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Author and CEO Maria Trusa Forges a Path Through Pain

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Photos by Pablo Monsalve

We sit down with Formé Medical Center & Urgent Care CEO Maria Trusa, author of an inspiring new book, #I Say No More, about overcoming trauma.

From becoming CEO of Formé Medical Center & Urgent Care, in White Plains, to running the New York City Marathon at 55 and then writing a book about her childhood trauma, what can’t Maria Trusa do? In her new book, #I Say No More, Trusa pulls from her own experiences with sexual abuse and shows readers how they, too, can rewrite, and find new meaning in their own lives. A force to be reckoned with, Trusa continues to mentor and participate in speaking engagements with the underserved Latino community, making her a hometown hero.

What is the significance of your book’s title?

One night, I was at my place in Vermont, and I was there with about 10 of the Latina women I mentor. I started telling them the story that I was writing, and then, one by one, eight of them shared that they had themselves been raped by a family member. That night, I couldn’t stop crying, and I kept saying, Yo digo, no más! (“I say, no more!”). At that point, I didn’t know that this was going to be the title. But, when I started searching for a title, “Yo Digo, No Más” came up, and everyone was like, “Oh my God, that’s it!” This title also became the name for the social movement I created, whose mission is to raise funds to provide mental health resources for sexual abuse survivors. I have realized that helping other victims begin breaking their silence is my biggest mission.

Trusa’s book is an inspirational guide for those who have experienced trauma.

How do you envision this book helping younger girls going through similar traumas?

When I was interviewed by Telemundo recently, they talked about how my book really is a guide to life for people who have gone through trauma. In the book, I also talk about a gift. In every chapter of my life I have found that even in my darkest moments, there is a gift. There is so much that I have gone through: the toxic relationships, the rape, and the abandonment. Some people feel like they can’t get out of the toxic situation they’re in — well, I give you hope in this book and show you that you can get out; you can succeed; you can rewrite your life.

Maria with her children Jeffrey, Natasha, and Franco.

How has writing this book helped you with your own lifestyle and growth?

Writing this book empowered me to another level. When I was able to write my story, I got to see how amazing my accomplishments are and how far I’ve come from something so dark. It has empowered me to continue living a limitless life. Last year, I ran the NYC Marathon in November. I was 55, and I was never a runner. I also just took on participating in a body-fitness competition. From writing my book, it’s inspired me to reach other limits, and if I thought I had a limit before, I am going to search and find a way to destroy it.

Did the personal experiences you detail in your book influence your work at Formé or vice versa?

I think the book influenced my work at Formé Medical Center. I realized I was able to take the lessons I’d learned from the struggles of my past into how I am able to handle some major challenges at Formé. Here, we are serving the underserved community, and my business partner and I are putting all our money in and serving people without insurance, which was our mission. We have confronted so many challenges, and I realized recently that the reason we were able to overcome them was because of the strength to persevere, which came from my story. I brought it here.