Ignite Health Ontario ran successfully on Wednesday night in London Ontario. I am still processing how wonderful this night really was but let me share some comments that others have made. We had about 40 attendees and I am over the moon happy!: Enjoy the comments while I continue to process! Blaire Rymer – Hi Michelle, Thanks again for putting together Ignite Health Ontario, It was such an amazing event! I can’t wait for the next one! Nina Jogia – I loved the presentations and the variety of presenters. bravo to those who were able to share such personal stories. Nothing Changes if no one has the courage to speak out. Wanda Davis – Great Job last night, Great Energy! Erika Faust – Had an awesome time at ignite health ontario last night. Met some great people and learned a lot Thanks to Michelle Clermont and all speakers. Great Job! Karma Yoga Studio – Had fun connecting with other Londoners interested in Holistic health last night at Ignite Health. Fabulous people, Fabulous presentations!! Christian D’Andrea – Great Ignite Health ontario event. Congrats to Michelle Clermont for organizing a wonderful program. Next up Food Revolution 2013! Pam Clark – Thanks to Lisa Merriam for presenting her story on diminishing the stigma of mental illness. Thank you for your amazing courage . You are an inspiration. Pam Clark on Emory Ediger – His poem made me cry. Very moving images too. Pam Clark – Congratulations on your first event Michelle, and Congratulations to Megan for so many reasons! Lisa Merriam- Today was the day! My Mental Health and stigma speech for ignitehealth ontario. It was Anxiety busting, thought provoking and amazing! High Hill Reiki – Had an amazing time at ignite health ontario tonight. So proud to be a presenter and sponsor. Was wonderful to meet all the guests and speakers.! Tammy Lee Marche – Thanks to Michelle Clermont for organizing ignite Health ontario I enjoyed many of the presentations with Denise Testa! Tanya Parker – Just heard a very moving speech from a Long Term Care patient about lonliness in a LTC facility. Tim Felsky – Just did my first Yoga Stretches as part of Ignite Health Ontario Cheryl Takaoka – Enjoyed an educational night that included yoga ( I am not as flexible as I used to be) Enlightenment and some great questions to ask myself. What is my Why?( I will have to get back to you on that) What makes me Smile every day? (Happily I can answer that most days) and How can I help make change ( not the monetary kind) Thanks Ignite Health Ontario! Koreen Melnick – Awesome event Michelle Tanya Park – Megan did a fabulous job. She had the audience engaged and inspired. That young lady is going places!
I can not believe that Ignite Health Ontario I will happen in 2 days! A thought from my brain that was triggered thanks to Ignite London will materialize in a public event to help people listen to their bodies and start taking accountability for its success. We have amazing speakers that I am proud to get on stage. Jim Mills – Former London Knights Captain, impacted by Guilles – Barres Syndrome and now running the Smile Epidemic! Lisa Merriam – 20 years old and sharing her story of mental illness and how she is fighting every day to raise awareness and diminish the stigma, Blair Rymer will teach us all some base yoga moves and we all get to participate. You will get a chance to learn about and sample Kiki Natural Maple Sap beverage! You will learn why you should consider a chiropractor, a reiki treatment, or a nutritionist. You will learn from Emory Ediger how it feels to move into a nursing home and feel alone and how you can turn that around. You will hear Megan Clermont tell her story of how she has moved from living a life of chronic illness where she spent most of her time isolated and alone as a teenager to now being a thriving busy teenager who fights back against her illness. You will learn about the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution and what my role is as ambassador and what the plans are for 2013. We will have a great presentation on Getting to know your farmer, eating local and watching out for GMO’s ! Have you ever heard of Shamanic Healing? Me neither but we will learn what that can offer for your spirit, Have you considered Hypnosis to deal with challenges like smoking, weightloss, insomnia? We will get a chance to explore new ideas there too! We have all presentations ready to go, we have 2 videographers volunteering their time, we have 3 volunteer photographers, we have a projector, we have a podium, we have snacks and beverages too. Now all we need is you to come and take a seat and listen to these presenters and walk away with one new idea to help you be a better healthier you! http://ignitehealth.eventbrite.ca/?ebtv=C . http://metronews.ca/news/london/410906/former-london-knights-captain-among-speakers-at-ignite-health-ontario/ http://www.londoncommunitynews.com/2012/10/ignite-health-ontario-will-take-place-at-covent-garden-market-oct-24/ Contact Michelle Clermont 226-234-4006 for more details
There was a time when your local MD was the only person you would go to in times of health related woes. Be them minor aches and pains, or major health concerns, there was only one source you knew of that could tell you not only what was wrong, but how it was going to be made better.
