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My Story

My story has many chapters and it continues to change each day, but I am often asked for my story, so here goes, my best attempt to write to write it down. 


I was diagnosed with MS in 1985. I woke up one morning and couldn’t see straight. Then the balance went and then numbness from the chest down. The neurologist who diagnosed me told me they stopped counting the lesions at 25 and that my journey to a wheelchair would be swift. I recall him saying 4 years, but it doesn’t really matter – for the same reason that the date of diagnosis doesn’t matter – it was one piece of information from one guy. I fired him and found another neurologist.

At the time there were no real pharmaceutical interventions, Copaxone was in clinical trials, and my new neurologist (a stand up guy who has brought much MS research to the world) told me that drugs were not a good option, there was little he could do for me, so to run along and have a good life. So I did, and that was the last time I saw a neurologist – around 1987.

Through nobody’s eyes but my own.

In hindsight I am forever grateful to this neuro because he didn’t riddle me with doubt, fear and guilt. He didn’t play the ego card. We had honest, frank conversations from one mature thinking adult to another. His direction allowed me to explore and experience the condition of my health through nobody’s eyes but my own. All by myself, I realized the things that made me feel worse and the things that made me feel better. Shortly after diagnosis I began to receive phone calls from people who wanted to know what I was doing and what I recommended they do. I was in the world of corporate communications at the time, so I had few helpful recommendations, but the one that I did give over and over was “live your life.” And people were generally happy to hear that and life continued for all of us.

Relapse after an all night dancing beer-fest.

I lived the following 10 years without great distress – my bladder gave me some problems, I had transient numbness and tingling and from time to time some heaviness in the legs. I was hospitalized again in 1986 with a relapse after an all night dancing beer-fest – dah, and for the second time received IV steroids. My next full-blown relapse came around 1994. I was living in the beach and I remember walking the short city block to the drug store and sitting down on the curb every 10 steps to recover all the while hoping my bladder would hold out. Definitely not a highlight of my life. Having said that it was during this time that I met the incredible man who I later married and almost two decades later we are still happily together.

As time went on, big pharma came up with some interesting ideas for medications for MS and neurologists who, until then, had been revered diagnosticians were forced into the role of clinicians and really have never excelled at it. I’ve talked to many neurologists who openly agree. And it also seems to me that there is generalized confusion when it come to accurate prescribing. Some neuros aggressively bully people into taking meds from the nanosecond of diagnosis (or before in some cases) and others follow a more cautious approach and feel that because they are so toxic that you “shouldn’t stay on them for long.” And then there is the interesting practice of handing the patient a mitt full of pharmaceutical marketing materials with the directive “you decide” … lets just say that, as a person diagnosed with MS, the support for making a clear and decisive choice on this matter has just never been there for me.

After my second big relapse in 1986 my neuro (another one, I was living in Germany at the time) suggested chemotherapy, with this disclaimer “by the way you won’t be able to have babies.” Well, at the time I was in my 20′s and decided I would like to have some choice in that matter when the time came, so I declined. In nutshell, I have always been skeptical of the long-term consequences of the meds. I decided there had to be another way.

Like you, I started to learn…

So, like you, I started to learn on my own – and wowza what a ton of information out there! The first food related book I read, was very compelling – and written by a board certified neurologist (Roy Swank). Well, no body had told me anything about food and health before!

Shortly thereafter I began to see my first naturopathic doctor (1994), got some great results and the rest is history. I went back to school, got my diploma in Naturopathic Medicine and started seeing patients as an intern in 2001. I have held a private practice ever since. Naturopathic philosophy resonated with me from the very beginning. The concept that the body’s natural state is health with treatment strategies that focus on its restoration. BTW my primary care has been my ND since 1994.

The Status-Quo is Killing us!

My first clinical ah-ha (or perhaps better said – oh oh) moment came quickly as I realized how sick our culture had become. And generally that state known as the “status quo”, was progressively deteriorating to a state of dis-ease. Nobody in the history of Canada’s “free” healthcare system has ever talked to us about disease PREVENTION, or the role that diet and lifestyle play in maintaining and RESTORING health. Naturopathic philosophy, put diet and lifestyle as the basis for care. In my daily practice (both personal and professional) diet and lifestyle are the first steps on the path to recovery. I can’t with good conscience prescribe over such powerful confounding factors. Beyond that my personal philosophy is to work with patients and their unique health condition to create a plan that is both supportive and corrective.

During the next number of years (2000-2007) I continued to build a successful general practice. I saw each of my parents to the end of their lives and one day after we had buried my mother, after I had endured the profound stress of executing her last will and selling the only home I knew outside my marriage – and all the memories that went with it, I was getting into my car and for the first time in my life I had to lift my legs to help them move. It was in that moment that I realized that I had lost sight of the most important person in my life – me.

Creating My Own Path to Recovery

Since that time I have worked hard to create my own path to recovery. Because I know I can. Because I know I am able and because I know that the best and most current science supports it. It’s not easy, I am after all a chronic Type A personality. Some days it seems that my path is two steps forward and one (or two, or three) steps back. But I know what needs to be done, and I have to keep encouraging myself in a compassionate way. Some of the hi/lowlights of the past five years have included the beginning of a dedicated meditation practice which got me through a profound time of anxiety and depression around my mother’s death; CCSVI treatment which I had no expectations of as I had already been diagnosed for 25 years by the time I had it – AND which gave me many gifts including my sense of balance! After over a decade of bouncing off walls, and walking with sticks just to stay upright I was able to stand and move on my own. Alas, my overachiever personality kicked in and I sustained a series of injuries – a traumatic crush injury to my leg, knee surgery a broken foot, and two serious foot sprains that kept me non-weight bearing for much of the past 3+ years. That brings me to today.

Today I am still practicing full time, and working on The MS Path, which is a way that we can all learn, experience and really live with MS. I am currently using a scooter, which allows me to focus on regaining my mobility in a healthy way. I work out 4-6x per week and am fascinated at how the body responds even after years of disability. Patience is my new friend.

Looking forward…

I do what I do because I love it. I love rolling my sleeves up and working with people who have made it their priority to educate themselves, to make changes and understand that recovery is a process. I am inspired every day by people on this journey who take control of their health and put the effort in to get results. That’s what I look forward to, helping people achieve a new understanding of health and healing.


In the bigger picture, I want to reach more people. I want to provide opportunities to work together outside of the bricks and mortar of my clinical practice. And most of all I want to continue with my own recovery. The next, and potentially the best, chapters of my story are yet to be written. Join me on this path and together we can paint the future with the colours of health and recovery.
Today I am still practicing full time, and working on The MS Path, which is a way that we can all learn, experience and really live with MS. I am currently using a scooter, which allows me to focus on regaining my mobility in a healthy way. I work out 4-6x per week and am fascinated at how the body responds even after years of disability. Patience is my new friend.

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