How to make lemonade when life gives you lemons. Turning pain into purpose with a passion project.

With 20 or 30 years of work under your belt life may catch up with you in the form of health issues, family/caring responsibilities or the death of a parent for example.   When this curve ball shows up it can stop you in your life tracks, as well as your career. Trying to keep it together as a seasoned professional at this critical and crippling time of your life may force you to rethink how you live and work. Faced with the reality that life is too short, can leave you questioning whether continuing the same career path is practical, feasible or even right for you on this second act/chance of life.

Although you are not close to pensionable age you may have a creeping feeling that time is running out and you want to be remembered for the ‘L’ word ‘Legacy’ and not live with the ‘R’ word regret.   It is at these crossroads when we might turn inwards and/or work with coaches and mentors to tune into what type of person we want to be, how we want to serve and how we want to be remembered. In short, how do you want to show up in the world in respect to your life and career?

Take Dafina Malovska, at the age of 35 years her world was turned upside down when she was diagnosed with womb cancer.  As a survivor, she wanted to ensure that no women should go through what she went through. Dafina started the #checkMEup Campaign which champions yearly gynaecological check-ups for women. Proof that you can turn personal pain into purpose to change the world. Read Dafina’s inspirational start-up story here.

Business Feature of the Week: #checkMEup Campaign


1)     Tell me about your campaign?

I started a campaign for Yearly Gynaecological Check-Ups for all women in the UK from adolescence.

The aim of the campaign is that women get yearly preventative checks for all their reproductive organs to ensure and maintain good gynaecological health and contribute towards educating women about their bodies. The check-ups will also give girls and women a chance to openly discuss any gynaecological concerns with a specialist, in confidence, such as: periods, sex, contraception, fertility, pregnancy & menopause.


2)     When and why did you set it up?

I started it 10 months ago. After my personal experience with late womb cancer diagnosis at 35, I realised that women’s health in the UK is not taken seriously and urgent change is needed.


3)     How did you set up your campaign?

I started a petition on - petition website.


4)     What problems did you encounter? How did you overcome them?

I reached out to so many organisations and asked for their support. Only a few responded but not many showed support. That didn’t stop me, it only proved to me that there is so little understanding of this issue and gave me the push to work harder to change this. I was promoting the petition on my own through direct emails and on social media. Once I started getting support from medical professionals and influential people then organisations began to approach me to work with them.


5)     What 3 skills have you utilised and developed in setting up and running your campaign?

Since I got the drive to help other people & I realised that it is all in my hands if I want to make this happen, I became more confident, better at networking and I improved my public speaking skills.


6)     What 3 pieces of tech or resources could you not live without that help organise and manage your day/time? E.g. Iphone Cal, Safari, WhatsApp, Social Media

·       Iphone

·       MacBook

·       Instagram


7)     What have been the benefits to you in running your campaign?

I gained back my self-confidence.


8)     What has been your proudest achievement so far?

Meeting up with MPs and gaining their support. Also a live interview on BBC Radio 5 Live-Emma Barnett show.


9)     In hindsight, what one piece of advice do you wish someone gave you when you started out in your campaign?

Go out there and network with people you need before you start the campaign.


Want to find out more?

·       Link to the petition:


Please sign & share this petition for Yearly Gynecological check-ups for your sisters, daughters, mothers, wives, girlfriends and friends!

There is a real need to reduce late diagnoses of the five gynecological cancers & smash taboos in women’s health.  #checkMEup