Biographies and Testimonials of Our Singers

Mary Jane Martinez is an eight year survivor of Multiple Myeloma.  While caring for her husband who had a bad heart, her body began to ache and she began to feel tired all the time.  She thought it was because of having to travel back and forth to the hospital and the stress of her husbands illness. After her husband passed away, she realized that the tiredness did not go away, but was getting worse. Tests revealed that she was already in the third stage of Multiple Myeloma. The doctors began chemotherapy and upon completion she had a stem cell transplant and a bone marrow transplant. The treatment was successful, and to this day she is cancer free.

One day she read a story in the the Orange Count Register, about a choir made up of people whose lives had been touched in some way by cancer. She went to hear the choir perform and liked what she heard.  She decided to join the choir in September of 2004.

Mary Jane is a retired sales clerk.  She stays at home and cares for her forty-eight year old daughter Debbie who has Downs syndrome.  Mary Jane also has two other daughters, Gail Wozniak and Donna Killingbeck, three grandsons and one granddaughter.  Debbie, Gail and her husband and son, all live with Mary Jane.  Mary Jane spends her time cooking and caring for her home and family.  She loves to work in her flower garden.  She attends a womens bible study and feels that serving God is the best thing in her life. In addition to singing with the Celebration of Life Choir she also sings in her church choir.  She enjoys all types of music.
Mary Jane gives God all the credit and glory for being cancer free.

Ron Meier

Ron Meier
has been a member of Celebration of Life Singers since January, 2000. He resides in Westminster and is employed as a chemist at Northrop in Palmdale.

Ron has two daughters and one son. He sings bas and tenor and besides singing enjoys eating out, movies, music, chess and fishing. Although he does not have cancer, he was a caregiver for his wife who is a survivor of thyroid cancer.

Ron was diagnosed with multiple schlerosis in October of 1993. Currently he is on medication therapy and doing well.

Ron is a valuable member of the choir and not only sings and reads music, but has had both vocal and trumpet solos.

Carol  Melland
I was born and raised in North Dakota. David and I were married June 17, 1955 and moved to Garden Grove in January 1958, and we have lived in our house since 1961. We have two daughters and four grandchildren.

In November 1998 I was diagnosed with breast cancer, had surgery in 1999, but did not have to have radiation or chemotherapy. I have been cancer free since.

I have been a member of St. Olaf's Lutheran Church since September 1959.  lAfter the Celebration of Life Singers started practicing here, and I had the privilage to listen to them several times I followed Robert Blairs invitation and together with my friend Arlene Flack I joined the
Celebration of Life Singers
in fall 2006.

Toshiko Miyake was born and raised in Japan and moved to California and married in 1966. Medical problems in 1968 developed into Choriocarcinoma (which is a rare rype of cancer). After a six month treatment in Japan Toshiko was cured and has been cancer free for 36 years.

Since 1973, Toshiko worked for 10 years in the dental field, 10 years in the travel industries and 10 years in the exporting business.

Toshiko is now retired and enjoys singing in the Japanese Chorus Group as well as with the Celebration of Life Singers.

Toshiko joined us in May 2005 and is honored to be a member of
"The celebration of Life Singers".

Miyako Murato joined the Celebration of Life Singers in May 2005.
She is a support partner. Miyako was born in Japan and came to the United States in1961; she is married and has three children.

For 27 years Miyako and her husband Hideo owned and operated a nursery specializing in "Bonsai". They are now retired.

Her hobbies are Japanese caligraphy, singing and sewing.

Valerie Pintz
I was born in Bradford, Northern England. There I went to boarding School, graduated and later moved to Switzerland to  work for the Australian Government in Geneva.

When I was 28 years old I came to the Umited States and started working as a secretary in Los Angeles. Later I attended Cal State and earned my teacher's Credential.

In Los Angeles, in the Coconut Grove at the famous Ambassador Hotel, I met my Jugoslavien born husband. We have one daughter, Erica. Sadly, my husband died 10 years ago of lung cancer.

In 2006 I joined The Celebration of Life Singers, a group that loves and cares.

Sumiko J. Shadle

Sumiko J. Shadle
joined the choir in February, 2001. She was born in Tokyo, Japan and has been living in the United States since October of 1954.

Sumiko resides in Cypress, California and has three daughters, one son, eight grandchildren and one great granddaughter.

Besides singing for the choir, she enjoys playing golf and karaoke singing.

Sumiko was a caregiver for her husband Bob in 1998. He was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphomas in the brain. He received surgery to remove the large tumor from his brain, followed by radiation therapy. In December of 1999 he had a reoccurrence and received stereotactic radio surgery.

He passed away September 6, 2000.

2037 W. Chandler Avenue, Santa Ana, CA 92704-6114