The Challenge of running a support group, restoring my passion

I left the Fatty Liver Disease Support Group I created 6 years ago on Monday after 2 senior administrators left and deleted me from their Facebook. I have known both for 3 or more years and i was friends with their family as well. I was told the drama in the group was my fault for not standing up for them clearly. That I am too lenient and I am too often allowing people to come to the right answers for themselves once they have been advised on things like not using supplements. That I am the reason for the dysfunction that happens in there

I want to be clear that I understand their viewpoint. When you are on the edge waiting for a transplant or you have had one there is a desperate need to demand that everyone else NEVER get to their stage of this disease. I agree completely with this, but my confidence has come from the fact that I am unaware of a single member who came in to the group with early stage fatty liver who has actually gotten worse with the advice given in here about eating natural foods and stopping the processed foods as much as possible. You are looking for a ratio of 90% natural and 10% processed.

I did a lot of soul searching on Monday and cried a ton of tears. I was blamed for drama on the weekend that i was not a part of, i did not witness but that i received 10 emails from angry members about how things happened with deletions and how it was handled.

The issue on the weekend was actually about a celebrity who is extremely controversial that some members wanted to see as a spokesperson and other members were dead set against him.

This had NOTHING to do with the disease and the group at the end of the day. Having someone famous talk about the disease would be helpful but they should be a little less offensive to a large portion of population.

I came to a decision that i would stop running the group if i was truly damaging it by being to kind. I even started accepting that after 6 years pouring my heart and soul into this group that maybe it was time to back away.

I received a large number of emails of support from within the group Monday and I am forever thankful to those that took the time to check in on me.

Tuesday morning I believe God intervened.

1.A local city politician asked to meet with me and have me help him because he has just been diagnosed with fatty liver disease. He respects this is a business for me and wants to pay me to teach his family how to read labels, how to determine what is a gmo veggie and which are not. How to start a small garden and how to conveniently start making meals from scratch.

Once i spoke to him i was energized with my passion for this disease and helping people again. The negative messaging about whether i am doing a good job or not seemed less important.

2. In the afternoon I received a tweet asking me what i wanted to ask for funding for from a group that helps create campaigns for crowd sourcing. I told them about my visions for raising awareness on fatty liver and they see it as a very worthwhile cause and they will help me get this going.

I rejoined my group on Tuesday I was clearly receiving messages from the universe that told me this is too important to back away from.

On Wednesday I was asked to speak at a women in progress lunch on avoiding fatty liver disease at the end of April and I will also be on a talk radio show in Toronto talking about fatty liver as well.

So while i am still quite hurt by the events of this, i lost a large number of friends because i try to look at all sides of a story before i make a decision. Each one who left and deleted me thought i was supporting the other side, when in fact i saw that they all had a point.

If you have gotten worse while you are in my group please let me know. If this is a common event I will reconsider my position again. I want to help not hurt people.

Please be kind to each other and please be even kinder to your liver


Baking Fundraising for Me to We Camp!

Megan Clermont described this perfectly I have adjusted slightly.

Do you like baked goods and helping out a good cause?

For the month of May my daughter will be baking a variety of home baked cookies, breads, and cupcakes with all proceeds going towards fees for a Me to We Take Action Camp this summer. Prices for these items range from $1-$7.50 with a total of $500 needed to be raised for the cost of attendance.

This camp offers an amazing leadership opportunity that will be able to help Megan bring back to our community through volunteer work and other humanitarian efforts. Megan will be working with industry professionals to help her learn ways to create tangible changes. To learn more about this camp go to Me to We’s website.

Megan is 16 years old and a junior at Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School The opportunity to attend this camp would mean the world to her as she looks towards a career in human rights law after fighting for 6 years with a chronic illness called Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease that left me in various states of extreme sickness throughout that time. She has impressed Investor’s Group enough so that they have given her a bursary to  cover some of the costs, but with me as a single mother she need help to raise the remaining funds. Human Rights are a huge passion for her and she will  make a difference in both the local and international community.

If you live in the GTA of Toronto Ontario or Southwestern Ontario we would be happy to deliver the baked goods to you. Sadly we can’t do this beyond that geographical area.  There will be 2 days that deliveries will be made to the Toronto area. This offer is limited to the month of May 2013.

In order to support Megan in this amazing opportunity please go to the attached order form and fill out your information and order request and submit to have it sent to Megan.







Guest Post – Heather Von St. James – Wife and Survivor of Mesothelioma

Heather asked if I could share her story and I am more than happy to!!

Heather Von St. James
Courageous Mother, Wife and Survivor of Mesothelioma

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”
-Mark Twain

I hear it often from people, how brave I am and how much courage I have. Sometimes I just have to laugh, because, going through what I’ve been through with my mesothelioma battle, I don’t feel very brave. At times, the fear was so overwhelming, all I could do was cry out to God to help me. I would love to say that through the last 7 years, I’ve learned to conquer my fears. After all, Lungleavin Day, our celebration of the anniversary of my extrapleural pneumonectomy surgery, is all about overcoming fears. But I still have my moments, more often than I would like to admit. I have the usual fears creep in, my “scanxiety” I’ve blogged about before, little pangs of fear before I fly, but the biggest fear I struggle with is the fear of something happening to my daughter. This is something that has plagued me since she was born.

