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Our Story

Thea and her dad Michael in 1981

We must be the change we wish to see in the world Mahatma Gandhi

Thea’s words. While I sat with him on the rocking chair in the living room of our apartment, my dad told many stories that afternoon in 1991. He did what no father or mother ever wants to have to do, make a tape recording for me to remember him by because he knew he didn’t have much time to live. He was 35 years old and dying.

Although his stories were always funny, it was a very, very sad time in all our lives. It’s just not fair to learn about suffering when you are so young. No child should ever have to endure this kind of heartache. Through my mother’s work on Self chec, I know now that my father did not have to die of colon cancer. Every day I wonder what it would be like if he was still here with me. If only he had taken better care of himself…

Thea celebrating New Year's Eve

Joan Peckolick’s words (Founder and Director of Self chec) After Thea’s father tragically died a week before his 36th birthday, I watched with deep pain how his death informed almost everything Thea did. She could fill herself up with schoolwork and other activities, but nothing would ever take the place of her father’s love and the sense of abandonment she felt. For years, I remained troubled about why someone so young and vibrant could die such an early death, and in 1998, after hearing of other friends being diagnosed with cancer; some living through their ordeal to lead fulfilling lives and others dying, I had an “aha” moment that helped me realize something very important was missing from the health materials we’ve all received from the medical community, and that millions of our friends and family continue to die each year not only from cancers, but other chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and obesity because of not only this, but the lack of funding going into prevention and wellness education.

Thea and Joan 19xx

Thea and Joan in 1992

Self chec is about taking control in a world that often seems out of control. It’s about meeting the challenges that affect our lives so deeply. Taking care of our health is one of those important challenges and I hope you will agree that this really needs to be our number one priority, especially since this generation of our children may be the first ever to have a shorter lifespan than their parents.

I am not a professional in the medical field, but the information you will find on Self chec has been culled from reputable medical sources. You can read who these organizations are on each medical page of the website.

I welcome you to join me and my daughter Thea by becoming ” the change we wish to see” in our lives and in the fight for personal healthcare empowerment.

We’ve just added a blog if you ‘d like to read more of my thoughts.

Thank you.