The S.B. Questionnaire: Beverlye Hyman Fead

Taking on Stage IV Cancer with Grace

Beverlye Hyman Fead
Paul Wellman

I’m shocked when I see photos of Beverlye Hyman Fead and realize how dainty she appears. To me, she is such a warrior, such a force of nature, that her stature in person is always impressive.

Beverlye lives with Stage IV cancer, a struggle she has written about in two books, including one for kids called Nana, What’s Cancer? Also an artist, photographer, and public speaker, Beverlye recently started a blog called Aging in High Heels, which is marked by her stirring observations about acceptance and aging with humor and style.

This inspirational go-getter answers the Proust Questionnaire.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I would think my greatest accomplishments would be having and raising my children along with surviving and living with Stage IV cancer.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Joan of Arc.

What is your most treasured possession?

After several robberies, I have no treasured possessions. Everything is replaceable.

What do you like most about your job?

I’m very lucky in that I pick my jobs. Right now I’m turning my blog, Aging in High Heels, into my third book. I love that I get to do that!

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Thanksgiving is my idea of perfection. Love the family all around, and it’s my favorite meal.

What is your greatest fear?

Of not being heard.

Who do you most admire?

I admire anyone who goes out there and does anything that interests them. People who actually try for their dreams. There are so many people I admire, I couldn’t just name one.

What is your greatest extravagance?

For myself: beauty stuff. For others: presents.

What is your current state of mind?

I’m in a good state of mind. Starting a project is always the most fun, as opposed to the middle of the project.

What is the quality you most like in people?

I love courage, being curious, kindness, and generosity in people

What is the quality you most dislike in people?

I have no patience for people who don’t give themselves the opportunity to grow, or being miserly with money and feelings.

What do you most value in friends?

I love friends who are there for you in every way. At this stage of my life, I also only want friends who can be 100 percent honest with me and vice versa without judging each other.

What is your most marked characteristic?

Striving to the next thing and the next thing.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

“Love that!” or “Perfect!”

Which talent would you most like to have?

I’d love to be able to get up there and belt a song to the back of the balcony!!!! (Of course, I’d love to be organized, too, but that’s another column.)

Where would you most like to live?

In Santa Barbara (and maybe a little Capri and South of France thrown in).

What makes you laugh the most?

I love dumb movies (Hangover I) and Wanda Sykes, Sinbad, Chris Rock. My son Jim.

What is your motto?

I came here to live out loud!

On what occasion do you lie?

Hopefully, white lies like why I didn’t show up somewhere.


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