I’ve always had what I jokingly call puke-aphobia and, with having a kid, you know it something you have to deal with. This year has been particularly brutal on the gastroenteritis front for my poor Lily. Three times she has been sick this year in as many months. When she got sick the third time, the fear reared its ugly head in a big bad way. So much that I took her to the doctor and insisted he do a battery of tests to rule out anything. The thing I was most afraid of? Yep, cancer. Having dealt with cancer myself, and knowing so many others, my hypochondriac mind went right to the worst-case scenario. My husband, bless his heart, is always able to bring me back around to reasonable thinking. Although he understands why I go to the worst-case scenario, he doesn’t indulge it, and his voice of sound reason helps so much to calm me. Except in this case. I could not shake the feeling that something was seriously wrong. Turns out he was right. She is a perfectly healthy 7-year-old little girl. Every single test came back as normal as normal as could be and, for some reason, she has just gotten sick a lot this year.

The fear is crippling. The anxiety it causes makes my life miserable and those around me even more so. It is something that I have vowed to work on this year to not let the fear get out of control. Someone told me once that the word “FEAR” is an acronym for “False Evidence Appearing Real”, and when you think about it? It is TRUE!! The fear is almost always worse than what I’ve imagined and blown out of proportion in my mind. I did something this time that was not easy for me to do. I asked for help from people who I trust and admire, and their guidance and prayer really helped me overcome this obstacle. They gave me some tools to use to stop the cycle and basically send that fear packing. Frankly, God is the one who gives me tremendous peace. I find that prayer and reading His word, writing scriptures that speak to me, and keeping them in a little notebook for my use is a way for me to keep grounded.

With Lungleavin Day coming up, the opportunity is here to write our fears on a plate and smash them into the fire, I’m going to once again take control of my emotions and overcome. I know I have the power to do it; sometimes it is just making the choice to do so.

I hope you too will do something on February 2nd to overcome your fears in the spirit of Lungleavin Day. If breaking a plate is over the top, I find that a paper plate works great, and burning it, or tearing it into hundreds of pieces. If you struggle with fear, no matter what it is, taking control, finding the root of it, and addressing it helps takes it away. I also find humor is a great way to conquer fear, hence “LUNGLEAVIN DAY” It was born out of the desire to make something funny out of something tragic. It is the day my lung left my body.

For this, my 7th Annual Lungleavin Day, I’m conquering fear by surrounding myself with amazing people and sharing our night with anyone who wants to join in. I hope you can join us. Go to my Facebook fan page to join the Lungleavin Day Event and we will be live webcasting on the night of February 2nd, 2013 6:00 pm to whenever the last plate is broken (Central time).

I hope you, too, find something healing about the day just like we do. Together, we will make 2013 fabulous.

Read more:

Ignite Health Ontario I – 2 days to go!! Get your Tickets!

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! . Contact Michelle Clermont 226-234-4006 for more details

What is Shamanic Healing – Guest Post Wanda Davis

What is Shamanic Healing?


Shamanic healing is connecting with the spiritual dimension of reality for healing and guidance.  It is a contemporary practice that anyone can learn.  Many are familiar with what an indigenous shaman would do for his/her tribe: healing, divination, ceremony, etc.  Michael Harner, an American anthropologist, has studied indigenous tribes throughout the world and realized there are many core, universal shamanic techniques that are used worldwide, whether it is in Australia, Siberia, Peru, the Amazon or here in the Americas.  He has brought these universal techniques to the Western World and has continued to teach them.  These key elements can be incorporated into daily life similar to teachings in yoga or meditation.


Animism is the way of perceiving the world by believing that all created things (humans, animals, plants, elements, seasons, etc.) have intelligent, communicative life force or spirit and their own energy.  One can build a relationship with these life forces for wisdom, insight and healing.  This practice of direct revelation and learning directly from the source brings awe and wonder to every journey.  A shamanic journey is the art using rhythm and intention to enter an altered state, the theta state, of consciousness to connect with the spiritual dimension of reality.  Anyone can be taught how to journey for him or herself.  A shamanic practitioner journeys for another person to determine what healing is needed and then proceeds to act as the conduit for the healing. 


Each of us has allies that help us.  Everyone has at least one power animal that brings us power and protection.  You may already feel a connection to a particular animal only to find out how they may help you.  Teachers may come in any form (think of possible trees or planets).  Teachers in human form could include an ancestor, indigenous teacher, person from a story, a saint, ascended master, etc.  You may have different teachers for different purposes in life.  


There are three major methods of shamanic healing: power animal retrieval, soul retrieval and extraction healing.  Power animal retrieval brings an animal whose power may be needed for a particular purpose at that time.  In a time of trauma, a person may have lost connection with a part of their energetic soul and retrieval helps him/her feel more whole again and able to move forward in his/her life.  Extraction healing helps remove any energy blockages in the energy body that may prevent the energy from flowing properly. 


Shamanic healing can be very powerful and can shift the energy balance towards healing.  A person need only trust the process to gain tremendous wisdom, insights and healing. 


Wanda Davis

Shamanic Practitioner, Reiki Master/Teacher