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Meet Laurie Todd, Insurance Warrior


Chances are, you have not met anyone like Laurie Todd before. There is no one like her. Her story is a unique one, and yet, like hundreds of others, she had to fight her insurance company to fight for her life.

In 2005, Laurie was diagnosed with late-stage appendix cancer, rushed into surgery, and given months to live. Her oncologist told her there was no treatment for her disease, and even if there had been, insurance wouldn’t pay for it.

Laurie stood her ground, pulled up her sleeves, and got to writing the most important letter of her life. This letter was no ordinary letter. It was a 23-page appeal letter to her insurance company in order to save her life. Shortly after sending her appeal in, she received a phone call from her insurance company. She had won her appeal.

It didn’t take long for the news of Laurie’s win to spread and others in similar fights to reach out to her for advice. Like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly, Laurie Todd became the Insurance Warrior.

In the past fourteen years, Laurie has won over 200 appeals; been a guest speaker for many events; and written several articles and two books, Approved and Fight Your Health Insurer and Win.

Laurie’s advice to someone who is fighting their insurance company are these three things:

1.   No appeal is meant to lead to an approval. This is not a good-faith process. We win an appeal by doing exactly the opposite of what the insurer tells us to do.

2.   Doctors have no power over the insurance company. If your doctor takes your insurance card — he is bound by contract to the insurance company. The insurer has complete control over him. Lawyers have no power over insurance companies. The insurer has a hundred lawyers to your one lawyer, they will keep you in the courts for years.

There is only one question that any insurer cares about, when deciding whether to approve a treatment: “Are we required to pay for this per the terms of your contract?” You, the patient, are the one who holds the contract. You are the only one who has any power over the insurance company.

3.   Who you send your appeal to is more important than what you say. If you write a brilliant appeal — and send it to the post-office-box appeals department — you will lose. If you write a crappy appeal — and deliver it to the top twenty decision-makers at your insurance plan — you have a good chance of winning. Access is power.

We asked Laurie where she sees herself in the next few years?

“I see myself developing new ways to teach and empower. I am currently gearing up to start making short, inspiring videos: vlogging. Once I have gained some experience with the videos — the next step is to design an online course on how to research, write and deliver a winning appeal.

As long as there are denials to overturn, network issues to overcome, and legitimate lifesaving treatments to fight for — I will continue to write and fight appeals.

This is not about insurance. It’s about life. It’s about learning how to hack your way through any bureaucracy. Once we have mastered these strategies, no corporation or government entity will ever be able to determine our fate.

My work is about guiding ordinary people on their hero’s journey — and giving them back their power.”


Written by Nancy Lowe, Jennifer Boyle Photography Studio Manager



Want to connect with Laurie Todd, Insurance Warrior? Head to her website at




Survival Tips from Working Moms

It takes a village. Isn’t that what they say? A mother’s day, really, never ends. From the early morning wake ups to the evening breakdowns, and everything in between, being a parent is NO JOKE. Whether it’s in the office, or at home, I haven’t met a mom yet that doesn’t work HARD. And working your day job while trying to find time for family life poses its own set of challenges. So we asked some of our clients a few questions to steal some of their balancing expertise…

When do you have time for yourself? How do you decompress? How do you balance work life and family life?

These extraordinary moms share their tips on how to find balance in their busy lives…


Headshot by Jennifer Boyle Photography


“Going for walks with my daughter is a great way to pull my head out of work mode and listen to her share her day without distractions, which is important since I work from home.” —Rebecca Rowland, Rebecca Rowland Interiors





Headshot by Jennifer Boyle Photography



“My keys to balance are lunchtime workouts during my workday and early Sunday night dinners with girlfriends.” —Sara AkerlundSara Akerlund Massage




"To re-balance my life my activities have included a bunch of things like taking a class, joining a masters swim team, meeting with friends, having a clothing exchange/tea party, walking in a park, and joining a dance troupe. The most immediately satisfying and quick thing I probably do most often is getting into a hot bath and staying there a long time." —Nancy Goldov, PsyD, LP, BC-DMT

Headshot by Jennifer Boyle Photography


“To re-balance my life my activities have included a bunch of things like taking a class, joining a masters swim team, meeting with friends, having a clothing exchange/tea party, walking in a park, and joining a dance troupe. The most immediately satisfying and quick thing I probably do most often is getting into a hot bath and staying there a long time.” —Nancy Goldov, PsyD, LP, BC-DMT



Headshot by Jennifer Boyle Photography


“The only way I have found balance is to delegate as much as possible and then some. First delegate everything that seems reasonable and then delegate other things that you thought only you could do. As a small business owner, we tend to believe that list of thing only I can do is considerable longer than it actually is.” — Martine Dedek, Studio Evolve





Headshot by Jennifer Boyle Photography

“I think it really comes down to asking for help.  As a mom, and a female business owner, I always thought I should be able to do it myself.  I was capable and confident, but the reality is, especially with kids, you can feel worn down and kind of get frustrated that you don’t have the patience you need or the time to focus on just one thing (there’s always, laundry, cleaning, cooking and homework in the background).  It’s important to ask for help, whether it’s from friends, family or partners. Just ask. It’s ok.

The other thing is not really about balance, but about self care.  I realized into my kids teen years (or maybe because my kids were teens) that I was a better parent when I got enough sleep.  That might mean the occasional power nap before the kids got home from school or just making myself get into bed at a reasonable hour instead of finishing chores that I knew needed to be done.” —Ngaire Taylor, Movement Mortgage


Headshot by Jennifer Boyle Photography


“I am lucky to have a supportive family nearby. From childcare, to the occasional date night, my in-laws are my heroes when I really need a break. A hot shower or bath in the evening help me decompress from the busy day. A glass of wine with my wife, or a bottle with friends, that can usually do the trick as well. I am also thankful for having a job that gives me the flexibility I need as a mother of a young child.” —Nancy Lowe, Studio Manager, Jennifer Boyle Photography




“I’m really lucky to have a job that affords me some flexibility. At times, though, that translates into me biting off way more than I can chew in every direction. That’s when I sit down with my schedule and ask myself ‘Is this something that enriches my family life or my business?‘ and if not, I have a much easier time saying no.

…And also massages.” —Jennifer Boyle Penney, owner of Jennifer Boyle Photography & Jenny Penney – Family Documentary Photography