“I remember thinking, ‘If I am ever a functioning human again, I want nothing more than to help patients like me find this incredible plant.'”
Describe yourself and what you do.
I am a social media advocate, freelance writer, and motivational speaker. I create positive content and open communication surrounding living with chronic and terminal conditions via social media and patient education seminars.
I’ve had the pleasure of lead workshops and give keynote addresses for many incredible non-profit organizations throughout the U.S., all centered around adapting to life after tragedy. My work can be found on The BBC, The Huffington Post, Yahoo, HealthLine, and many others. I’ve been called an influencer, a spokeswoman, and an educator, but I’m really just a professional patient sharing their journey in the hopes of bringing light to others’ darkness.
I am also the Client Account Manager at Wikileaf. Wikileaf is an online price comparison site built to educate and empower the consumer. I create beneficial brand awareness through industry events, generate meaningful consumer relationships with one-on-one communication, and lead clientele account management with specialized knowledge in point of sale integration. I am proud to be on the ground floor of this budding tech company and one of the employees in the Seattle headquarters.
What is your vision for your professional cannabis endeavors?
I started in the cannabis industry in early 2017 with Wikileaf. I had a vision of helping patients like myself understand cannabis. I wanted individuals to get through years stigmas to reap the immense benefits found in this plant.
I loved the Wikileaf manifesto and the educational resources it provided for patients, like myself, looking for more than simply “a good high.” The company’s direction was something I really wanted to be a part of. They are shaping a professional cannabis lifestyle by reaching untapped demographics of the industry.
My goal is to build my career with Wikileaf in hopes of educating not only patients, but everyone, on the emotional and physical benefits of cannabis – even if its use is simply a much-needed mental break from their hectic reality. I truly believe that can be achieved here.
What is your personal cannabis origin story?
My journey to cannabis is a heavy one. My origin story is one that begins on a young woman’s death bed, yearning for any form of relief.
In 2011, I was given ten years to live after being diagnosed with an incurable and progressive autoimmune disease; Systemic Sclerosis. Treatments were harsh, but the disease was even more so. Within two short years my organs were in widespread failure, and I was unable to complete the simplest of tasks required for human existence.
I was attached to oxygen tanks, feeding tubes, central lines, and undergoing harsh chemotherapy – struggling to make it another day. After years of treatment failed to improve my condition, my doctors enrolled me in a human clinical trail. I underwent a bone marrow transplant using my own stem cells. It saved my life.
During this dark time, I remember searching for anything that could rid my body of the nausea and pain, anything that could give me an emotional and physical break from the dark cloud of suffering. My physician prescribed cannabis.
I was hesitant, fearful, and full of stigmas. Cannabis provided me the first night’s sleep I had in years, the first night I was free of anxiety, the first night I didn’t vomit, and the first night I was pain-free. I remember thinking, “If I am ever a functioning human again, I want nothing more than to help patients like me find this incredible plant.”
What is your Superpower?
Resilience. I have a tendency to get back up when I am pushed down, again and again and again. Life has thrown me almost nothing but curve balls, yet I still stay and play the game. I never learned how to give up, even when there is no sliver of light to be seen.
“Can’t” was a word that wasn’t allowed to be said in my household growing up, and that ideal has become an imbedded piece of my soul. I acquire an idea and never back down until it has been attained. Oddly enough, my disease causes literal thick skin due to an overproduction of collagen in my connective tissue, but mentally, I am thick-skinned as well. This is somewhat of a standing joke for me now.
What has been your greatest obstacle in this industry or with your business to date?
I think the only obstacle of note is the underlying sexism, that overwhelming attitude that the only thing women in the industry are good for is modeling with product. Industry events can be difficult for this reason, being taken seriously can be a struggle.
I was at an event where a woman shared a story regarding her venture into the industry. She was a writer and worked with different clientele as a contractor. When she approached a new client and pitched her highly-regarded services, she was told, “Become a product model instead, sweetie, you’ll make more money.” I just find that highly improper and prejudiced.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing inappropriate about being a product model. I simply feel women shouldn’t be judged off the idea that we belong only in a certain part of this industry. We should have freedom from misogynistic attitudes and hold any position we desire. I am very lucky to work in a company that sees the value and power of a woman in this industry.
This plant has changed my life for the better and helped to eradicate the use of many heavy pharmaceuticals I relied on for normalcy.
What is your advice for women in the cannabis industry?
I would like to see women gain the respect they deserve. We are thinkers, doers, dreamers, and mountain movers. Cannabis has the highest demographic of women CEOs, and I would like to see us treated as such.
I truly believe we are the demographic that will move the cannabis industry to the forefront of society. Our passion for this plant, and its medicinal properties, will become a force that breaks barriers. I implore all woman entering the industry to hold their heads high and keep their end goals in mind. We are strong, we are brave, and we are fierce. Remember that.
If you are curious about cannabis and the benefits it could bring to your life, do your research and take the plunge. This plant has changed my life for the better and helped to eradicate the use of many heavy pharmaceuticals I relied on for normalcy. I went from surviving, to thriving. You deserve that, too.
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