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.
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.
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.