I have spent much of my life and career searching for purpose. My family and friends know me as an artist, environmentalist and social entrepreneur. My passion has always been to help others, and while I have been blessed to have some success, I never felt I was making a significant impact.
At the age of twenty, my twin brother and I were diagnosed with a rare macular degenerative eye disease called Stargardt’s. The symptoms came on like a light switch that turned off my central vision and lit up fear and uncertainty for my future.
Finding out you are going blind has a way of putting a dent in your ambitions. You begin to lower the bar and think of a dwindling list of “jobs” you can do to maintain your self-reliance as not to be a burden to others.
However, I decided not to let this stop me from succeeding. This was the beginning of a lifetime of pushing through obstacles and hiding my impairment. I watched what I ate and kept a good exercise habit to stay as healthy as possible and preserve what vision I still had.
My eye condition was bearable, and I was able to function pretty normally…until my 40th birthday, when my symptoms worsened. I tried to get past this new wave of anxiety, but I was worn out and felt like I was losing the race to succeed before my condition would turn the lights off on my dreams.
During this time, I was co-founder and CMO for an agriculture start-up connecting the agriculture industry with knowledge, training and research, focusing on the "NEW" Agriculture Industry where I learned the many hidden secrets behind our toxic, nutrient deficient, broken food system. I knew something had to be done but from experiencing the politics and shear size of the interconnected problems, I was at a lost to see where my efforts could truly make a difference.
Then, after two years of struggling from my declining vision, my brother introduced me to a nutrition system that would change my life and my outlook on what service to others really is