On the evening of Feb. 23, Dreama Travis of the Old Mill House Bed and Breakfast in Graves Mill, Virginia was awarded the Bed and Breakfast Member of the Year, an honor to be added to her many recent accomplishments.
Travis, a nine-year member of BBAV and the Inns at Montpelier, has shown her fellow innkeepers the true meaning of perseverance, proving to be an inspiration.
Four years ago, Travis was diagnosed with Stage IV Endometrial Cancer. Inoperable and incurable, Travis was given limited time to live. Wanting to get the most out of life, she embarked in a holistic approach to battle the disease.
Travis’ lifestyle changes proved helpful, but unfortunately could not stop the inevitable. After months of sporadic operation, the Old Mill House Bed and Breakfast eventually closed, a decision Travis thought would be permanent.
Even with the devastating loss of her business, Travis was not ready to quit and began defying odds. Feeling strong enough, Travis found herself attending a mission trip to Nigeria where she provided medical care and educational support to natives.
Locally, Travis stated a support program called the First Responders Cancer Team. The team aims to provide support to newly diagnosed cancer patients. To be a team member, one must have cancer or be a cancer survivor. Initially, they were reaching out to patients in surrounding countries, but are now counseling patients around the globe.
“Being an innkeeper has afforded me the opportunity to meet people from all over the world,” Travis said. “Sometimes guests will go home after a stay at The Old Mill House and later learn about a friend or loved one being diagnosed with this most dreaded disease. They call and ask if I will talk with them. Sharing my success story gives them hope where there was no hope before.”
Although Travis still battles cancer, she has already overcome tremendous obstacles, most recently in the re-opening of the Old Mill House Bed and Breakfast, which is now back in full swing.
Travis was proudly awarded her honor at the 2014 Annual Bed and Breakfast Association of Virginia Conference in Richmond, Virginia where she was accompanied by a standing ovation of fellow colleagues. The room was evidently full of great admiration for this outstanding member, not only with her Bed and Breakfast, but life.