As we grow as a society so grows our own knowledge of personal health. A great portion of the population is learning how to self educate themselves and realize not only the current flaws in the medical structure, but alternative resources that can be found in order to combat some of the problems that modern medicine was once thought to be the only remedy for.
People have many theories or arguments as to why things are shifting the way they are and why the medical community is thriving less and less. Some blame the intervention of aggressive drug companies, some blame the lack of enthusiasm in modern GP’s that would sooner write a prescription than spend the time educating their client, and some blame their local government for restricting the ability for medical facilities to operate the way they should. These are all valid arguments, and there are many, many more with equal validity- but the true problem in medicine today is its ultimate disconnect from the modern community; the inability to relate to the updated knowledge and mindset of the modern human being. The medical community has two choices as time moves forwards: change, grow, and reconnect with its people, or fade, crumble, and disappear into the past.
The Napster Age
Remember when music first became free through sites such as Napster? The music industry was furious, fearful, and at a loss. Billions of dollars were spent trying to prevent the sharing of online music and in keeping the music industry the way it has always been; and why not? The music industry was a money making machine that had been operating pretty much the same way since the 1940’s. We went from records, to 8 tracks, to cassettes, to CD’s- but the creation, packaging, distribution, and profit from music was always constant.
The music industry knew that with ability to share music through online communities, the industry was in trouble. Instead of looking at this as an opportunity to evolve and find new/interesting ways to run their model and succeed through change, they wasted billions of dollars trying to prevent the world from spinning. If they had only seen where the future was headed and adjusted accordingly, they would’ve changed the music industry as we knew it, saved a ton of money, and continued to succeed within an updated system of music.
Medicine is in the same boat, and it is being handled the same way.
Now that people have the ability to share information online they are more aware of many things. Firstly that they have the ability to prevent many health problems by educating themselves on what is good for them to eat, how important exercise is, and how to access the avenues in order to live a better life. They also have a new insight into the drug industry and its deep ties to the current medical system. Most people are starting to understand the motivations of billion dollar drug companies and their great influence over the medical community. The combination of understanding how to better your own life without the medical community, as well as all of the ever-growing education of flaws within the medical establishment is bad news for medicine. They all know it, but much like the music industry they are squeezing their eyes shut and hoping this will all go away.
Drug companies, Genetic Engineering groups like Monsanto, and all the like are putting forth billions of dollars in funds in order to shut down the natural medicine industry and make any natural product that can help remedy the human body available only by prescription. This is one example of many on the agenda’s of these kinds of companies, but it shows you their combative approach to the current situation. Much like the music industry they are too late, and will ultimately, fail.
Medical practitioners aren’t to blame on that level, but they are still fully resistant to the current change in the community. I believe that all (or at least the majority of) MD’s are out to help people. They are out to make the world a better place and serve their community- but they also have their heads buried in the sand when it comes to how the world and industry is changing, and they are losing their audience.
With the level and speed of information sharing the way it currently is- the medical world needs to change. It is no longer useful to resist your own people like the music industry tried to do- rather, you need to change your approach and rebuild a trusting relationship, and more importantly a ‘connection’ with the world.
The Paradigm Shift
We live in a truly amazing age, and I don’t know how many of us realize that. We live in the first and only age known to man in which we can share any information with any person in the world within less than a second. The fact that ANY PERSON can do it with even the most basic means of technology is truly amazing and groundbreaking. This is a time that will be written in history books- and this generation of human beings will change the entire direction of the planet. It is unbelievably exciting when you think about it.
The problem for many industries is that the world has the ability to change far faster than the industries want to change themselves. This is why you see so many failing industries in the world; not because they deliver bad products, because their staff are ineffective, or because nobody wants their products or services- but because they refuse to change in order to accommodate an ever changing world.
This is something that the medical community needs to understand- and they need to understand it quickly. Like it or not, they are an industry just like any other- selling products and services in exchange of financial gain. And just like all the other industries their refusal to adapt and change is allowing the world to look past them.
Health- The Key to Reconnecting
People in this world (or at least a significant portion of them) are starting to not only understand, but become enthusiastic about health. They are taking control of their own lives from a very fundamental level and learning how important it is to take care of their bodies. Even with this change, however, they still seek out some sort of outside assistance to keep them confident in times of health uncertainty. People are finding Naturopathic Doctors, Chinese Medicine, and all kinds of alternative methods to modern medicine. I think it’s important to note that, because it isn’t as if people who are educated in health want less help in their lives- but they want help from people who have the same values, ideals, and principles as they do. What I’m getting at is people aren’t seeking modern medicine less and less because they simply don’t want help from anyone when it comes to health related issues- they just want help from people who care about what THEY care about- and for a typical individual who understands health and wellness, that person is not an M.D.
