Melissa Marie Fogarty, or Missy as she prefers to be called, is a Colombia and Hispanic wonder mom who owns the Pura Vida Cycling. She is the co-chair of IceCycle, an immersive indoor cycling class experience done on the ice at a local ice rink and event center called Riverworks. IceCyle significantly impacts people’s lives facing cancer by making notable contributions to cancer genetic research.
On top of managing Pura Vida Cycling and being a co-chair of IceCyle, Missy established Pothead Parent TM. “As Pothead Parent TM gets bigger, I want to do as much as I can for the Last Prisoner Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to cannabis criminal justice reform,” explains Melissa. “Being able to help all the individuals, including mothers and fathers who have been wrongfully incarcerated for a substance that is considered a medicine in our home and many others.”
Fogarty was raised in Hamburg, just south of Buffalo, New York. She then moved to Niagara Falls to study Early Childhood Education before transferring to Fredonia State. Melissa would spend a lot of time traveling, reaching places likes Cusco, Peru, and Costa Rica. After graduating, she moved back to Buffalo and now lives in Clarence Center, New York. The entrepreneur and mother is no stranger to life’s greatest struggles and obstacles. She is well-acquainted with the difficulties of life, especially in her family.
“I have endured a lot in my life. Others have tried to take me down, and I have even been hurt by myself,” shares the resilient mother about her early days and struggles. “I have been depressed, suicidal, and suffered from physical, emotional, and sexual abuse both as a child and an adult. I suffer from bulimia, gained a hundred pounds from pregnancy and binge eating in two years. I have a two-year-old son who is blind in one eye and will have to undergo surgeries periodically for his entire life.”
When Missy was in Kindergarten, she wanted to be just like her teacher. She helped children learn in a warm, healthy environment, and that’s what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. Fogarty started at Niagara University and transferred to Fredonia. After student teaching in multiple schools, she realized that working in the education system was not for her. “Teaching to test was not what I wanted to do. As a child with ADHD and learning disorders that wasn’t diagnosed until college, school was tough for me growing up.”
Missy and Pothead Parent™ stand out from other programs and advocacies because the founder and business owner has compassion for people and passion for the cause. “I have always given my whole heart to everything and everyone that I have ever loved. I know I am unique. I don’t have the same look as an Instagram model or the brains of Einstein, but I have a heart bigger than anyone I have ever met.”
In Missy’s free time, she likes to help others and volunteer. She profoundly enjoys creating local events with like-minded small businesses, especially for her fitness followers, mommy moment group, and cannabis advocates.