Sometimes, it takes journeying through the wild to find peace and purpose; it takes walking through the depths of darkness to approach life with a light heart. Reneé knows this well, having treaded through tumultuous times for the first two decades of her life. Born in England to an American military father and British mother, she moved to the United States at the age of two, where her mother and step-brother soon split from her and her father. Within a few years of her parents’ divorce, her mother was killed in a car accident; and her childhood lightness, laughter, creativity and joy vanished. Her brother returned, and they moved to Spain where her father remarried. From the outside, Reneé lived as part of a family unit, but inside, she felt alone and misunderstood. She responded with rebellious behavior and bad grades, which were in turn met with punishment, as she was banished to her room for months at a time. Unable to cultivate relationships outside of school, she had very few friends…with the exception of her dog Duffy. Never judgmental or critical, Duffy was always there to support. For the first time in her life, Reneé experienced unconditional love – a love she needed to remember during some of the darkest periods of her life. More times than she cares to remember in her early adulthood, she came close to death at the hand of an abusive relationship…though something always pulled her back from the edge. Her dog Stormy rescued her, both of them fleeing the relationship with nothing more than the smiles on their faces.