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TED2010

Stacey Kramer: The best gift I ever survived

February 12, 2010

Stacey Kramer offers a moving, personal, 3-minute parable that shows how an unwanted experience -- frightening, traumatic, costly -- can turn out to be a priceless gift.

Stacey Kramer - Brand strategist
Stacey Kramer has traveled the United States and the world helping to create names and brands for growing companies. Full bio

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Double-click the English subtitles below to play the video.
Imagine, if you will -- a gift.
00:16
I'd like for you to picture it in your mind.
00:20
It's not too big --
00:23
about the size of a golf ball.
00:25
So envision what it looks like all wrapped up.
00:27
But before I show you what's inside,
00:30
I will tell you, it's going to do incredible things for you.
00:33
It will bring all of your family together.
00:36
You will feel loved and appreciated like never before
00:40
and reconnect with friends and acquaintances
00:43
you haven't heard from in years.
00:45
Adoration and admiration
00:47
will overwhelm you.
00:49
It will recalibrate what's most important in your life.
00:52
It will redefine your sense
00:55
of spirituality and faith.
00:57
You'll have a new understanding
01:00
and trust in your body.
01:02
You'll have unsurpassed vitality and energy.
01:04
You'll expand your vocabulary,
01:07
meet new people,
01:09
and you'll have a healthier lifestyle.
01:11
And get this --
01:14
you'll have an eight-week vacation
01:16
of doing absolutely nothing.
01:18
You'll eat countless gourmet meals.
01:21
Flowers will arrive by the truckload.
01:24
People will say to you,
01:27
"You look great. Have you had any work done?"
01:29
And you'll have a lifetime supply
01:32
of good drugs.
01:34
You'll be challenged, inspired,
01:37
motivated and humbled.
01:40
Your life will have new meaning.
01:43
Peace, health,
01:46
serenity, happiness,
01:48
nirvana.
01:51
The price?
01:53
$55,000,
01:55
and that's an incredible deal.
01:58
By now I know you're dying to know
02:01
what it is and where you can get one.
02:03
Does Amazon carry it?
02:06
Does it have the Apple logo on it?
02:08
Is there a waiting list?
02:10
Not likely.
02:13
This gift came to me about five months ago.
02:15
It looked more like this when it was all wrapped up --
02:18
not quite so pretty.
02:20
And this,
02:23
and then this.
02:26
It was a rare gem --
02:29
a brain tumor,
02:31
hemangioblastoma --
02:33
the gift that keeps on giving.
02:36
And while I'm okay now,
02:39
I wouldn't wish this gift for you.
02:41
I'm not sure you'd want it.
02:43
But I wouldn't change my experience.
02:45
It profoundly altered my life
02:48
in ways I didn't expect
02:51
in all the ways I just shared with you.
02:53
So the next time you're faced
02:55
with something that's unexpected,
02:57
unwanted and uncertain,
03:00
consider
03:03
that it just may be a gift.
03:05
(Applause)
03:08

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Stacey Kramer - Brand strategist
Stacey Kramer has traveled the United States and the world helping to create names and brands for growing companies.

Why you should listen

Co-founder of Brandplay, a brand strategy firm, Stacey Kramer also founded Word for Word, a naming and branding consultancy serving national and global companies -- from big, recognizable names to next year's newsmaking startups.

In 2009, Kramer found herself confronting a terrifying diagnosis: a CAT scan revealed she had a brain tumor -- the size of a golf ball. She told her remarkable, personal story at TED2010.

The original video is available on TED.com
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