Alison Hadden, 41, formerly of Drexel Hill, dynamic marketing executive, engaging motivational speaker, lifelong athlete, global adventurer and creator of inspirational Project No time to wastedied Saturday, January 29 of cancer at her home in Boulder, Colorado.
Ms Hadden was a successful and spirited 38-year-old in 2018 when she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, the worst possible type with the fewest treatment options.
A star basketball player for the Episcopal Academy in the 1990s, a graduate of Trinity College in Connecticut, and a rising entrepreneur who started her own business at age 29 and later held executive positions for other businesses, Ms. Hadden said she was stunned and scared.
“When the shock came, it really hit hard,” she said emotionally. Tedx Conference 2020 at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. “And we didn’t find it early.”
However, instead of spiraling down and feeling even worse as the biting terror and crippling anxieties built up, Ms Hadden, in her own words, “started to feel better”. Over time, she said in a moving series of lectures, interviews, articles, blog posts and podcasts that evolved into her No Time to Waste project, she found clarity and perspective on his dire situation.
“It was like I gained a superpower overnight,” she said in her 2020 speech. “Give fear a voice and you will take the power away from it.”
Ms Hadden found that by confronting her fear of death, focusing on the present and embracing “joy, human connection and gratitude”, she was able to carry on even through her darkest days. “It’s not about dying and dying,” she said in 2020. “It’s about living.”
“Motivate the world to live like there’s no time to waste” became the mantra of his project.
“She lived with less self-pity than anyone I’ve ever met,” said her father, Frank Hadden. “She lived with her eyes and heart wide open.”
use it Website No time to waste and a large presence on instagram, Twitter, Youtubeand other social media, Ms. Hadden has spent the past three and a half years sharing her research and new ideas – raw, personal and tragic yet honest and useful – as a speaker, writer and interviewer.
She has provided links on her website to other resourcesand has spoken at conferences, meetings, workshops, seminars, beginnings and elsewhere about the need to embrace life in the present.
From October 5, 2020 to December 6, 2021, as the pandemic reduced her personal appearances, she recorded 47 podcasts with Katie Couric, Matthew McConaughey, Lance Armstrong, Sheryl Sandberg and other authors, actors, journalists, influencers, professors, doctors and executives about their experiences and perspectives on grief, life and death.
In one maintenance on Couric’s website, Ms Hadden said, “I am fueled by an insatiable drive to help as many people as possible in a way that only I can.”
Born May 21, 1980, in Stoneham, Massachusetts, to Frank and Kathy Hadden, Ms. Hadden moved with her family as a child to Overbrook. They then moved to Overbrook Farms, then to Drexel Hill.
Creative, outspoken and driven even as a child, “she charmed people,” her father said. “They fell in love with her when they met her. She was a force of nature.
By age 8, she was producing two-page house newspapers, with sports sections. At 10, she was looking for a job and was already selling erasers and other trinkets adorned with her works to her friends and classmates.
She was athletic and theatrical and performed in summer theater productions. She was educated in college as a freshman basketball player at Episcopal and was often featured in the sports pages of The Inquirer.
Before graduating in 1998 with over 1,000 career points – the first Episcopal girl to reach that milestone – Ms. Hadden outperformed many of the boys she competed against at co-ed camps and clinics.
“When it comes to playing basketball, I’m never intimidated,” she told The Inquirer in 1996. “I’ve always loved taking on the best competition.” When asked then if she would consider challenging Kobe Bryant, the future NBA superstar who was then playing at Lower Merion High School, she replied, “I would love to go one-on-one with him.”
Off the field, Ms. Hadden was the coordinator of an event in 1996 that paired younger children with Episcopal students for an afternoon of games, crafts and fellowship. “They don’t have a lot of interaction with kids older than them to look up to,” she told The Inquirer. “We invited kids that we thought we could relate to.”
She continued to play basketball and earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Trinity College. She moved to California, then Colorado, and held leadership positions for, among others, Mindbody, a wellness technology company, and Glassdoor, a website for job seekers, location ratings work and other job-related matters.
She’s toured North America as a company spokesperson, was named one of Brand Innovators’ 40 top executives under 40, and has written about motivation, success and occupational health. In 2019, she wrote: “A happy employee is an engaged and productive employee. … We should all encourage those around us to pursue their best life.
Outside of work, Ms. Hadden enjoyed surfing, running and snowboarding. She has visited more than 20 countries, often with her younger sister, Kerri, and regularly sought out roads less travelled.
She wasn’t perfect, her father said. But his authenticity and vulnerability overshadowed his flaws, he said, and his Instagram page was flooded with comments and memories after his death. “Time was not wasted,” one person wrote. “You inspired.”
Ultimately, her father said, Ms. Hadden had found and shared the secret to success.
“Gratitude,” she said in 2020, “turns everything we have into enough.”
In addition to her parents and sister, Ms. Hadden is survived by her partner, Kate, and other relatives.
A visitation with the family will be held from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, March 25 at St. George’s Episcopal Church, 1 West Ardmore Ave., Ardmore, Pennsylvania 19003. A memorial service will follow. A celebration of life is to be held in May in Colorado.
Donations in his name can be made to First descents3858 Walnut St., Suite 161, Denver, Colorado 80205.