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Getting Personal

Melissa Wiggins, a former lawyer turned life coach and now podcast host, on creating the Cannonball Kids’ cancer Foundation with her husband Michael, their young son’s battle with the disease and her journey to find happiness.


    1. Eight years ago, while 38 weeks pregnant with twins, my husband and I heard the words no parent wants to hear, “Your child has cancer.” As I write this, I am sitting in a hospital room with Cannon. We are still dealing with the side effects of treatment. Pediatric cancer is a life sentence or a death sentence and nothing in between. I continue to believe that research is the key and it is the only solution to the atrocity that is pediatric cancer. 
    2. Cannon’s battle with cancer has shown me that life is a journey.

 It has made me realize that we should enjoy moments more than events and always remember that happiness is not a destination. If you cannot find happiness today, you cannot find it tomorrow.

  1. Being the founder of Cannonball Kids’ cancer is one of my greatest joys but funding research is my love language. We educate for change and create options for kids battling cancer where there were none. My husband and I have made it our life mission to see to it that no family should ever hear the words “no more options!” 
  2. Earlier this year, I ran a marathon and raised $26,700 for innovative treatment options for kids with cancer. I exceeded our goal of a $1,000 per mile. I ran each mile for a different child who has battled cancer. I am so thankful for Track Shack’s MarathonFest training program and everyone who ran that day; I could not have done it without them. We did it as a team and that made my heart so happy. I was proud of my effort of finishing in under four hours and despite saying I would never run another marathon; I am sure I could be convinced if it was for kids battling cancer.
  3. Our family recently adopted an incredible little girl, named Charlie. She and I share a birthday! We are soul sisters! I love her so much it blows my mind. Adoption is the best decision of my life. If I knew the love would be the same as my three biological boys and step daughter … well let’s just say I highly recommend adoption. Charlie has had two major surgeries since we adopted her but she is thriving. We love her very much! We are her family now!
  4. A Cup of Tea with Mummabear is a live show and a podcast where I interview inspiring authors. As a life coach I spend a lot of time reading growth and leadership books and these authors inspired me so much that I started a podcast to share their work. 
  5. If I ever go missing look in Barnes and Noble first. Group by Christie Tate is the most real, raw book I’ve ever read. I interview authors on my podcast so I have the honor of meeting many incredible ones and Christie was one of my most memorable guests. I also highly recommend Bravery by Alexi Pappas—it is truly phenomenal.
  6. The best part of living in Orlando is the sense of community. I have never lived anywhere that has a community like this. My kids love to bike through our neighborhood. They walk and bike to school and play with their friends on the street outside our house—the lifestyle is a dream here. It often feels like a constant vacation. We are gr
  7. One of my favorite restaurants is Hillstone in Winter Park. The food there is amazing. My hubby and I also love Lee and Ricks Oyster Bar. 

10. The best advice I was ever given is, “Not everyone is going to like you and you need to be OK with that.” As a recovered people-pleaser I no longer spend energy trying to make others like me or bend myself into a pretzel to be what they want me to be. This month marks 12 years of sobriety for me and during those years I’ve come to trust myself and my intuition.