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Seven Hills Hall of Fame November Resident of the Month
Congratulations to the November Hall of Fame Resident of the Month - Michele Tomecko!
I was born into a very close and yet crazy fun family of 7 kids (my identical twin and I are numbers 5&6). Raised in Cleveland Heights, I've always had a passion for art. I started drawing at the age of 5. Every opportunity I had, I would draw. My passions for art grew as I did, in high school I took Saturday classes at the Institute of Art and became Art Chairperson for the Heights Singers (our high school singing group well over 100 kids). While taking on this position, I learned all about set design...and loved seeing my larger than life designs for all to see. When I graduated, I was set on going to college to earn a degree in anything that had to do with art/design. I put myself through 2 years of school working in the production dept at the Sun Newpapers and then life took over. I ended up working in a bridal shop designing custom head pieces.
Fast forward, I've been married 23 years to my soul mate. We are both identical twins, we both come from families of 7 kids and we are both artists! We have 8 children...7 living. Our twins were born at 23 weeks gestation (12 years ago). Sadly we lost our son Nicholas 3 days after birth. Our surviving twin has many health issues and developmental issues which has consumed most of my time and energy these last 12 years. Their very early arrivals, pushed me into taking up writing In which I started a blog, The Tomecko Echo to keep family and friends up to date on my sons health and struggles....and then it kind of snowballed into a family blog, of which I am honest and upfront about life with raising 7 kids and caring for a special needs child. I started my cupcake business as more of a donational thing by accident. I wanted to give back to those who helped our family through tough times, so I baked and donated hundred of cupcakes for our church's fish fry bake sale every week during lent. From that, I baked for the police and firefighters, for fundraisers, birthdays, showers, weddings, MetroHealths NICU reunions, and local happenings like The Taste Of Seven Hills and the Say No to Drugs picnic.
I also make "I beat the odds" t-shirts for babies that are graduating out of the MetroHealth NICU and for kids that have beat the odds birthdays for years to come...all donated by myself and my husband. Just a way to give back to the hospital and to those that are just starting the long road of caring for a baby that has been in the NICU or born way too early.
Like many, I have found that what I wanted...what I thought I was going to do in life, is completely different. My life took side streets and back roads. It was up to me to make the most of what I was experiencing. So, as my life has gone on, I have tried to help those that need help. It has always made me feel better as a human, to give and do for others. Giving away my God given talents and skills that I have worked hard on is what I thrive and live for.
I am an advocate for my son and for all special needs kids
I have been very active in the March of Dimes by ringing awareness to our community about prematurity, miscarriages and infant death.
I volunteered and help start a parent to parent group with the Hospice of The Western Reserve, for parents who have babies/children who are on palliative or hospice care.
I am active in the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Challenger Baseball and Make A Wish (our son had one granted a few years back).
My Halloween yard has been a passion every year. I love creating scenes, planning it out and making things from paper and foam board. I've thrown in a lot of "Easter eggs" for the community to find and smile about.
I live my life by giving and doing...it's what makes me happy and is who I am.
I love making people smile and give them hope that no matter how tough life is...to follow your passions! We are not promised tomorrow...I live my life with the strong possibility that I will lose another child...so to make the best of what we have...and make people smile...to make their day...that moment in time, just a little happy....makes me happy.