I would like to take some time today to share my story. I hope it will allow you to understand a bit about who I am and my motivation for creating Wellness Association.
I am a pretty typical Cascadian fellow. I live in Vancouver, enjoy outdoor pursuits, dabble in spirituality, and make delicious homemade beer. The things that matter the most to me are sharing love, having an adventure, and making a difference in the world around me. I have basic education, a fair amount of life experience, and have been infected with the entrepreneurial spirit.
Professionally I oversee the daily operations of NWA. I also formulate nutritional products for people living with a variety of heath issues and own a small enterprise that offers home delivery of small-scale food products.
In 2003, my mother was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease. Upon learning of the diagnosis I promised I would do my utmost to help find her a cure. While this promise has always been difficult to fulfill it began my journey in health services.
My experience in nutritional science began in 2008 when I was part of an observational study. Our goal was to create nutritional formulas that would treat the symptoms of Huntington’s and other neurological conditions. Over a two-year period, we were able to identify myriad nutrients and technologies that held value for people like my mother. At the time, I was astonished by how many options were overlooked. We put a number of those options into practice. The resulting changes we observed in people’s health were significant. I quickly developed an affinity for natural medicine and felt a duty to share our experience with as many people as possible.
By the summer of 2012, we were had thirty participents in our study who wanted to share their stories. So, we started posting infromation online. The content of our posts were personal/professional testimony, scientific research papers, and the constituent ingredients that made up our formulas. Unfortunately, combining these elements within a publication caused us to unknowingly violate health claim regulations. The details of our entanglement with legislation are for another post. The simple reality is that we did not have the financial ability to proceed on our path. This created a moral dilemma. We had people who were benefitting from our ideas. But, no permanent way to help. We needed a solution.
Our study included six physicians. Their roles were to observe the participants or to provide service. This group consisted of four Natural Doctors, a Massage Therapist, and an Acupuncturist. We decided to officially join those professionals with the people in our study. This link formed the basis of N.W.A., creating an independently funded organization that brought attention to health services that are not typically promoted by mainstream practitioners.
During the last three years, we have been growing the network while creating the infrastructure to support it. Currently, we have 398 members. 132 of those are professionals members. Collectively we provide access and funding to thousands of services from Vancouver Island to Ottawa. I am proud to say that the system of care we envisioned has become a reality.
I would like to grow our membership internationally in the coming years. The power of our service increases with the diversity of its professionals. I see a distinct advantage for members when they can seek advice from a global community through our Ask A Practitioner tool. Furthermore, membership will be open to any private care practitioner as we expand our service base. I think the idea that someone in Burnaby can receive a life-changing consultation from a physician in Delhi, or vice-a-versa, which is paid for by membership dues around the world is pretty neat. It will be a lot of fun bringing this idea to its full potential.
That is the end of the beginning of my tale. In closing, I would like to say that I’m just a guy with some interesting ideas who wanted to help his mom. The impact of this concept will be determined by the ingenuity of people we collaborate with. Enough participation will lead to many positive experiences in our world. By working together we will help people live healthier, happier lives.
If what I have said here resonates with you join the quest. I promise fair rations and plenty of adventure on the path to health equality.
Thank you for your attention. I appreciate your time.