Modern Medicine practices a disease model. That means most of their education and scope of practice revolves around waiting until there is an issue, and then finding a way to treat that issue. There is nothing wrong with that and people need to understand that medicine (the way we know it today) came from a place that required practioners to solve existing problems- not prevent them from happening. It was also established in a time where life was so simple in terms of people having access to ONLY good sources of food and in a time where everyone had to be active each day in order to get work done. This meant that the need for prevention wasn’t there like it is today- it was much more valuable to have a medical model that could diagnose an existing problem and find a way to fix it.
With that in mind the need for preventative medicine has been growing rapidly over the last century- and of course, the medical world has refused to change along with that rapid increase in need. This is what has created such a massive disconnect between people and modern medicine.
Music is now medicine, record companies are now hospitals, and Napster is now information about taking care of yourself. The medical industry now has to become a source of accurate and effective preventative health information, and stop resisting the change that is happening before its eyes.
Don’t Tear it Down- Just Build with Better Bricks
The medical community isn’t going to just disappear, and if it did I think a lot of us ‘health extremists’ who may see that as an ideal situation would quickly realize what a huge loss and mistake it would be. Instead it needs to take a new direction with new objectives, and a better understanding of how to relate to its every evolving population of patients.
While a lot of the technology that has been implemented into medicine has been controversial and it some cases even dangerous or counterproductive, there has still been (and will continue to be) great technologies and advances is medical science that can do amazing things for the world’s population. And while a lot of the operation and structure of the medical world has become stagnant and ineffective, there is still a lot about the medical system that can be quite advantageous to the world as well. Not to mention the great need for emergency care, care for the elderly, and care for the large population of people who quite frankly just can’t care for themselves.
We get so caught up in what is wrong with medicine these days that we forget about all the things that are also right and benefit many people that surround us. We forget that the best solution is a change, a medium, and the letting go of old ineffective ideas for new effective ones.
If the medical system puts a large shift towards educating their MD’s on health, prevention, and patient education- the damaged relationships with its patients and image will repair and recover. If it however decides to fight tooth and nail to protect a dying system of sickness and disease medicine, the people will disconnect and seek professionals that are more relatable to how they view life and wellness.
Therein lies the crossroads that the medical community is facing- follow the music industry and fight for a dying system that is inevitably going to change with or without you, or learn from other industries mistakes and give the people not only what they want, but what the world (currently) needs. And remember- the choice doesn’t have to be any more complicated than choosing to connect with your patients on a level that makes them feel secure, confident, and like you care about their views on health- but following your own agenda with your fingers in your ears yelling “LA LA LA LA LA LA” isn’t a great way to convey that message.
Ignite Health Ontario was created for a number of reasons. My daughter Megan was diagnosed with Fatty Liver Disease in 2008. In the Ontario medical system we have seen the worst of what is offered. She has had doctors tell her to her face that her symptoms were all in her head. When doctors do not easily identify an illness you get to see the worst of who they are professionally. They get flustered, frustrated, impatient and can easily take it out on the patient. The number of times a doctor has talked to Megan in a condescending voice implying she is causing her illnesses is disturbing. Very rarely do you find a doctor who will treat her with respect and be on her side.
The focus of that 5 year journey based on what doctors said was always food related. They never gave concrete advice about what to eat, they would just say low fat. This was not easy to accept. How could all the low fat, diet foods that the companies I trusted be making my daughter so sick? But over that time I did find that processed foods do hurt her. I did learn not to trust the companies selling the food.
I didn’t focus on the alternate options in the health care sector, That was a sector i didn;t understand, I had never been exposed to anything other than massage and chiropractors.
I blindly trusted doctors who put Megan on birth control pills which likely created the 10 month of extreme vertigo. Why would doctors prescribe drugs that are going to cause other health issues? and why would they do that to a child?
I reached my breaking point after Megan spent a week at the Hospital for Sick Children, I was so thankful that Megan was FINALLY being seen by the best kids doctors! I love that hospital it was all I ever wanted for Megan. But that hospital did nothing for Megan. They were the ones who put her on anti depressants, they were ones that were pushing that she had psychological issues creating her illnesses. They broke my heart. They were not supposed to give up on kids and here they were..writing her off as a mental case. She was 13 years old. How dare you?!!
