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High Five Success Stories
High Five Success Stories
Episode #06: Dealing with Adversity with Martie Gillin

Episode #6: Dealing with Adversity with Martie Gillin

Hi everybody!

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.

Show notes

  • 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?

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