LeAnn Thieman’s powerful keynotes and seminars share life-changing lessons from her Vietnam Orphan Airlift adventure. Imagine bombs falling and 100 little babies laying three and four to a cardboard box, strapped in the belly of a gutted cargo jet!
An ordinary person, LeAnn struggled through extraordinary circumstances and found the courage to succeed believing we all have individual “war zones,” she inspires people to balance their lives, truly live their priorities and make a difference in the world.
Her book, This Must Be My Brother, details her daring adventure of “Operation Babylift”. After this story was featured in Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul, LeAnn became one of Chicken Soup’s most prolific writers. That’s when Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame called and asked her to co-author Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul. When it hit the New York Times Best Seller list, she went on to coauthor 11 more Chicken Soup titles, including: Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul, Second Dose, Chicken Soup for the Christian Woman’s Soul, Chicken Soup for the Caregiver’s Soul, Chicken Soup for the Father and Daughter Soul, Chicken Soup for the Grandma’s Soul, Chicken Soup for the Mother and Son Soul, Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul 2, Chicken Soup for the Adopted Soul, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Living Catholic Faith, Chicken Soup for the Soul, A Book of Miracles, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and Answered Prayers. She has also authored Balancing Life in Your “War Zones” and SelfCare for HealthCare, Your Guide to Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Health.
LeAnn’s “Operation Babylift” adventure came full circle when, on the 25th anniversary of the airlift, President Gerald Ford asked to meet her.
LeAnn met former First Lady Rosalynn Carter after she wrote a personal forward to Chicken Soup for the Caregiver’s Soul. A portion of that book’s proceeds was donated to the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving. At the invitation of Mrs. Carter, LeAnn presented her ‘Caregiver’s Soul’ keynote at the Institute’s annual conference in Atlanta.
LeAnn has been featured on FOX-TV, BBC, NPR, PBS, PAX-TV’s It’s a Miracle, and countless radio and TV programs. She also writes a regular column for NurseTogether.com, and Caregiving in America.
LeAnn is one of about ten-percent of speakers worldwide to have earned the Certified Speaking Professional designation. In August, 2008 she was inducted into the Speaker Hall of Fame, joining the company of Ronald Reagan, Colin Powell, and Art Linkletter!
While the “Operation Babylift” experience dramatically changed her life, LeAnn credits her rural roots for having shaped it. One of eight children, she was raised on an Iowa farm. This simple, honorable, faithfilled lifestyle established the principles and priorities that guide her life today.
LeAnn is a Hall of Fame speaker, author and nurse, but her favorite role is still wife and mother. LeAnn and Mark, her husband of 42 years, reside in Colorado where they enjoy their “empty nest.” When she’s not writing stories beside a peaceful mountain stream, LeAnn enjoys hiking, gardening, playing with her grandkids, cuddling with her hubby, horseback riding and dancing to that old-time rock n’ roll!
When we announced LeAnn was coming, our recruitment event had a great turnout. LeAnn spoke from the heart about her experiences and love of nursing and people. She makes you feel good about the profession you chose and one takes away a sense of pride about self - -she is a treasure. We have since had her back for a second visit that was just as successful as the first!
Everyone from PhD faculty to first year nursing students resonated, related and benefited from LeAnn's messages.
LeAnn literally pulled the audience into her journey and left participants with the clear message that while serving children and others they can make a difference with their efforts. Conference participants connected with her, and in a most sincere and generous way, LeAnn connected with them.
LeAnn moved these hundreds of teens in a way no other speaker has. Months later they are still writing to us about how committed they are to balancing their young lives and making a difference in the world.