We had the good fortune of connecting with Dorothea Howard and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dorothea, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I was born Dorothea Colette McGuire, in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. My father is the late Garland K. McGuire, born in Baltimore, Maryland, (a former Tailor and Foreman for General Motors Corporation) and my mother Ruth Lewis, was born in Castalia, North Carolina,(a retired financial consultant). They always taught me to be independent and to manage my money wisely. But what I remembered most growing up, was my parents instilling in me to always be true to yourself, and never forget where you came from.
My upbringing along with my younger siblings was really cool, and it was that moment where my leadership abilities started. I was always a take charge person, a leader and not a follower. We had a lot of love in our home and once I left to venture out on my own, I took those lessons with me. I always aspired to become an entrepreneur and throughout my life’s journey, I created a series of multiple businesses along the way. When I was 26 yrs old in 1984, my life changed drastically. I was diagnosed with a chronic illness and rare disease called Pulmonary Sarcoidosis. It’s an inflammatory disease that causes non cancerous granulomas that attacks any major organ of your body. It affects both men and women between the ages of 20-40 yrs old. Unfortunately, there is no known cause or cure. There was so little information about Sarcoidosis, that I was inspired at the age of 56 yrs old in September of 2014 to start my own weekly talk show in Maryland called “Let’s Talk Sarcoidosis.” I wanted to have a platform for patients, viewers, families, medical students and caregivers to speak up and speak out on my show. I collaborated with many medical professionals within the (DMV) areas and upstate New York to help shed light on this illness, as well as providing resources for my viewers. The following year, I was nominated for the “Best Talk Show Host” and won!
I took a step further in 2017 and founded the Dorothea McGuire Foundation for Sarcoidosis Education, Inc. My mission was to host global educational seminars to help continue to educate the public about sarcoidosis awareness. At this point, I started living a bicoastal lifestyle and ventured out to Long Beach, California. I adapted to the beach life quite well! Especially because my daughter, son-in-law, and my two beautiful grandchildren were out there too. I love my family and it was a great feeling to be there. It was also that moment when I created in 2018 a movement called “I Am Not My Illness.” This movement forges an indelible rational anchor, that illness does not define who we are. Women and men share how through struggle they garnered the strength and courage to live, survive and fulfill their dreams.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My foundation is dedicated to help others become educated about Sarcoidosis awareness. I strive to empower, motivate, and inspire medical students, the general public, patients and caregivers. I truly encourage people to speak up and speak out, to live a healthier lifestyle, stay positive, and commit to taking care of yourself. Personally, I always engages my audience at events by using myself as an example by storytelling to help other people and help save lives. I’m very proud that I continued to stay positive and not let my illness define who I am. Life was not easy for me once I was diagnosed but I pulled through with the grace of God. My lesson through this journey was never judge the book by the cover. You never know what a person is going through.. I just want the world to know that your dream career doesn’t have to stop due to an illness. It may put you on pause, but you can do it, as long as you put your mind to it!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
When my girlfriend came to visit, I took her to second street for a walk around the neighborhood to feel the excitement! Then we went to one of my favorite restaurants Saint & Second to eat and catch up. The beach at Belmont Shore was the next stop to relax and do a little kayaking. Other places to go would be the Long Beach Museum of Art, dine at Claire’s afterwards and hang out at Shoreline Village. We also checked out the pier at Seal beach, and visit the retail shops on Main street. Lastly, you can’t visit California without driving down Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.
Another place we’d gone with other friends for my 60th birthday celebration was Catalina Island. Recently in July 2021, we ate breakfast at Schooner Or Later, lunch at Noble Bird Rotisserie at 2ND & PCH shopping mall, and visited Tuesday’s Sweet Shoppe for gummy candy before leaving the mall. We chilled out in the court yard for awhile before heading back to the upper level parking lot. The next day we ate at Ubuntu Neighborhood Cafe for breakfast, Roe Seafood for lunch ,Then dinner at Malainey’s Grill Irish Bar.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Although, I cannot begin to name everyone that have supported my endeavors over the years. However, I will dedicate my shoutouts to my family, friends and industry colleagues for always believing in me with their support, encouragement, love and mentorship. You all know who you are ! Without my village, I would not be where I am today!
However, I was inspired by my family and a good friend living in California award-winning actor, photographer and film producer, Christo Dimassis, to think about acting and filming commercials. After one year of careful consideration, I finally leaped into it at the age of 60 yrs old and got an agent Jean-Marc Carre, in Burbank, California at Central Artist. I had begun auditions and getting booked for music videos with Redman, Tobi Lou, and in commercials for Tastemade, Soul Pancake, Jay Shetty, Luminess, Insurance company, The Outlaw Johnny Black,(with Michael Jai White) Veliparib Photo Shoot
Pharmaceutical pilot, Mother Nature, Unconditional short film pilot, directed by Nabeer Kahn, just to name a few. Life was exciting and then 2020 the covid 19 pandemic hit and everything came to a complete halt.
Today, we are still affected by the pandemic, especially in this industry so, I’m taking one day at a time, trying to resume my career, however, it’s been very difficult because some opportunities are no longer available and the others are still opening up slowly. Now that the new Delta variant is a threat, who knows what will happen at this point but I’m still hopeful. I’d spent a lot of time in Los Angeles, doing background work. At the end of the day, family always comes first. I have two fabulous daughters, two phenomenal Son-in-laws, a wonderful husband and three beautiful grandkids! They are truly my heartbeats and I love them to infinity and beyond!