After being diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer, Gwen was given a dire expiration date. Rather than abandon hope, Gwen took the news as a challenge. She finally knew what was wrong after so many years of misdiagnoses and incorrect information. Gwen could finally take actions to survive. Not only survive, but thrive. Since learning the truth about her condition, and creating a system of improving her health, mindset and relations – of living life to the fullest – she has become a survivor. In fact, Gwen is one of the only 25% of people with her particular cancer who have lived well beyond their expiration date.

Gwen’s goal – her mission! – is to share with others the solutions that have worked for her. It doesn’t matter if you’re healthy or not – you can always improve your situation and make your own luck through a series of calculated actions and smart behaviors.

You can always improve your luck through doing what Gwen has done to make her life rich with possibility and happiness.


Gwen was born in Elgin, Illinois, in 1963. When she was 8 years old, her parents and siblings moved to Crystal Lake, Illinois. Crystal Lake is where Gwen grew up – living with her parents, her older brother, sister and twin brother– until she left for college.

Gwen’s father had a successful 35-year career as a book salesman with leading educational publisher Scott Foresman. Her mother spent her entire career as a teacher. 

Gwen attended Illinois State University, pursuing a liberal arts degree. The summer before returning to school to begin her sophomore year, Gwen decided not to return to ISU, to pursue other interests. Her parents supported Gwen’s decision to not waste time and money when she didn’t know what she wanted to do about her college education.

So rather than attending college Gwen moved to downtown Chicago. Over the next couple of years, as she pursued modeling in Chicago and Europe, she also worked a back-up job as a waitress. Upon returning from a modeling stint in Europe, Gwen decided to take a job as a clerk at the Chicago Board Options Exchange in the Index and Equity options pits – thinking it would be an interim job before she could return to Europe. But what had begun in January of 1987 as a short-term job ultimately turned into a full time job that lasted almost three years.

Gwen met her future husband Adam on the CBOE trading floor in the spring of 1987. They dated for over a year and were engaged in August 1988. Gwen and Adam wed on February 4, 1989.

Gwen built a thriving business as a professional stylist, while creating a family. She has worked in her own business, or independently, in some capacity in the fashion industry most of her life. This allowed her the flexibility to work on her interests and be a stay at home mom to raise a family.

Gwen and Adam have been blessed with four children. Teddy was born in April 1991. Her only daughter Rachel was born in October 1992. The twins, Max and Danny were born in November 1994. Currently three out of the four children are pursuing careers in the healthcare industry and the fourth child has settled with Mechanical Engineering.

Purses With Passion

Click on link below to check out The Gwen Marie Collection, “Purses With A Purpose”.

Look and feel good about supporting the breast cancer community.


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