The Unexpected Lifeline | Marquina Iliev-Piselli | TEDxColumbiaUniversity

Join world-renowned performer Marquina Iliev-Piselli in her spectacular story of how she hit cancer back – with an air guitar. In this refreshing take on the power of hobbies, Marquina asks us to consider where we can find youthfulness in our individual stages of life.
Marquina Iliev-Piselli is a Digital Marketer and the Founder of AuthorpreneurLaunch.com. She helps authors feel empowered, not overwhelmed, by marketing. When not promoting books, you can find her curled up on the couch reading with her son. In addition to her book-life, Marquina is an insufferable karaoke singer, electric guitar player, and air guitar enthusiast. Air Guitar? Yep! It’s a thing! Click here for an air guitar intro video. On any given evening, you can find her with her husband and son rocking out in the living room. Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan (Go Blue!), she has a Masters from Columbia University in Instructional Technology & Media. After a breast cancer diagnosis in 2015, she created The Glam Chemo project as well as The Women’s Empowerment Project at Weill Cornell. She volunteers with ProjectKoru.org and SurvivorNet.com to support others diagnosed with cancer. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx



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  1. Finding joy hey… I dare say this has been a goal for a lot of people during all these lock downs and such. And listening to this talk (so relateable) I see now why it is so important to make sure there is something in your life that brings a spark back into your life.

  2. Recently divorced and 4 kids who have all started their own families, it was only once I found a game called Klask did I really start to find a bit of joy again. Maybe it was the competition of it or the fact when I went to a pub to play it, there were so many different types of people! But we all talked and bonded and it was so beautiful

  3. Her joy is inspiring. I'm imagining her as this straight edge lady who was all matter of fact and then boom, THIS! Look at her! She is such a radiant example of what it means to have joy in your life. What a beauty!

  4. So many of us would be so much better off if we had a hobby that brought us actual joy. The lack of balance in life these days is so heartbreaking. But here's this lady, getting through and making such a different. I needed this joyful reminder today.

  5. I made a comment about my growing ears and someone told me I was too hard on myself. I laughed and said 'oh I that's was my sense of humor', we always banter back and forth about the bits and pieces we call life.

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