I find this a little difficult as I would rather be writing about someone else. I am mostly a private person, but here is my autobiography, with insights on who I am and how I reached where I am today.

I'll start at the beginning, as David Copperfield once said, "I was born" in a city that is today considered to be a very dangerous place to live, it wasn't like that when I lived there. Compton California was a wonderful place to live, I have very fond memories of my childhood and friends from Compton.

My parents were both from Iowa, they met when my mother was 13 years old and Dad was 17. Both came from broken homes and were pretty much left on their own. Within a few years of their meeting both of their entire families moved to California.

After Mom and Dad were married they took the only jobs available which then were referred to as "fruit tramps". They followed the harvest from El Centro to Firebaugh California.

When my oldest sister started school, my parents settled in Compton, my dad went to work for a trucking company, within a short period of time he was promoted to Vice President, the owner of this company saw his potential as a natural leader. An article about his promotion was written in the Wall Street Journal. I was, and still am, very proud of my dad even though he has long since gone home to be with our Lord.

My Mother

My mother was a very special woman, basically raising herself she became an avid reader, with the ability to retain what she read. (Sadly this is not one of my qualities) My mom was a woman way ahead of her time, she also was a natural leader.

Mom joined every women's club (plus other organizations) not just to be a member, she joined because she thought she was best suited to run each and every organization, and she did! She was written up in "Who's Who in American Women". Needless to say I am very blessed to have had such strong and wonderful parents, both with inborn leadership qualities.

They were also a very hard act to follow!

I am the middle child out of five siblings. I was considered to be the shy one in my family. I'm not shy at all, but the competition in my family was tough, as my two older sisters were very vivacious and verbal, some might even call it loud, lol- but they were a lot of fun. I just stepped back and let them roll.

Of my five siblings, four were biological, my cousin was abandoned by her parents who had a very troubled marriage. My parents were always asked to care for her, one day my dad said "Enough of this", they opted to adopt my cousin so then there were five of us.

Out of all my sisters and one brother, I was especially blessed and was my dad's favorite, I loved it! I literally worshiped him.

He tolerated my rebellious teenage years with love and wisdom, mom had a more difficult time with those years. She was from stern German stock, mom was also my closest confidant.

My sisters Pat and Judy with my Mom and myself in Pennsylvania

" What I truly wanted as a career was to be an undercover narcotics agent. Granted I was a little ahead of my time, I guess that was in my DNA from my parents.

My grades weren't all that wonderful and I was full of personal insecurities. Strangely I discovered in later years my parents were just as insecure as I was. With both of them being raised basically on their own with no guidance, but being of strong character, they didn't let a little insecurity get in their way."

Getting back to my career choices, I assumed I would fail the test for the police department and not wanting to admit to failure I let that go, and followed my sisters dream of attending beauty college.

This I was successful at, finally. Whew! I have had a great career in the film industry. I'll get to that later.

My first marriage was a total disaster, as he was violent. I had two daughters with him then left the marriage, my dad came to my rescue. This is one of the stories of how spoiled I was, my dad actually had a house built for me on his property to assure I would have a place to live. I loved my daddy.

I worked in hair salons for 10 years, then something really great came into my life,(no, not a new boyfriend) it was a job I didn't expect. The company my dad worked for had opened something new in international shipping, this manner of handling containerized cargo was new to everyone in the company. With no experience in that field I volunteered to help until they found a qualified person with actual experience, fast forward 20 years, I was then the very experienced person who learned by on-the-job training and many mistakes.

By then my girls had grown and left home, I was offered a job by a friend in the film industry, as a hair stylist. I jumped at it because I was alone with no responsibilities. It was hard work, long hours, great money, and getting to meet the most exciting actors. It was a very sporadic job though. I loved the travel, the locations and the people I worked with, to top it all off I received screen credits, this is something people in our industry work for all of their careers and may never get. It paid off not letting my cosmetology license expire. I love the continued blessings our Lord gives.

Once production is over you are unemployed again and looking for the next job. I still work at this on occasion. My heart has moved elsewhere though.

