Thanks for stopping by! I’m Stefanie, just your average midwest mama navigating an anything but average story. You see, my older two children have a regressive and terminal illness called Sanfilippo Syndrome. And the disease itself is as bad as it sounds. Children progress until about the age of 2, then slowly lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, eventually passing away in their teen years.

Awful, I know. But my kids? They’re amazing. Sanfilippo is part of them, but not all of them. They teach me so much about life, love, and what’s really important. And, they make me smile, a lot. I also have a daughter who came after their diagnosis who is neurotypical-how she got here is a story in itself!

They’re a big part of my life, but they aren’t all of it. I have these amazing friends, fantastic hubby, and big ideas. I live in a house built by our community, on a family road, Boyce Lane. You guessed it, right next door to my in-laws.

You can catch my everyday musings on my Facebook Page. My blog features my longer writings and special guest blogs. If you are a Special Needs mom, I have a place just for you! MORE THAN A LABEL is a community of special needs moms seeking Jesus. You are not alone!

My favorite part is getting to connect with you, so make sure to come say hi if I am in your neck of the woods! You can find out where I’ll be speaking and if you don’t see your event on the list, feel free to use the speaker form or contact form to connect.

Most of all, I love Jesus, big time. I believe He is who He says He is. But living like He’s in control is a bit more difficult. That’s why I say I’m going from TYPE A to PLAN B. And PLAN B is messy and hard, but crazy beautiful. And my guess is, you’re navigating PLAN B too.

So let’s do this-together.

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Brooklyn, Stefanie, Jayden, Justin and Elliotte
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Stefanie Boyce is a writer and speaker, best known for her unique perspective when it comes to difficult circumstances. She is no stranger to the pain and beauty of this world, and the tension that comes from living in the midst of both. Most importantly, she is a wife, mother of 3, and an inspiration to many.

A native of Rockford, IL, Stefanie attended Rockford Lutheran High School, and then went on to attend, and graduate from Eastern Illinois University in 2002 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She met her husband, Justin, shortly after and married in 2004.

Over the years, Stefanie has worked as a crisis line operator, shelter advocate, and community educator for a domestic violence agency, and most recently, in a variety of roles at Immanuel Church in Gurnee, IL. She was first hired on staff at Immanuel in the youth ministry department as administrative assistant, and eventually worked her way up to Interim Director of High School Ministry, where she helped shape the ministry with her passion for small groups and mentoring.

Before turning in her church keys to pursue writing and speaking, Stefanie used her creative talents as Director of Environmental Development at Immanuel, where she designed beautiful, functional spaces that were irresistible to guests and regular attenders alike.

In whatever role Stefanie is in, she has always found her way to the microphone, whether it has been in front of a community group educating them on domestic violence, or in front of high schoolers encouraging them to grow in their faith.

Stefanie started writing and speaking as a way to share the things she is learning from parenting her children, two of whom have a rare, regressive terminal disease, called Sanfilippo Syndrome.

In the midst of the pain and suffering that comes from knowing you are going to lose two of your children to an incurable disease, which most people would consider their worst nightmare, we see Stefanie’s strength. And she will be the first to say that it comes from her faith and trust in Christ.

On November 13 2017, Stefanie’s son, Jayden went to be with his Savior. He was a bright and gentle spirit who is dearly missed.

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“Stefanie did an AMAZING job!!! From the start to the finish she never lost my attention! And her images, wow! I heard so many people say today how blessed they were by the message that she gave! God really used her at our church this morning.”

KRISTEN R.-church attendee

“Stefanie Boyce embodies what it means to flourish where you are planted. She will make you laugh and cry, all while providing practical points of dealing with life when it doesn’t go as planned. We highly recommend her for any group in need of encouragement!”

JEN G and DINA G.-MOPS Coordinators

“Stefanie was a fantastic speaker at our youth group retreat.  She was fun.  She was engaging.  She was challenging.  She helped us dive into the deep end as a group.  Students have talked about her non-stop since the retreat was over.  Her talks come up in small group discussions to this day.  Stefanie is great at coming in and helping YOU do what YOU feel you need… she wants the group to better than how she found it.  She wants to help you take the ball down the field in your ministry.  I highly recommend her as a speaker.  Stefanie has a amazing story and amazing insight into the Christian faith, and more people need to hear her!”

Jonathan Hobbs-Director of Youth Ministries
Church of the Good Samaritan
Paoli, Pennsylvania

 More Testimonials


Stefanie is best known for speaking on the topics below, but can work with your specific topic or group. Just let us know what you are thinking when completing the form below. Thank you for considering Stefanie for your next event.


Stefanie shares her courageous story of life before and after her children’s diagnosis. She will have you laughing and crying with her raw and honest speaking style when addressing even the most difficult topics like, where is God when bad things happen? Or, how do you thrive when there seems to be no hope?


As a parent of a child with special needs, Stefanie offers encouragement, best practices, practical survival tips, like how to stay connected to your spouse or one thing every parent must do. She also provides encouragement and support to staff and volunteers working in the field of special needs.


In addition to her daughter with special needs, Stefanie is a wife, woman of God, and mother to one neurotypical child. Specific topics Stefanie covers include surrender, patience, parenting, self-care, thriving, trusting God when He has different plans for your life, and finding beauty in brokenness.


In November 2017, Stefanie’s son, Jayden, passed away from Sanfilippo Syndrome at 11 years old. Stefanie offers encouragement to parents and best practices for navigating the end of life process, like how to talk to your other children about death. She also provides encouragement and support to staff and volunteers working in the field of palliative/hospice care.


Stefanie spent nine years mentoring and leading youth as the Assistant Director of Youth Ministry. Her passion for youth, especially young women, is evident when she speaks about dating, self-esteem, trust, and perseverance, with topics like, how to tell a great story with your life or dreaming God-sized dreams. She also speaks in university classrooms to students interested in the medical or educational fields of study.


Using her unique experience as the Director of Environmental Design and building a special needs ministry at her own church, Stefanie has years of experience leading and training staff and volunteers alike. She also consults with churches on how to become more inclusive, how to start a special needs ministry, how to reach out and support special needs families, and how to create irresistible environments for guests and regular attenders. She has also shared her story of hope during Sunday morning services.



Beecher, IL

IMMANUEL CHURCH                                                                                                                                                                                          HIGH SCHOOL YOUTH GROUP
Gurnee, IL

Antioch, IL

Chicago, IL

Beecher, IL

Chicago, IL


Speaking Request Form

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I love hearing what God is up to in your life and will do my best to respond.

Thank you for letting me be a small part of your story!