Now I do also keenly know that mental stress can create medical symptoms in the body. This completely depends on your bodies coping mechanisms and if this is what is causing your illnesses then please by all means talk to a professional and find your answers. This was not the answer for Megan.
After that experience I did not know where to turn. I was approached by a friend who was selling supplements and she was certain that the supplements would fix Megan. At this point I had nothing to lose so I took the chance on the supplements. The supplements did nothing for Megan , no changes in any symptoms. This was disappointing and hurt financially too.
I felt so defeated, I could not turn to doctors, I could not trust the corporations making our foods, I could not trust the drug companies. How would I help my child?
I tripped over an ad for a personal coach who was offering free advice and looking for someone to build marketing around. I decided to contact Brandon Krieger and take the step.
I did not know how important Brandon would become to Megan and I. I did not know he would help me research and find solid answers for Megan but thats what happened.
Brandon is a Holistic Coach, focussing on the whole person not just medical symptoms. The focus quickly moved away from my health and it was clear my biggest challenge was trying to help my daughter. He reached out to resources all around the world to get advice from health advocates and leaders in nutrition to create a specific diet for Megan which would be kind to her liver. All foods were from the ground, the animals and the water and nothing was processed. Megan hated this but she started to feel better.
Brandon introduced us to an Osteopath who determined that Megan’s uterus was twisted which explained her uncontrollable menstrual cycle. He found that she had blockages in her brain stem and others that would impact her hormones. He found her liver was not processing clearly.
Brandon and others researched the birth control pill Megan was on and we determined it could certainly cause the extreme vertigo. Megan was moved to another pill and we waited.
We changed her diet, we added exercise, we added Osteopathy. Megan started to feel better, She was able to get past the extreme vertigo. The answers were in the natural world for Megan not the medical community.
So that is the reason I am passionate about igniting a passion in you to take your health into your own hands, Listen to your body signals, do not blindly trust doctors, corporations or supplements. It is Never a 1 solution problem to fix. You need balance, Food , Exercise, Spiritual, Mental. You need to consider alternate therapies , you need to share your stories to find others who have travelled a similar path. You may have found an answer that someone else hasn’t considered.
I don’t expect everyone to walk away from the event and change their life overnight. I don’t expect anyone to take every piece of information shared and use it. I want you to make 1 change to improve your health , just 1. Remove pop, Start taking walks, see a chiropractor, talk to a professional about your anxieties, learn to meditate, take a yoga class.
Find what works for you and make small changes that you can live with. If you listen to your body you will start noticing clues and you can determine if the changes are positive.
Those changes can easily make you feel worse initially. But give it 6 weeks. If after 6 weeks you are still feeling worse. STOP doing what you are doing! Find another option. Do not give up on yourself!
This is my story and why I am passionate…I hope I can help you find some natural solutions to symptoms.
My name’s Megan I am 16 years old and I live in London, Ontario. Seeing into the minds of people my age can be difficult for anyone who isn’t my age. My generation faces new problems, new social norms, and new expectations. The way teenagers thought 30 years ago isn’t how we think today and the way we think now won’t be how teenagers 30 years from now will think. And within that every teenager will have different priorities and different hopes and dreams so clearly you can never have a full understanding of every teenagers mind. I have been sick for the last 5 years of my life and have been removed greatly from people my age so I can’t tell you much about the way they think but I can tell you about the way I think.
The thing about being sick for so long is I had a lot of time to think. Most people envy being able to stay home all day and relax but being that isolated can become boring and tedious; you can only check facebook so many times. For the first few years of my illness I found small things to entertain me, video games, books, television shows, but as I grew older I spent more of that time thinking. I thought about my future and if I would get the chance to have one, I thought about my family and if I would always be a burden on them and I thought about the world and would I ever be able to do anything for it. I started spending more of my time reading about what was going on in the world and I started seeing things that I couldn’t believe were happening. For example a couple months ago in Iran 70 university programs were closed off to women because they were surpassing the men within them. And in many places around the world, such as Uganda, it is legal to kill a person for being a homosexual. Reading all this I wanted to fix it but never thought I would have the opportunity to. At that point in my life I didn’t let myself dream or hope for anything but sickness, after five years of nearly constant illness how could I? So I ignored these problems and went back to my tv or video games.
Something changed for me a few months ago, I got tired of letting my illness stop me, I got tired of not trying to do anything because no one thought I could succeed, and I got tired of accepting that I would live the rest of my life being ill. I don’t know what changed for me but I did. I started researching universities and looking at careers in human rights and I started working towards a future for myself. I started volunteering in the community and doing things to see if I could handle going back to school. And now after five years I’m fighting my illness so I can do something with my life. I have decided I want to become a human rights lawyer and be the person that helps solve the types of issues mentioned above. So this year I’m working my butt of to do well in school and to get more involved so I can get into a good university and eventually a good law school. It is hard, I get tired and I get sick but I keep working because I have to, because I’m tired of letting illness rule my life.
