|| When Roxanne Black was only 15, she was diagnosed with lupus, a chronic
inflammatory disease that can attack the vital organs of the body. As a teenager with a
rare and terrifying ailment, Roxanne yearned to connect with others who knew first-hand
what she was experiencing. So, she formed a support group to bring patients across the
country together. That group has now become Friends' Health Connection nationwide
community that matches thousands of people with similar conditions—from cancer and
lupus to paralysis and chronic pain, and more.
Roxanne’s mission each day for the last 20 years has been to turn her “bad news”
diagnosis into something positive. As she says, “when I might wonder ‘Why me?’, I know
the answer: ‘To help others.” Unexpected Blessings is an extension of that mission.
It brings to life not only Roxanne’s inspiring personal story, but also the lessons of
courage she’s learned from all the famous and not-so-famous people she’s met over the
From a poignant encounter with Christopher Reeve to her intimate experiences
with patients around the globe standing strong in the face of extraordinary challenges,
these are stories of heroism and hope. They are also reminders of the healing that
happens when we can connect together from the heart. Warm and down-to-earth,
Unexpected Blessings offers support and encouragement for anyone touched by illness,
or anyone facing a difficult time in their life. It is a powerful testimony to the strength
of the human spirit.
Roxanne Black is the founder and executive director of Friends’ Health
Connection, an internationally recognized organization that connects people with
similar illnesses or conditions. Friends’ Health Connection also offers events across
the country and a wellness lecture series featuring high-profile speakers such as
Dr. Mehmet Oz, Oliver Sacks, Elizabeth Edwards, and many others. Roxanne has
received several service awards including recognition as one of former President
Bush’s 1000 Points of Light, and her story has been featured in publications such as
The New York Times and USA Today. She lives in New Jersey with her husband Leo.