I had the pleasure of working as a caregiver for Michael for about a year and a half. Upon hire I had little work experience in healthcare and was pleased with how clearly and patiently I was trained in my responsibilities and role. I was quickly able to feel secure and comfortable providing the autonomous care and support needed.

We share an interest in nutrition and health physiology and I was quickly learning more from Michael each shift. Although I had acquainted myself with what I had thought was a comprehensive understanding of the role of select nutrients and bodily processes, the inspired nerd in me was catalyzed by Michael’s curiosity and passion for awareness-based healing and practice of therapeutic health autonomy.

I found myself increasingly engaged absorbing such a wealth of information applicable far beyond the hours I worked. A lucidity of my own health expanded as I continued to be shown ‘alternative’ methods and strategies detoxing and fortifying the body. I experimented with different types of fasting, more intentional supplementation, and paying much closer attention to what I fed my body and mind. Any questions I had felt easy to ask and were met with thoughtful and insightful responses. Over a year later towards the end of my time working with Michael, I felt undeniably healthier and affirmed in my role in supporting my own health autonomy as well as those around me.

I then moved to Tijuana, Mexico mainly to volunteer in supporting refugees seeking asylum in the US. A large part of my role there was working with Refugee Health Alliance, a volunteer-run initiative providing and connecting folks to free medical services while they wait to apply and begin their legal journey into the States. I discovered myself to be very useful even as an unlicensed provider, focusing on covering nutritional and natural remedies while prioritizing my clients’ cultural and personal preferences.

The educational and practical resources I could share proved so very valuable to people who needed this kind of attention the most. The most popular remedies needed lined up with what I had learned from Michael to be nutritional pillars, and it felt great sending someone on their way with a greater understanding and means to help themselves, rather than just a prescription.

We quickly learned that the overwhelming majority of clients we saw were more receptive and responsive to individualized holistic approach in which they could both understand and play an active role in their own healing. We shifted the priorities in the organization to accommodate this paradigm, prescribing nutrients and education before starting anyone on more harmful pharmaceuticals. I thank Michael for the contagious passion and thoughtfulness that made its way through me in Mexico to thousands of folks who it made a world of difference to, truly defining the act of mutual aid. I look forward to sharing more of what I’ve gained from working with Michael and in pursuing a higher understanding of not just health but self awareness and overall wellness.

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