people over to a corrupt government for temporary comforts. Ernie joined the resistance as a teenager and then the Dutch Army. He fought a war in Indonesia for the Dutch, but then he moved to America and became a citizen. He then served in the Korean War for the United States.
Ernie had a million stories and he was a firecracker, we were perfect for each other. I was with Ernie this year when he went to meet our Lord. Kissing his face as he crossed over I made a silent promise to him that I would salute the flag from that day forward in honor of him. Veterans can salute the flag instead of putting their hand over their heart. Until I became Ernie's guardian, I never did that because I felt it just brought more attention to me than the flag. Now I salute, for Ernie, for the country he loved and for every veteran who put their life on the line for our way of life.
Our cookie shop is one of three small businesses I have owned. In the late 90's I had a gift store in the Franklin Park Mall of Toledo Ohio. I have since found that I prefer small businesses that are portable. I don't see any business I own in the future being a brick and mortar, but life has a way of changing that. This is our cookie store. You can find it on Facebook and you can order cookies through the year for birthdays, holidays etc.