Positive Attitude

Little did I know that my life experiences would bring me to the understanding of the utmost importance of solid, loving, supportive parenting and its role in a child’s future resilience. These realities also taught me the meaning of self-reflection and facing life with a positive attitude and faith.

My journey began in Israel. I was born in Israel to Argentinian parents who fought tooth and nail to give my brothers and me a good life. It wasn’t easy living in a country where war/peace was a constant topic. At times, sirens signaled to hide in the building bomb shelter for the threat of missile attacks.

However, despite this, we maintained a typical childhood of playing with friends, attending school, and going on trips. I quickly
learned even as a kid to persevere and enjoy life as it comes, no matter how unfavorable the circumstances.

Early Life-Altering Events

Starting at the age of 12, I was faced with life-altering events. My parents decided that we had to move to the USA due to financial and safety concerns. At first, it was exciting. As immigrants, we viewed the USA as “the country where money grows on trees,” which of course turned out to be a fantasy.

Living in the USA did bring us opportunities that I must admit are not easily obtained in other countries. However, my life changed from that day on. First, I realized how difficult it was as a teen to move and make new friends while learning a new language and
adjusting to a different culture. Also, living under the threat of war and instability in Israel was replaced by the constant worry of being deported.

We spent all of our savings on lawyers to reside legally and become US citizens. In the process, my parents’ marriage suffered too many hardships leading to my parents divorcing. To say the least, after all these life changes, our family as I knew it dissolved and was never to be the same.

Time of Infertility

Finally, after high school, things appeared to be moving in the right direction. I married my high school sweetheart and embarked on a new adventure. I got my doctorate in OT and saw my husband through law school. However, when we were finally ready to start a family, we struggled with infertility for five years. A physical and emotional rollercoaster.

Again, I found myself having to deal with a life circumstance that seemed out of my control. Another situation asked me to be resilient and have faith and guess what, it worked. After numerous failed attempts at infertility treatment and spending lots of money, we were finally successful and blessed with my beautiful daughter Arielle.

Again, I thought life appeared to be finally falling into place. I had the family and stability I craved. I prayed for smooth sailing. However, shockingly our tribulations didn’t end there.

Deaths of Husband and Mother

After 25 years of marriage, I unexpectedly lost my husband and mom simultaneously to the Big C – Cancer. Here I was left a single mom and widow at 43.

What was I to do? I decided again that my new unexplainable circumstances were not going to define me. I made a conscious decision to gather all my strength and life lessons and fight like a lion. Taking responsibility for my child and life, I chose to be a warrior, not a victim.

I quickly realized I needed to take the “horse by the reins” and do what needed to be done. I had to build a solid new foundation and livelihood (being now the sole provider), pay bills, be a single mom, and start all over again. While grieving for my closest family, I needed to rebuild my and my daughters’ life.

Positive Attitude and Faith

The story of my life is a summation of happy memories and important lessons along with facing some very difficult realities of financial instability, immigration, divorce, infertility, and loss.

Throughout my life, I was given lots of lemons, but I decided to try my best to make lemonade. As I went through each hardship in my life story, I quickly realized that I am not in total control of my past, present, and future (that’s G-d’s job) but I am in control of how I face each day.

I always had the choice of either surrendering or gathering myself and letting my inner light shine for all to see. I made a conscious decision each time to take my life experiences and start new chapters filled with hope and gratitude. My hope to guide and empower each one of you to do the same.

Visit Dr. Mankes’ website: www.drcarolmankes.com


Dr. Carol Leibovich Mankes

My name is Dr. Carol Leibovich - Mankes, DrOT, OTR/L, PLCC, GC-C. I was born in Israel to Argentinian parents. I immigrated to the USA, adapting to a new culture and learning a new language. I am fluent in English, Spanish, and Hebrew. I married my high school sweetheart and celebrated 25 years together in 2016. My husband passed away from Cancer a few months later. I have been a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and Parent Coach for the past 20-plus years. My expertise is learning and handwriting difficulties in children aged 3 - 18. I also provide parent coaching through 1:1 sessions and courses to empower parents of "out of the box" kids to advocate and be more effective parents. I am a Widow and a Solo Mom who has gone through many losses and transitions in her life. I’ve unfortunately become an expert on grief and loss through personal experiences of five years of infertility, having a child diagnosed with a disability, and the demise of my spouse and Mom simultaneously. I’ve learned that grief is an individualized journey that sometimes resembles a rollercoaster. Fortunately, I have rebuilt myself with the help of faith and personal determination. I believe healing is possible when one accepts, works, and adapts a healthy mindset. My experiences and professional expertise as an Occupational Therapist, a Certified Life/Parent Coach, and Grief Counselor helped me in my journey. Since then, I’ve been able to support others experiencing similar circumstances. My mission is to empower and bring awareness to grief and loss. Ensure society understands that grief is a process that can arise from any significant loss, including death, loss of control, loss of the "perfect" child envisioned, secondary losses, and more. I am here to inspire & enable others to move from loss and pain into a hopeful and fulfilling future. My mission is to empower others to laugh and live again despite the pain. Turn feelings of despair into hope and a fulfilling life.

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