She survived an abusive relationship and grave cancer diagnosis, now Angela Kaelin is giving back to those who need help getting back on their feet.
Kaelin was 17 years old when she married her high school sweetheart. The abuse began shortly after the couple’s honeymoon.
“I think the worst part of his abuse was the control of consistently implying that he would kill my children in the night if I didn't behave,” said Kaelin. “The day came when I woke up and he was at the foot of the bed, and he had a gun. He decided he didn't want to live anymore and decided he couldn't kill himself, so he was going to shoot me while I was sleeping, and then he would kill himself because he couldn’t go to prison.”
While dealing with abuse, Kaelin was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma at 29 years old. She was given only six months to live.
After finding a way out of her abusive relationship, Kaelin came to Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma so she could learn skills and get a job to help her land back on her feet.
Kaelin says she was inspired by Reba McEntire’s song “Is There Life Out There.”
Kaelin would soon find her passion working with computers. Now, she’s working for Goodwill as an Administrative Assistant in the Job Connection Center, which helps visitor’s apply for jobs.
“I found this to be probably the most rewarding position I’ve ever been in, because people come in here that were like me,” said Kaelin.
For those in a similar situation, Kaelin’s message is clear - there is life out there.
“As long as you don't give up, you could win the lottery,” said Kaelin. “You've got to stay positive in life even when it drags you through the worst.”
Kaelin says she is in the process of writing a book.
If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse, resources are available through the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.