Honoring and Celebrating Wendy Chioji


Our friend, colleague and inspiration Wendy Chioji died on Oct. 7, 2019, following a lengthy battle against cancer. She was 57 years old.

A Celebration of Life was held in her adopted hometown of Park City, Utah, in early November and featured beautiful speeches from those closest to Wendy. At the event, Growing Bolder Founder/CEO Marc Middleton, who was friends with Wendy for more than 30 years, shared this tribute to Wendy during his remarks.

“Wendy’s words and her actions were a constant reminder of the beauty of life, the value of time and the importance of friendship. If we can not only remember those lessons but actually live them — then Wendy continues to live on through us,” Middleton says.

“Great poets, authors and orators have all labored to describe the precious nature of life. Wendy showed us that life is precious. She didn’t beat us over the head with the truth. She beat us over the head with her living the truth. She didn’t just have a personal manta. She had 3. And they weren’t simply words taped to the refrigerator as a daily reminder. They were fully formed concepts tattooed on her brain, absorbed by her soul. They were her North Star.

When we get discouraged, when we think we can’t go on, when we wonder if the fight is worth the effort, I know that if we grow quiet and listen intently we will hear Wendy whispering: ‘Say Yes — Live Fearlessly — Defy.’”

Wendy lived for more than 20 years in Orlando. An Orlando Celebration of Life will be held on November 21, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. at The Abbey (100 S. Eola Drive, Orlando, FL 32801).


We’re honoring Wendy’s wishes by making her celebration a benefit for Pelotonia, a non-profit organization that Wendy was passionate about.

100% of all donations will help fund the kind of innovative cancer research that gave Wendy hope and empowered her to live with passion and purpose. We’re recommending a $50 donation (or more!) but if you can’t afford that, just donate whatever you can and we’ll see you there!

Pelotonia will email you a receipt to print out and bring it with you. Space is limited and will “sell out” so make your donation to Pelotonia now and join us as we celebrate a remarkable woman who inspired people worldwide to live fearlessly and DEFY!  Donate at: pelotonia.org/defy.

And to further honor her spirit, Growing Bolder is offering a special-edition DEFY shirt for a limited time only.

DEFY was the daily mantra that Wendy lived by and used to inspire people worldwide — no matter what their challenges — to never give up. Wendy’s blog was called Live Fearlessly and this special-edition DEFY t-shirt is branded Live Fearlessly–Chioji. And it’s only available for a limited time. Buy one now for yourself or anyone you know who can use a word of encouragement and we’ll donate proceeds, in Wendy’s name, to Pelotonia to help keep her dream of a cancer cure alive.