I always knew I wanted to be a journalist. Like everyone else, I've had ups and downs in my career, but that never stopped me from loving my profession. My first big break came when I was working as a local news reporter at WRC in Washington: Tim Russert called to offer me a position as the deputy Pentagon correspondent at NBC News. That ‘up’ turned into early mornings at the Today Show for fifteen years and a five-year run as the first female solo anchor of an evening newscast at CBS News. From there, I tried a daytime talk show and I’m now trying to navigate the relatively nascent and exciting world of digital news at Yahoo. But those things you probably know.

While many know me as a journalist or ‘TV personality’ (ick!), for almost two decades I’ve also had another job—another passion and another reason I get up every day. And this calling, borne out of tragedy 18 years ago, was the one that changed my life the most.