So that is how I think, it may not be how every teenager sees the world but those are the challenges I am currently facing and I hope this gives some insight on a teenagers brain even if it is just mine. One thing I want to add is a quote from novelist John Green.
“When adults say, “Teenagers think they are invincible” with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.”
― John Green, Looking for Alaska
Sorry to all my followers I have been clearly distracted from blogging and distracted from moving my grassroot effort to change the way we eat. After the whirlwind experiences of meeting Oprah Winfrey and running a successful Jamie Oliver Food revolution day in London Ontario I had to sit back and have a look at my finances.
I was in trouble, a lot of bills piling up and no end in site. Missing a car payment, collections calling about another company. I sat down and changed some of the options for my cell phone, reduced channels for the TV, cancelled my organic grocery orders, cancelled chiropractor services for me, stopped Megan from going to osteopath, reduced her singing lessons to once every 2 weeks.
I knew I had to do something to change the way I was managing money. There is no way that I can keep up with barely surviving every month.
So for the month of June I took every possible overtime opportunity at work. I have disappeared into the woodwork. Barely any updates on Facebook, I am not working in my liver support group, I am not socializing. I have worked 46 hours of overtime on top of my 37.5 hours in the last 9 days. It was a huge challenge!
Up most nights dealing with client issues, my puppy became very confused why mommy was never in bed with him! I have been a zombie stepping through my days!
My daughter Megan actually flourished during the month of June! She has decided that she wants to be a lawyer, she wants to be accepted to the best schools for University. Her plan is to become a big part of her high school when she returns in September. She is auditioning for a play in London on July 15th which is also her 16th birthday. Megan has started working 30 hours a week in a volunteer role at the Children’s museum in London. She is working up her resilience and building a habit of getting back into a daily rhythm. This is huge for her, she was not in school last year due to her health and lack of sleep. She is fighting back and I could not be prouder of Megan! She is saying Screw you to her health issues and insisting on having the best life she can. She is volunteering for the Anti bullying coalition, she wants to fight for civil rights and her big goal now is to work at United Nations. I am her biggest cheerleader and I will be cheering for her all the way to the top!
My son Alex will also be making huge changes, he turned 19 at the end of May. In early June he confirmed he has accepted the offer to move to Halifax to take Psychology at Dalhousie University. My stepdad has provided airline tickets through Aeroplan for Alex and I to fly to Halifax on September 1st. We will be meeting my friend Dawn at the airport and she has kindly offered us accomodation at her home outside of Halifax. Alex is stepping into adulthood, he is stepping into a world he has never been a part of, living without family anywhere near him. I am scared and excited for him. I hope he flourishes and finds an exciting path that will make him happy.
So while I may be quiet, things are happening here in my world! Lots of good things and with all of the overtime I have worked I will be able to pay off some bills and put a bit into savings. I will be able to breath. I will also be in touch with a financial counsellor this week to make sure I don’t get myself into trouble again.
Sometimes its very important to refocus your efforts on the family and on finances. I can make a ton of difference in the world but I have to make sure my priorities are right. If I could make money doing things like the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Day things would be so much easier. That is not my reality, and I have to ensure that I balance the things I do for the greater good in the community with keeping a balanced budget at home.
Please also see a webisode I did with Tammy Lee Marche in June talking about growing up in an abusive family and how I truly have a good life overall regardless of what my parents did to me as a child.
Thanks for following my blog and I will now be able to start sharing good stuff again!!
I hope you have an amazing day even though I couldn’t get you everything you deserve. You have done so much for me this year and I can’t say how much I appreciate everything. From continuing to work hard for my health, to encouraging me to explore my interests. I am so proud of all the work you have done this year. I couldn’t be prouder to call you my mom. You have helped so many people and are just getting started. You have not only helped thousands of people with their health you have also helped Alex and I become who we are today. All we can do is hope that you are proud of what we are becoming. You support us both with our dreams no matter how big from university in another province or where ever they may take us! Neither of us could ever ask for more from you. I love you , thank you for being you and doing all you have for us. I hope I can make you proud!
Today I am providing what my good friend Kirsten wrote about the Food revolution…you can and should follow her blog http://runningforautism.com/
Today’s story starts with Megan, the 15-year-old daughter of my friend Michelle.
