How a Widowed Mother Became Enormously Successful

Adela Cepeda faced the loss of her husband at a young age. Left with three young daughters, she found triumph and success. Here's her story.
Adela Cepeda and her daughters

Cancer. It’s a word none of us want to hear, but it seems to affect everyone. Whether it be a friend who was diagnosed, a family member, or a personal fight, hearing that it’s infiltrated your life can be overwhelming. 

Chicagoan Adela Cepeda knows all too well how devastating this diagnosis can be. She knows what it’s like to go from living an ordinary life to hearing the news that her beloved husband, Albert Maule, developed the terminal blood cancer, multiple myeloma. Get inspired by her tale of love, loss, and astounding resilience.

Back to the Beginning.

Adela was born in Columbia to hard-working parents. When she was 6, Adela’s family moved to the US, and while her parents struggled to overcome the language barrier, they still thrived, raising 5 children.

“The objective was to get us to college. They would tell us that every day,” says Adela. She excelled in the classroom and was encouraged to go to an Ivy League School. She eventually decided to attend Harvard, which was a life-changing experience for many reasons. Adela says of her time at Harvard, “It was a great experience, not the least of which is I met my husband there.” After they married, the couple moved to Chicago and began their family, eventually having three beautiful daughters.

One Day at a Time

Adela Cepeda

When their youngest daughter was only 1, Albert was diagnosed with a blood cancer called multiple myeloma. “The shock of that was more than I could take,” Adela said, continuing, “And I didn’t know how I would live.”  The couple made it one day at a time, and despite the dire prognosis, it was still a shock when Albert passed. 

After Albert’s death, Adela found support, first and foremost, from her family. She was fortunate to find a babysitter who was with her family for 33 years and gave her endless and invaluable support.

With that system of support and a wealth of talent, Adela started a company called AC Advisory, which she ran for 21 years. She started from scratch the year Albert died, and when she retired, she had over $150 billion in completed transactions. She now uses the skills she honed and developed to help other women find success in their chosen professions.

Adela Cepeda shows us that in the face of heartbreaking loss, if you simply take it just one day at a time, you can not only thrive on a personal and professional level, but you can also build up those around you.

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