Niya Brown Matthews, author of the newly released book “The Boss in You,” is a self-proclaimed boss. Born with stars in her eyes and a mother who saw big things for her, Matthews chased her dreams and met them.
She describes a boss as someone who “creates her own path when it doesn’t present itself, one who takes charge, one who leads by example.”
“But you are only as strong as your team,” Matthews said.
Matthews is also a two-time cancer survivor. As a mother, wife of a former NFL player Eric Matthews, an author, motivational speaker, humanitarian, and real estate professional, she refused to let cancer beat her.
She was 27 years old when she was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer, which was found during a routine checkup. None of her family members were ever diagnosed with cancer, so it took her by surprise.
When the cancer returned at age 37, she was a bit more mentally prepared.
Matthews said she kept moving forward and even improving her life after cancer because she knew what her purpose in life was. Her daughter was born with pituitary dwarfism, so the health challenges kept her going back-and-forth to the doctor.
“I felt like my purpose is to inspire and motivate women who are trying to do the same thing, but we have to find a balance,” she said. “Because if you don’t, you’ll be all over the place.”
Matthews hopes that women will use her book as a sort of bible or reference book and notes that “sometimes we just need something or somebody to relate to.” She hopes to be that someone.
She also wants people to know that cancer isn’t always a death sentence, and that victims shouldn’t lose their zest for life.
When asked if she ever thought she would be writing a book, Matthews said she never thought she would. She did, however, keep a journal during her cancer treatments which turned into her book.
The book is made up of topics that people often talk about, but Matthews uses her personal experiences with obstacles to explain how she was able to overcome them, hoping that readers will be able to relate.
Matthews said her first diagnosis resulted in her denial, but she met her second diagnosis with preparation and determination.
“I went to treatment with my wigs made, my makeup on, and I was fabulous because I am too fabulous for cancer,” said a smiling Matthews.
She turned her personal motto into a foundation for women with cancer, called “Too Fabulous For Cancer”, that provides women with makeup, photo shoots, hair, nails and wardrobe to make them realize their beauty despite their illness.
A monetary donation to her “Too Fabulous For Cancer” foundation goes towards copays, medication and parking at the hospital for those being treated. A sponsor also volunteered to provide women with tattoos to cover their scars.
Matthews says that her inspiration for writing her book was her daughter, and the women out there who want to make a difference but do not have a voice.
The target audience for the book is women from all walks of life who are looking to take their lives to the next level — even teenagers.
She also made it a point to add a portion to the book where readers could use it as their own journal as well, jotting down their thoughts at the end of each chapter. Her focus was on making the book about the reader, rather than herself.
In addition to being a new author, Matthews does numerous humanitarian outreaches in Douglasville with her husband.
She is also the president of her husband’s’ foundation, the “Eric Matthews Foundation,” as well as his Kids Play Hard program designed to help kids fight obesity in Douglas and Paulding counties.
She organizes clothing collections to donate to apartment complexes, and always has words of empowerment and encouragement for those in need.
Anyone interested in purchasing Matthews’ book or applying for benefits from the “Too Fabulous For Cancer” foundation can visit her website at www.niyabrownmatthews.com. The website also has a place to nominate someone to receive benefits from the foundation.