In many respects, Megan is a typical teenage girl. There are celebrities she loves and those she cannot bear the thought of. She enjoys going to the movies, has dreams about the future, and when the time comes, she would like to wear a pretty dress to her senior prom.
Except that if things don’t change for Megan soon, there may not be a senior prom. Because in order to go to senior prom, you have to go to high school. And Megan is too sick to go to school.
When Megan started experiencing severe dizziness a couple of years ago, her mom took her to a string of doctors who were not able to identify the cause. Even a week of tests in hospital did not reveal why this young girl was so off-kilter that she had to rely on a wheelchair.
The dizziness was not Megan’s only problem. She had a prolonged bout of respiratory illness, her periods were problematic from the very first day, and she became unable to sleep for more than two or three hours a night, in spite of being constantly exhausted.
But Michelle, who has endured a lot of hardship in her life, is not one to be beaten down. Instead of simply accepting Megan’s condition, she decided to do something about it, not only for her own family, but for her entire community. She started by setting up a Facebook group for people suffering from Fatty Liver Disease.
Then she started making radical changes to her own and her daughter’s lifestyles.
While Michelle acknowledges her role in making less-than-ideal food choices for Megan, she points out that many parents simply do not understand the implications of the foods that they and their families consume. As a society, we are so caught-up in healthy-sounding labels like sugar-free this-thing or low-fatthat-thing.
There is no denying the fact that food manufacturers hire very smart marketing companies who can successfully deceive entire segments of the population into believing that something is good for you when it’s actually leading you to an earlier grave.
Michelle decided that it was time for this to change, and so she has spearheaded the organization of an event in her community that will teach children and adults about healthy eating habits in a fun and engaging way. The Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Day is a global event being held in communities everywhere on Saturday, May 19th.
Michelle is organizing the event in London, Ontario. This day promises to provide entertainment and enlightenment for the whole family. Kids will enjoy such activities as making fruit or vegetable characters , while adults will learn how to make sense of those confusing nutrition labels and how to easily incorporate healthy eating into our busy lifestyles.
If you live anywhere near London, Ontario, it is well worth attending this event. For details give Michelle a call at +1 226 234 4006.
And if you don’t live in London? Check out the Food Revolution website to see if there’s an event near you. It is going to be a global phenomenon on May 19th, with hundreds of public events and dinner parties in more than 300 cities worldwide.
Today’s children are the first generation who, on average, will have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. Michelle is determined to do what she can to turn the tide not only for Megan, but for other kids in the community.
Let’s all support the Food Revolution on May 19th. Together, we can truly change the world for our children.
A very good friend of mine who runs this awesome blog http://runningforautism.wordpress.com/ is going to write a blog about the Food Revolution Day that I am coordinating in London Ontario! Kirsten is an amazing mother with 2 amazing kids and a cool hubby! I was her maid of honour in her wedding last year and I commuted with Kirsten for work at Canadian tire in 2010!
So Kirsten sent me an email with her questions about the event and I thought this was a perfect way to write my blog today!
1. Date , time, place
This event will be hosted May 19, 2012 at Covent Gardens Market on King Street in London Ontario. Events start at 10am and continue through the day until 4pm.
2. A brief description of what it is including , what are the key events of the day.
The entire day will be focussed on trying to get people to cook in their kitchens, eating fresh local foods and not relying on quick convenient boxes of processed foods.
The Day starts off at 10:am upstairs in the Labbatt Room where Growing Chef’s will be engaging our children ages 3 -12 in creating their own Veggie or Fruit Character. They will also have colouring sheets for those who want to show their artistic talents. While the kids are learning and having fun, Britown Music will showcase some of their students to sing and entertain the kids and parents in the room! I am also please to announce that we are adding local recording artist Denis Gauthier to the artists who will be providing entertainment in the Labbatt Room while the kids are creating their masterpieces! The kids event will run continously until 12pm.
At 10:30 am we will be inviting parents and registered attendees to come next door while our volunteers and growing chefs keep your kids happy!
Parents will learn from Tracey Platero and Carole Persaud about how to keep your kids healthy and happy in the kitchen. How to deal with the peer pressure of other kids snacks at school! How to read and interpret the tricky labels on processed foods that are making our kids sick! What is the impact of those processed foods on our childrens bodies? This will be a valuable hour of information for parents!
At 12:00 pm families and registered attendees can join registered dietician Melissa Brionnes for a walk through Covent Market talking about the local products that are available and highlighting the vendors who have taken a challenge to create a Revolutionary Meal! The revolutionary meal is an idea for restaurants and vendors to create a meal that you know will have real food ingredients and will not be laden with extra additives that our bodies do not know how to process.
