Photo courtesy of Mary Wong.

Sheila Quirke is a freelance writer, wife, and mom living in Chicago, where she has blogged under the moniker ‘Mary Tyler Mom’ since 2011.  Her words have been featured at ChicagoNow, Huffington Post, the Chicago Tribune, Scary Mommy, mom.me, and as part of Ann Imig’s Listen To Your Mother anthology of essays about motherhood.

When she’s not writing about parenting, childhood cancer, Chicago, public education, politics, gun violence, adoption, or living with grief, Sheila likes to capitalize on her healthcare experience and write for local clients including the Illinois College of Optometry, the former Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (now known as the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab), and the Alzheimer’s Association.

Trained as a clinical social worker, Sheila spent a decade working in healthcare as an LCSW, with an emphasis on older adults, hospice care, bereavement, and dementia.  She left the profession to provide care for her first child, Donna, who was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor as a toddler and who later died.  Bastard cancer.  Her dream gigs combine writing with her expertise in healthcare and caregiving.

Past recipient of a Peter Lisagor Award for Best Independent Blog Post and a BlogHer Voice of the Year award (get out the VOTY, yo), Sheila really hopes her favorite words have yet to be written.