In Remembrance of Ginger Johnson
Amoena is grateful for the life of our Ambassador and friend
Merriam-Webster defines radiant as an adjective—vividly bright and shining: glowing; marked by or expressive of love, confidence or happiness. Our friend and ambassador, Ginger Johnson, was radiant. She passed away from metastatic breast cancer May 24. Initially diagnosed with breast cancer at 31 (and while pregnant with her third child), Ginger saw her experience as an opportunity to help others facing the same battle, and boy, did she.
Among multiple outreach efforts in her native Utah and nationally, she founded HappyChemo.com and the Survivor Soul Project and Conference. Last year, she gave a moving TEDx talk about the power of hope. And, five years ago, she moved us with her Mission Strength essay and became an Amoena ambassador – participating in photo shoots, informing others of her favorite Amoena products and in her words, “helping other women feel beautiful.”
Andrea Coomans, Director of National Sales Accounts for Amoena and breast cancer survivor, had a personal connection and friendship with Ginger for the last 10 years.
“When I met Ginger, she had great plans to help and touch the lives of many survivors. She had a huge vision and an even bigger personality. We immediately felt as we had known each other for years,” Andrea said. “Ginger embodied the Amoena vision—to support women’s confidence. She loved to help women feel loved, beautiful and confident after their diagnosis. What better ambassador than a beautiful, vibrant, energetic and optimistic person, who loved our products, our vision and loved us.”
Fellow Amoena ambassadors Carletta Cunningham and Eden Lackey joined Ginger for a photo shoot in April 2014. Their bond was immediate and friendship lasting (Watch the video capturing Ginger, Carletta and Eden behind-the-scenes for that photo shoot).
Beacon of light
Carletta’s first impression of Ginger was that she was a “beacon of light.”
“Ginger was a gentle soul with an incredibly calm but powerful demeanor—a quiet voice with strong convictions about her faith and cancer journey,” Carletta said. “She lived gracefully and transparently through her diagnosis and treatment. We could relate to her struggles and victories. She was genuine and an incredible advocate both for herself and others.”
Susan “Sooz” Stever had a similar first impression when she met Ginger at a Survivor Soul conference two years ago.
“Ginger had a magical way of focusing only on you with her entire attention. When she shared that magical energy with you, it was electric. You had no choice but to immediately share in the passion she had because it was severely contagious and you wanted what Ginger had—inner peace and an immense passion for healing and for living,” Sooz said.
Extended members of the Amoena family learned more about Ginger in our Amoena Life magazine feature, and we were honored to share her compelling story of perseverance through The Day I Was Told. As part of that experience, she shared, “My outlook on life has changed drastically. Now I’m a lot more purposeful about what I do. When life is in jeopardy, you start to really think more clearly about what it is that you value most. I really have a bigger desire now to help other women be able to overcome in their own personal ways.”
In her life, Ginger overcame incredible obstacles—facing cancer three times—but according to Sooz, no one, including Ginger, felt sorry for her.
“Nothing about her journey was easy, but she did not focus on the hardships. She chose to focus on her ability to rise above and persevere. Everyone wants to be like Ginger. She radiates and emotes such love and light. She taught us to focus on things we had control over—positive attitude, positive sense of self and belief that our bodies (hearts and minds) can and will heal,” Sooz said. “Ginger taught others how to be empowered, how to take control of their own health and make life what you want it to be. She didn’t just talk the talk, she walked the walk (several times), showing others that healing isn’t just possible, but that we are allowed to expect wonderful things for ourselves.”
Ginger was not only an ambassador for Amoena, but for women learning to heal from whatever brings them difficulty. She passed away peacefully and surrounded by loved ones. During Ginger’s services, one of her sisters shared with Sooz that although the family is in mourning, Ginger’s passing was actually quite peaceful because of how Ginger lived—without fear. With her passing, her family got a glimpse at the huge impact she made in the lives of so many. They ask that we continue her legacy by giving to others. They set up the Ginger Hoellein Johnson Memorial Fund, which you can donate to via Facebook.
“Ginger’s legacy was to touch one million survivor souls by 2020. I believe that will be achieved as all who knew her now live to help and lift up another,” Andrea said. “In every breast form box there is an insert with a photo of Ginger, smiling brightly. Every person who sees that can’t help but feel her light and love smiling at them.”
Ginger, Amoena thanks you for sharing part of your life with us. In our hearts, you’ll live forever – your radiance continues to glow.
Memories about Ginger
Ginger would give the name “I am awesome,” when ordering food. When the waiter would come out and say, “I have an order for I am awesome,” Ginger would jump up and say, “Yes you are!”
I will always remember the light in her beautiful eyes. You can tell a lot by a person’s eyes. Ginger had the most gorgeous eyes that could see right into a person’s soul and knew exactly what to say or do. Ginger never complained. She took each punch like a champion and would get up, dust herself off and start again. She truly was an incredible person and one that I was greatly blessed to know and call my friend for 10 years. – Andrea Coomans
Ginger professed God's love for us, even through some very challenging times in her life. She and I traded messages throughout the years, and I recently read through some. Her faith was a common theme. I will always remember our spa day together. We giggled and so enjoyed the opportunity to unwind and unload our stresses with someone who understood. I will remember her as a light in the darkness and a beacon of hope. She wanted us all to live positively and to rid ourselves of negative energy. That’s how she lived. – Carletta Cunningham
A fundamental lesson I learned from Ginger was that you cannot heal in the same environment that made you sick. Being consumed, and at times debilitated, with fear, anger and resentment for our sick bodies wasn’t helping us heal. Ginger facilitated exercises that taught others to be gentle and tender with their emotions and continuously work on forgiving and accepting their sick bodies, decreasing fear and promoting inner peace. Her devout faith in her religion and higher power gave her strength to heal and persevere in some very dark times. She attributed every ounce of strength and healing to her faith. She also was devoted to her children and often shared that they were her reason for living and motivation to heal her body. She loved them fiercely. Ginger was equally devoted to an extended family of survivor sisters. She always shared what she had learned and discovered with others because she selflessly wanted them to be as at peace as she was. She was a wonderful example of love and light and will be sorely missed. – Sooz Stever