After being inspired in the Market come back upstairs !!
At 1pm come and listen to Dr. Kresimir Jug talk about Life By Design. “Life By Design is an essential part of transforming the world’s health. It is based on powerful principles that are scientific, logical and easy to follow. Health is your birthright. It is that natural, normal expression of living your Life By Design.”
At 3pm We are targeting young adults coming into their first apartments or people who want to start over with creating a healthy kitchen and staying healthy when you are shopping on a tight budget! Listen to Registered Dietician Melissa Brionnes and Organizational guru Margarita Ibbott share their secrets and tips!
This will wrap up our event! I am so looking forward to sharing all this information with you!
3. Website Link and or contact information.
https://gidsy.com/activities/london/7517/food-revolution-day-london-ontario - to register for events go here!
www.foodrevolutionday.com – to see if their are events in your local area go to this site! If you would like to host a dinner party, or create an event this page will also provide all the information you need!
For other questions about this event in London Ontario I am the coordinator Michelle Clermont and I can be reached at 226-234-4006.
4. Is there anyway for non-local people to be involved (example if someone wants to organize this in their own community, how do they do it.)
Go to www.foodrevolutionday.com there are lots of ideas from hosting a simple dinner party in your neighbourhood, a grocery store tour, a big event like ours or visit a farm! There are a ton of ways to participate on May 19 globally! There are over 313 cities participating, 193 public events and over 300 dinner parties! Make this Food revolution grow!!
1. What inspired you to do this?
My key inspiration is my daughter Megan, Megan has been sick for 4 years. She is chronically ill. No doctors in the medical field can find specific reasons for the fact that she sleeps 3 hours a day, that her menstruation cycle is not a cycle its actually a constant flow. she is 15 years old and home schooled. Kids as young as 2 are being diagnosed with Fatty Liver Disease and that is NOT acceptable. Doctors were able to find that she has Mild Fatty Liver Disease which I also created a support group for on Facebook 4 years ago. I have over 215 members in that group who share their symptoms and challenges with dealing with Fatty Liver Disease. They are a small representation of the 30% of the world population that are currently afflicted by Fatty Liver Disease. I have watched 8 people die in this circle of support in the last 4 years. This enrages me and also makes me passionate about raising awareness of the damage that processed foods are doing in our bodies.
Combining these factors means that my target audience is Parents, young adults and children. Awareness is key! The liver is an exceptional organ in your body and it can regenerate healthy cells as long as you are willing to give your liver a break!
2) What are you hoping to gain for you and your family through this?
Honestly for me this is about making a difference in the community. I want people to know who I am and know that I am here to help! I will be starting Ignite Health in the fall and I hope to make amazing contacts in London through this event! For Megan, I am finding volunteer opportunities for her that she can believe in and thats a win too!!
3) What are your thoughts about the fact that todays children are the first generation that on average will have shorter life expectancy than their parents. Do you believe this event is a step towards reversing that trend?
This is exactly WHY I am creating this event at the root! I am scared for Megan, I see chronic illness in my child and not in myself? This is not logical! Parents and Children and those who are entering adulthood need to understand the risks they are taking in the grocery store, in the drive thru and know that every decision to buy sugary or diet beverages, every decision to have that drive thru meal for dinner is damaging you and your children and is shortening your life span. I KNOW that my bad decisions have created this for my daughter and I have also seen 2 men in their 30′s die of Fatty Liver Disease in the last 6 months! I am sorry but Megan is going to live longer than that and dammit i will make sure she outlives me if its the last thing i do! Please do not take your childrens health for granted like i did!!
My daughter has been sick since 2008. She was 12 years old when her life changed for the worse. Initially it was a bad case of Pneumonia that took 3 rounds of strong anti biotics to clear up. Then she got Mono and that took another 8 months of her life. We were dealing with pediatricians, blood tests, ultrasounds, and family doctors. In 2009 she started bleeding for her menstrual period and it was excessively heavy. She went to her first gynacologist and she was put on birth control pills to control that bleeding. Through this 2 year time period all I ever wanted was to get Megan to the Hospital for Sick Kids where they would actually care about her and find the root cause of her health issues. It was my dream, it would be the answer for us.
In 2010 Megan lost her ability to walk. She had extreme vertigo. She looked like she was drunk when she walked, I took her to the emergency department at Markham Stoufville hospital and she was completely ignored. We waited 4 hours and she still was not brought in to be diagnosed.
