Emily M. DeArdo


Your Life Doesn't Have To Be Perfect To Be Joyful 


A joy-filled life isn't about your circumstances. It's about what you do with those circumstances. 

I've almost died five times. I had epilepsy as a child, and was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) at the age of 11. I was lucky enough to receive a life-saving double lung transplant when I was 23 years old, and I say "lucky" because 20 people in the United States die every day waiting for a transplant. 

I've sat in doctor's offices and heard the bad news. I've had days where brushing my teeth was the most activity I could accomplish. I've lost my hearing and now use a cochlear implant to hear, because I'd rather be alive and have crappy hearing than dead with perfect hearing. I've known the dark nights where trusting God has been all but impossible. But throughout all that, I've leaned one big lesson: My life isn't defined by my health. It's defined by what I do with the one, precious life I have. 

Embrace life...

Despite all that, I graduated from college--on time, with a double major, despite spending two weeks in a medically-induced coma while doctors frantically tried to figure out what was wrong with me (turns out, I had contracted a bug that only one other person in the world had ever had). I combined my love of writing and politics with a ten year career in state government. Now, I write, edit, and research for Take Up and Read, a Catholic women's devotional company. I published my first book, Catholic 101, in November 2017.  Because, really, the only thing that gets me through the dark places is God (well, and Jane Austen. And knitting. And tea!). 

I love to tell my story to various audiences. I've been a guest on the Jennifer Fulwiler Show and had my writing featured on foreverymom.com 

My new book, Living Memento Mori: My Journey Through the Stations of the Cross, will be published by Ave Maria Press in January 2020.


...and have some fun along the way

On July 18, 2016, I was a contestant on Jeopardy!

I love to perform in regional and community theater (some of the shows I've been in: Parade, Les Miserables, The Music Man, The Importance of Being Earnest, Oliver!, Jekyll & Hyde, Hello, Dolly!, And Then There Were None). 

I love to knit, cook, read, and travel. 

I'm the oldest of three kids. My brother is a sportswriter, and my sister is a nurse at a Denver area pediatric practice.


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"Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

--Pope Benedict XVI