Photo credit: Toni Nicole Photography
Raman Kapoor – President, DIL Walk Foundation @ramankapoorrd
Advocate for Health and Wellness (Dietitian, Blogger, Author, TV/Radio guest speaker)
I was 13 years old when I was running laps for a school phys ed class. I was last, again. No matter how hard I tried, I was always last, and always out of breath. Having been born with a hole in my heart, had a huge impact on my life. It taught me the power of prevention and the importance of having access to the right information at the right time. And, the role of support from friends, family and the community around me. The individuals around me gave me the courage, and strength to endure and meet my goals. Then, at the age of 24, I had open heart surgery. Compounding this with being a woman, of an ethnic minority, a mother, and a registered dietitian, I knew I could make a difference and inspire those around me. Armed with the ability to communicate in a multilingual manner, I set out to start a journey of helping, healing and building capacity in the community, on a local, national and global level.
During the course of my life, I gained a deeper insight to the power of prevention, and how education, knowledge transfer, and building capacity in those around me can lead to empowerment, self management and the confidence to make a positive change.
Co-founding the DIL Walk Foundation (DWF), was the first step of my journey. DWF is a volunteer run a charity, and an acronym for Do It for Life (DIL). DWF focuses on Wellness, Access, Linkages and Knowledge. Since it’s inception, DIL Walk Foundation has touched the lives of over 25000 people through educational activities, and has saved the health care system over $10 million (a rough estimate, based on the number of DWF participant seen by specialists, GP’s, and Allied Health professionals, not billed to AHS, over the past 6 years).
Women are an important subset of the population that often gets overlooked. Armed with the purpose to inspire, educate and empower, I shifted my focus to the movie industry, and how media can influences health outcomes. This leads me to co-producing a number of Public Service Announcements, as well as 2 Bollywood movies, highlighting health issues, such as the taboo of menstruation in countries such as India.
As my journey continued, I focused on inspiring and helping those around me. The number of people needing support and education is growing everyday. As the population increases, ages and grows, the need for education, and access also grows. This prompted me to question how I can help more people, with limited resources. I started to look at the use of health IT such as apps, artificial intelligence and social media. DWF has now developed its first app and is working on others to reach more people with tools to take control of their health
I am committed to increasing the awareness of heart disease across the life continuum. With a focus starting on children, where prevention begins, to women, and individuals from vulnerable ethnic populations.
Before you were recognized as a Women of Inspiration, what qualities did you believe made an inspiring woman?An inspiring woman is confident and believes in herself and those around her. She is empathetic and learns from the experiences and stories that surround her. She is a leader that leads with passion, and purpose. She is an active team… Click To Tweet
What do you feel is the main lesson you can teach others?
To never give up, and learn something from every person you meet, every story you hear.
What can we learn from you that can impact other women to succeed personally and professionally?
To be a woman of inspiration, we need to know when to ask for support. Sometimes, we strive to inspire and help those around us; we forget to take care and help ourselves. It is ok, to ask for help.
How do you overcome challenges? What keeps you motivated?
Challenges are all around us. To overcome challenges you need to break them down into smaller, more doable challenges. Sometimes we need to step back and give ourselves distance and gain perspective before we tackle the challenge. One step at a time.
My biggest motivator is my children. They teach me the power of love, courage, and patience, all qualities we need to face any challenge in life.
At what point did you realize that you had the power to do something meaningful?
For me, that moment happened when I became a mother. Looking at this innocent little life, I knew I had the power to do something meaningful.
What are some of the keys to success that you can share to empower others?
1. Keep going. Don’t give up. If you don’t achieve success on one path, try another. It is ok to make mistakes.
2. Believe in yourself. You can do it!
3. Take it one step at a time. Focus on the little goals that will lead you to your final goal. When you break a bigger goal into smaller ones, it is often more attainable.
4. Share your story, and learn from others
5. Never stop learning. Be curious. Ask questions.
How do you see your role as Ambassador of Women of Inspiration to inspire and influence others? What steps will you take to continue to inspire, lead and motivate others as a Women of Inspiration?As an Ambassador of Women of Inspiration, I see my role to be a mentor and help guide other women as they find their niche and path to success. Steps I will take to continue tp motivate other is stay actively involved in the larger… Click To Tweet
How has this experience (being selected and recognized as a Woman of Inspiration)
changed/impacted you in your life personally and professional?
The impact has been amazing, and truly a rewarding one. For starters, being an award winner is wonderful way to “break the ice” when you are networking and meeting new people. It is a great conversation starter and provides an opportunity to engage in meaningful conversation, and create connections. In addition, it allows me to inspire those around me, and encourage other women to continue to strive to their best. Recognition is one of the greatest motivators. This award has motivated me to work harder, try harder and continue to give it my best!