We took her to Sunnybrook hospital the next day and they actually treated her wonderfully. But because she was a child they transfered us to the Hospital for Sick kids and I thought YES we finally have a chance to have Megan looked at by this world class hospital! We got Megan into a Wheelchair as she was not safe walking when she was catching herself on walls and could possibly injure herself.
All of my hopes and dreams were coming true for Megan. The doctors at Hospital for Sick Kids would surely look at Megan and work hard to help her get healthy. I don’t know how to describe in words what this meant to me, but it was very positive. I was sure we would finally get answers.
Our first doctor in the Hospital was an Ear Nose Throat doctor who tested Megan thoroughly for any ear issues that might be causing the dizziness. He could not find anything specific but he was very interested in Megan’s case and refered us to the Consultant Clinic where he said we would get an experienced Pediatrician who could pull all the doctors necessary for Megan to get diagnosed.
At the hospital for Sick Kids you can’t help but notice all the kids with burns, cancer and other serious medical illnesses. In reference to the way those kids are treated I give Sick Kids an A+. Megan felt strongly that those kids deserved the attention of the doctors and she has cut her hair twice in the last 2 years to donate to kids with Cancer undergoing radiation. So we totally respect the hospital for that work.
We finally got to meet our consult team . An old friendly doctor who fully analyzed Megan’s walk and I felt good, this doctor would take a hold of Megan’s case and fight for her, thats what I expected and hoped for.
We were scheduled for a consultation with Neurology and megan had an MRI, and a Cat Scan. The Neurology department didn;t find anything wrong in her results either. They decided to put Megan on a drug that might stop the dizziness. Megan took that drug for 3 weeks and got no results so we stopped that one.
The Pediatrician then suggested we bring Megan in for a week so that doctors could review her case and run any other tests while she was in the hospital.
Again I felt hopeful, surely with Megan in the hospital we would get answers. Our pediatrician forgot to mention he was leaving for Africa and would not be in the hospital while Megan was there. He had left instructions for Neurology, Psychology, and Physiotherapists to review her case in his absence.
I slept on a couch with Megan for a few nights that week. It was not easy being at home knowing she was lying in a hospital bed.
I very rarely saw any doctors with Megan that week. They did not run any tests on her other than testing her balance by making her do exercises in her room. I was getting concerned and things got worse when the psychologist came in to see Megan and suggested that we try putting her on Zoloft to settle her nerves and possibly resolve the dizziness. I cried and tried to make it clear that Megan had been told this was in her head a lot over the last 3 years and the last thing I wanted Sick Kids hospital to do was confirm that by putting her on an antidepressant.
My heart dropped at this point. I realized that the doctors were not on our side and they had no idea what was wrong with Megan. I do not feel that we ever truly had a doctor there that knew what was wrong with Megan and the reaction to patients that doctors can’t diagnose in Ontario is quite frequently to put them on anti depressants and say its all in their head.
I had higher expectations of the hospital for sick kids. I had been there as a child due to a kidney disease, my sister had been there for childhood illnesses. My sisters children had epilepsy and other stomach issues that were properly diagnosed and treated at the hospital.
Were they really sending Megan home with Anti depressants and a pat on the head. Yes thats what they did. I took her off the anti depressants after 3 weeks when they made no difference to her dizziness or her mood for that matter.
We went to follow up appointments at the hospital but my mindset had changed, I knew they just wanted to see that this was in her head and they were not really trying to find the answer anymore.
We moved to the holistic side and changed Megan’s food to a very strict diet, We had her see an osteopath, We took her off the birth control pill and 3 months later she was able to get out of the wheel chair and walk again.
I wish I could say that I was happy with the Hospital for Sick Kids in Toronto. Sadly my experience tells me that they are great for kids that they can put into a silo of a specific disease. But as soon as you are a mystery patient they don’t treat you with respect or consider your case serious.
We now live in London Ontario and its 2 years since the hospital for Sick kids experience. It still exists as a knot in my stomach of disappointment, of breaking my heart.
We are giving London Ontario doctors a chance to diagnose Megan now. Megan is still bleeding constantly and its been 2 years now. Megan sleeps 3 hours a day, Megan catches any cold or flu and holds on to it for a month instead of a week. Megan does have a diagnosis of Non Alchoholic Fatty Liver Disease but that is only a small piece of a much larger puzzle. I will not be going in with blind hope to the doctors in London. My expectations are low. If they cannot find out what is wrong with Megan I won’t freak out. We will just take her to the Cleveland Clinic in the states and hope that they will be able to find the root cause of Megan’s health issues.
I wrote this for the Toronto Star who wants to do a story on Hospital for Sick Kids. I hope that things change in the future for kids like Megan and they will take them seriously.