My journey to finding my place in the chiropractic profession really begins with what I chose not to study and pursue as a career, as I originally had a very different path in mind. I do believe sometimes life presents you with scenarios and challenges that help guide you to find your true passion and what you are really meant to become. For some, the path is relatively straight forward and linear, while for others it’s a little more complex. As a child, I didn’t dream of becoming a chiropractor, but I am so pleased that I found my way to this profession that I love.
grew up in a very small community in Western Newfoundland as the daughter of a proud fisherman. My parents were very hard workers and instilled in me the importance of dedication to whatever I set out to do. As a rule, there was not a tremendous amount of emphasis placed on education within the community, however, my father very much saw differently. He pushed me academically and athletically to be the very best I could be, and I truly give him credit for instilling such a strong work ethic in me. We had a remarkably close relationship and he always had a dream that we would one day go into business together somehow involving his beloved fishing industry.
I grew up on the ocean and spent a large amount of my time in a boat. From helping get bait for the next morning to simply checking traps, I have a very healthy love of the ocean and so this seemed like a wonderful dream to work towards. My father did not have easy fishing conditions to work with and this took quite a toll on his young body, so this seemed like a great opportunity for both of us.
In the Spring of Grade 11, when I was 16 years old, a program called Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) was being offered at Memorial University in St. John’s. This program targeted strong female science students in the province and the candidates were able to choose from a variety of science or engineering-based programs and were able to work with professors for the summer. I remember filling out my application and my father was so excited, I think for himself as much as for me. There was an ocean engineering department and that was of course my first choice. I submitted it with him, and later found out that I was lucky enough to have been accepted.
That May, tragedy struck my family when both my father and dear family friend died in a fishing-related accident. My family and the community were left reeling and I took it exceptionally hard. I was the top of my class at the time and having taken that into consideration my teachers felt it wasn’t necessary for me to return to school for the remainder of the year. This of course was very much a turning point in my life – I was either going to give up on my dreams or make the decision to pick up the pieces and move forward.