Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous” is what Houston Council Member Ellen Cohen said about how she and her late husband, Lyon, landed in Houston in 1977 when she appeared on “Make It Happen With David Lorms”, on www.KBRZSports.com, Friday August 22, 2014. While living in Montreal, Canada, Lyon had been diagnosed with a spinal cord tumor that was inoperable and Cohen thinks a greater force lead them to Houston, where some of the words greatest medical professionals and facilities, such as MD Anderson, MethodistHospital and MemorialHospital resided. She believes because of the great care Lyon got in Houston, Lyon lived 18 more quality years!
A Cleveland, OH native, Cohen met Lyon while on a trip to camp in Canada at the age of 14. At 20, they got married and she moved to Canada with Lyon and lived there for 17 years. While there, Cohen was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1969, a time when words like cancerand breast were never talked about. In fact, chemo and radiation was neither available nor any other treatment other than a mastectomy. “You play the cards you are dealt” is how Cohen approached her options. After surgery, she found there were no support groups or resources to answer questions she had as a breast cancer survivor. So, she started Reach for Recovery in Canada, a self help post mastectomy recovery group,which had started in New York. “No other woman should have to go through this” is what she said was her motivation to oversee the program in Canada.
Once in Houston, Cohen’s first job was as the Executive Director and CEO of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), the oldest human rights organization in the nation, where she worked for 18 years. Then, she was asked to join the board of the Houston Area Women’s Center and later served as the Executive Director for 18 years helping victims of domestic and sexual abuse. Sadly, Lyon passed away but a few years later, she was encouraged to run for State Representative, and won. She served for two terms but lost her run for a third term.
The election was barely over when she was asked to run for Houston City Council, District C. Recently, she was the Whip for the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) which was recently passed by the city council. HERO protects residents and visitors from discrimination in employment, housing, service, and public establishments based on sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, color, origin, marital status, family status, religion, disability, genetic information, military status, and pregnancy. As the forth largest city in the country, Houston was the only city of any significance with out this type of ordinance. To hear more of the interview, visit http://www.spreaker.com/
David Lorms hosts Make It Happen with David Lorms, an internet radio show about entrepreneurs, business owners, and successful people, their challenges and failures turned into success, and advice for people to better their lives and careers. Past episodes are available by pod cast on http://www.spreaker.com/