Her mother’s suicide. Thyroid cancer,  followed by a preventive mastectomy. Alcoholism. Depression.

Valerie Walsh was Shattered to the Core. Within just a few years, she experienced such extraordinary loss, pain, and trauma that it seems miraculous she was able to make it to the other side. How did she make peace with her past and reclaim her future? In her candid memoir, Valerie reveals what it took for her to overcome her personal hardships and inner demons to live a healthy, productive, and inspired life. This raw, powerful work will bring you to tears—of both empathy and joy.


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“Valerie’s story is about overcoming obstacles in life. Dealing with her mother’s suicide—then, shortly after, having her own battles, including a double mastectomy, depression, and anxiety. She’s a true warrior. Her story will help others who are struggling in life."

Catra Corbett (Dirt Diva), Ultra Runner and author

"Valerie's prescient insights regarding her own mental health journey are both brave and enlightening. If we ever needed a nationwide initiative in the mental health  realm, it is here and now! Like other medical illnesses, mental health illnesses typically involve some degree of genetic predisposition that is met with an external life event to result in 'dis-ease.' These brain-based illnesses must be approached with the exact same candor and openness as any other medical condition that we, as humans, may experience. 

Thank you, Valerie, for helping to break down barriers that are long overdue to fall."

— Michele Novella, PMHNP-BC, PMHCNS-BC, APRN

Read an Excerpt from Valerie's Book

Here is an excerpt from Shattered to the Core, describing what it was like to undergo a double mastectomy with reconstruction, without my mother, who had died only a few months prior, from suicide.


God, I missed her. I missed her voice. The same voice I was sick of hearing at times growing up was now the one I ached for so desperately. The voice that screamed at me when she lost her patience was the same voice that softened when she knew I needed her. I resented that I couldn’t pick up the phone and tell her about the appointment I had that day, my first boob fill. We would joke about how weird this whole thing was, a boob fill appointment, what the heck is that? She would tease and offer to come with me, to drop everything if I needed her to. Then, after, we would go to lunch and maybe do a little shopping. We would have made a girls’

day out of each of my appointments so that instead of dreading them, I would look forward to fun times with her.


It hurt. The pain of remembering her. The unbearable pain of knowing why she was not here was so tremendous, it physically became hard to breath. At times it felt like my lungs were literally collapsing, narrowing to a point of irreparable damage. There were seconds that turned into minutes, into hours and then days, when I could not recollect if I had taken a deep breath that day. Grief was changing my breathing to a shallow pattern that I wasn’t sure I could return from.