Interest Statement and Bio
Radene Marie Cook is a native of California, where she currently lives with her husband Doug, her mother and a big service dog named Raja.
Before an aircraft accident in 2000, Radene was an award-winning airborne news and traffic reporter in Los Angeles. Before that, her career included 15 years in radio as an on-air personality, a working stage actress, singer and dancer.
Radene has an American Indian heritage (Cherokee, Choctaw and Maya) and from a young age gained an interest in storytelling, traditional arts, crafts and jewelry making. For a time she also taught a small community class on the Cherokee (Tsalagi) language. Together with Doug and a martial arts expert, they opened a multi discipline self defense studio where she studied and could eventually coach other women.
The plane collision in 2000 changed life dramatically. A strong sense of humor, her simple spirituality and the great love and support from her family and friends carried her through the devastation of her physical condition. The key to Radene’s recovery came in 2005 when a specialist in intractable pain gave her a pain management regimen that was appropriate for her condition. In a few years of having proper treatment, she could –from home – run her own business “Aniwaya Artistry” which includes the multi-media art she creates and calls “Storytelling on canvas” as each piece has a narrative.
It is also where she works as a researcher for a group of specialists who are actively researching chronic pain as a pathology, looking for new treatments and modalities for relief. Like other chronic conditions, Radene will have to continue treatments for life but because of them, she can finally PARTICIPATE in life again and wants that freedom for everyone with chronic or intractable pain.
She and Doug are outspoken advocates for pain awareness issues. Radene is currently the head advocate for IPPU-Intractable Pain Patients United and state leader for the American Pain Foundation’s Action Network. Her book, The PAIN Factory: Confessions of a Worker’s Comp BAD Girl, will be coming out in 2011.
Radene shares, “With all my conviction, I support For Grace in their tireless work for women in pain. I am thrilled and honored for this opportunity to stand by their side.”