I met my husband Ken Rude, at a bar-b-que, in Southern California, we were married within a year, I then moved to the Central Coast of California because my husband was born and raised there. He also worked in San Luis Obispo, on the California Highway Patrol.

We were married only a short time when my sister Judy was diagnosed with 3rd stage Ovarian Cancer. Judy and I were very close, this was one of two major losses in my life. Judy fought for her life for five years then lost her battle with OC. Before she died she said to me "Don't let this happen to you", then she gave me three specific tests to ask for in each yearly exam, which I did. Your insurance should cover the tests I want you to start asking for:
1 CA 125 blood test
2 Pelvic ultrasound
3 Pelvic exam.

Never one without the other, keep this very important fact in mind, a Pap smear is not a test for ovarian cancer.

" Then I was diagnosed with OC five years after Judy passed away, because of her warnings mine was discovered in the first stage. The second major loss was losing my husband to Leukemia, this happened during my own battle with OC. It was a devastating time in my life. My parents had both passed away, my beloved husband and sister now gone. Family had all moved around as families do "I was alone..."

I spent two years trying to adjust, most of it living in denial then one day it hit me, I survived a terrible disease, Now Do Something! "

Not having the slightest idea of how one creates any type of fundraising, I leapt into starting a non-profit foundation for Ovarian Cancer detection, with the thought "I'll have a golf tournament, that should be easy". What an eye opener, it's not at all easy.

I was again blessed with people who jumped on board and after five years are still with me. Being a person with no knowledge of golf (I do have clubs), I was advised by my golf pro that my plan was going to fail. Well, he didn't have the faith in God as I do, I turned the tournament over to our Lord and to everyone's surprise, it was a huge success. I'm still taken back when God is so interested in these little matters such as a golf tournament.

We are set for our first Educational Fashion/Luncheon show in January 2015. The Elks Lodge in Oceano California is hosting our event. We're expecting to sell 100 tickets, this is exciting! Look for our advertisement on our web site.

At a women's Bible study one morning, someone suggested learning how to knit, that sounded fun, I offered my house as a meeting place where several of us gathered weekly. A month into this the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart about using this group of women not only for personal gain but to reach out and help the homeless here in America and needy around the world.

My suggestion was widely accepted by our group and a new ministry began. We titled it "Covered with Love".

We started knitting hats and scarves, I then started contacting various churches in several Eastern European countries. As of today we have shipped out close to 8,000 hats and scarves. I have lost track of the countries as we ship to churches and their missionaries take them out to remote areas around the world. Of course we serve our own county also such as in Children's hospitals, Salvation Army, Women's Shelters and many more.

I recently had to turn this ministry over to another leader, that was very difficult as I had "owned" this ministry, in my mind. This was my baby, or so I thought, but really it was God's not mine.

The love of the mission field had been building up in my heart, I had accepted an invitation to attend a missions conference with a friend, we were to meet in a certain workshop, I went into the wrong one, I sat right up front directly in front of the speaker. Who then started talking about web sites for the mission field. I thought "I'm in the wrong work-shop, and I'm sitting right in front of this man. I'm stuck here", at that time I was not computer literate, I couldn't even figure out how to get on Facebook.

Well that's how our Lord works, I not only learned how to build a web site, I realized this was just the missionary tool to reach women all over the world. I wanted this for women only with women's issues and women's teaching. No men allowed.

The site, with the devoted and strong support of my web designer (yes I gave up after awhile) has grown to become the largest of its kind in the world. We have translated studies in 4 languages with up to 1,700 visits monthly, from over 35 countries.

I am also working on a new project, that has alluded our community for over 50 years. We have a beautiful historical cemetery in Arroyo Grande, just a few blocks from my home. It's totally abandoned, the cemetery belongs to the diocese of the Catholic Church in Monterrey Ca. The founder of Pismo Beach is buried there along with civil war veterans. It's very sad to see the condition this great cemetery is in. I jumped in the mix to convince the church to allow volunteers in for clean up and restoration, I'm hitting a block wall, I'll keep trying though. So your prayers will be appreciated.

Such a journey with multitudes of blessings.

Sharon Leigh