Although born in Michigan in 1981, Tracy was raised in Minnesota since she was two years old, and considers herself a Minnesotan native. Tracy loves all the seasons Minnesota provides, including the cold blustery winters. In her professional career, Tracy has worked as a Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant registered nurse at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital for ten years. Tracy feels lucky to have landed in a career in which she loves and is passionate about. When not working, Tracy cherishes spending time with her family, scrapbooking, repurposing furniture, and other hands-on projects. Tracy also owns a small business on etsy making headband holders.
Tracy is also the proud mother of her daughters Sophie and Charlotte. Unfortunately, and the reason for this organization coming into existence, was after Charlotte’s passing at the age of two in November 2016. Charlotte valiantly fought a battle with the SCN2a mutation which caused a catastrophic form of epilepsy and other associated serious medical conditions. After Charlotte’s condition had been revealed at a young age, Tracy and her husband, Junji Umezu, turned their focus to brining and surrounding their children’s lives with joy. As a family, the Umezus created a “Joy List” of things that they wanted Charlotte to experience in her life, knowing that her life could be taken away at any moment. In her short time, Charlotte was able to accomplish some amazing things, sliding down a slide, be pushed in a stroller through an entire marathon, and traveling to Hawaii. After Charlotte’s passing, the Umezus extended their focus to spreading the joy and bringing light to the world around them. Through Seize Your Joy, the Umezus wish to spread joy to children and families facing similar devastating health concerns.