Helouise “Halo” Matzelle was born in the city of Delft, Holland on October 19, 1964. Three months after her birth, Helo immigrated to the United States with her parents. Boarding a ship, they traveled across the Atlantic Ocean to Chicago with only two hundred dollars to their name. Her parents experienced discrimination as a result of their mixed marriage, which was illegal in eighteen states at the time. But her mom and dad loved each other, and they knew that Helo needed a sibling. In August 1966, her brother Henk was born. A few months later, she and her family moved to Seattle, Washington, where her father became a physics professor. Seven years later, they moved to Florida so that he could attend medical school; then they moved back home to Seattle.
Helo graduated from the University of Washington where she met her best friend and husband. The first time she met him, she thought he was handsome. The second time she met him, she was impressed that he had remembered her name. The third time, she thought he was cute and funny but way too playful and totally “not her type.” She was wrong about that. On April 22, 1989, Rich and Helo got married. He started his career with IBM right after college. Meanwhile, Helo worked multiple part-time jobs for months before landing a position with Bristol-Myers Squibb, a worldwide pharmaceutical company, marketing prescription medications to doctors and their staff.
Shortly after Helo had her first precious child, Lauren, she became a stay-at-home mom. Helo and Rich wanted to have more children but conceived and lost several. Later they were blessed with two amazing sons: Jordan and Austin.
Helo was a busy and faithful wife, devoted mom, caring daughter, loving sister, and dedicated friend. She cherished life and took none of it for granted, or so she thought. Life was busyness, blessings and excitement. She had a beautiful home, a great husband, incredible children, and a cute dog named Grace.
Then one day, everything changed. Helo was shocked by a diagnosis of a rare brain tumor sitting over the main artery in her brain. On the day of diagnosis she sat quietly with her husband, Rich. He took her hands and softly said, “ It’s time to pray.” Her prayer was simple. “God, please make something beautiful out of this.” Little did she know what God alone was capable of; over time, she discovered how vast His affections are.
This written account began as a simple diary, hidden in a drawer. A year and half later, it set the stage for her memoir, “Halo Found Hope,” launched in 2015. Helo chronicles her battle against a brain tumor with vivid details surrounding surgery, complications, an eight-week hospital stay, and twenty weeks of intense rehabilitation (learning how to walk, talk, eat, think and function again). But her memoir is not just about that brain tumor and giant challenge of regaining a “new normal.” Helo also illustrates, how God stayed by her side…turns doubt into trust, fear into courage, and defeat into determination. He equips us to be brave.
A portion of author proceeds will go to the National Brain Tumor Society, the largest non-profit organization dedicated to the brain tumor community in the United States. For more information, visit www.braintumor.org. Helo’s passion is helping those who face various challenges and afflictions to discover where true hope is found. She and her husband Rich reside in Redmond, Washington with their three children: daughter, Lauren, and two sons, Jordan and Austin.
Magazine examples include:
Television interview samples include: