This week I’m interviewing Martie Gillin!
Martie Gillin and her late husband, Bob Gillin, had 10 children, 27 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. Happy early birthday to Martie – she turns 81 on October 19th! Martie is one of my favorite people – she has humbly touched so many people’s lives in profound ways. In this interview, Martie covers a range of topics, including her top priorities – the 4Fs – Faith, family, friends and forgiveness. I especially love her advice on raising children and how listening is the most important quality to practice. We also touch on when Martie lost her late son, Bobby Gillin, to Aids in 1992 – he was just 30 years old but in those 30 years she talks about how he made such a difference in every single life he came across. Bobby asked Martie to help break the silence of a whispered disease, so she began doing HIV/AIDS awareness talks in schools. These talks then inspired Martie to start a nonprofit organization called SpeakUp which is a powerful movement that promotes open, honest communication about the challenges facing today’s youth. She partnered with schools all over the mainline and greater Philadelphia area to bring their youth, educators and parents together for courageous conversations where the young people could be themselves and be honest about the reality of their lives and find guidance and support.
Awards include but are not limited to: University of Notre Dame “Women of Distinction” Award, Magee Rehabilitation Hospital Humanitarian, St. Francis Country House Award, Maynooth College-Ireland Award, The Catherine McAuley Award, Philadelphia Eagles “Fly for Leukemia Award,” The Holy Child Cornelia Connelly Award, The Visiting Nurses Caring Huntington’s Disease Society of America Award, Catholic Youth Organization Award.
0:44 Early life
6:08 How she applied ‘grit’ to life
10:17 How to step out of your comfort zone?
14:09 Dealing with the naysayers
15:58 How to deal with competition with siblings?
20:10 Dealing with someone new joining the family
22:36 Taking interest in others
24:50 Advice for new parents
28:35 Dealing with Loss of a child
34:00 Comforting after a loss
42:30 A higher power gives you hope
45:08 How to get over a bad day?
46:51 Gratitude practice for every night
49:11 Speak Up! – turning personal tragedy into a business
55:46 Border story
58:42 What is success?