There are plenty of things I remember about my childhood that were sweet.
However, I had some challenges that most children don’t encounter. I had a total blood transfusion when I was 2 days old (in 1980) due to infection. I was diagnosed with kidney reflux, asthma, severe allergies and eczema when I was 4. I was screened for AIDS for years. When I was 7, I remember a priest visiting me in my hospital room because I had such a terrible case of pneumonia that it was questionable if I would survive. I didn’t understand the gravity of the situations as a child; but now I am a mother to a little boy, and I can’t imagine what my parents must have felt.
I was on breathing treatments for my asthma 3 times a day. Most days I struggled to stay awake at school because breathing treatments would wipe me out. I was on antibiotics for 5 years to avoid infections in my urinary tract because of the kidney reflux. Again, none of it phased me much because it’s all I knew. I somehow figured out at a very young age that we all have our struggles, but the more we focus on them, the more they hold us back.
I also learned at a young age that other people’s words can be painful. I was called every name under the sun because of my eczema, and children were afraid I was contagious. I’m a pretty loving, social person, so having people avoid me for something completely out of my control was awful. So despite eczema being the least likely thing to land me in the hospital, I was the most aware of that disease, and I hated it. I tried every lotion I could. I used some sort of steroid cream multiple times a day. But nothing kept it under control.
Thankfully, when I was 18, I found a more natural alternative to the medications I was taking to get my eczema under control. And my clean transition began.
I had a small surgery when I was 9 to fix the kidney issues. I use inhalers daily to keep my asthma under control. I have to take allergy medication every day to keep my allergies at bay. This has been going on my whole life – chemicals (my body didn’t produce) going into my body to help handle something my body wasn’t wired to do on its own. So the older I get, the more aware I become of all the foreign chemicals that go through me, which is why I eat clean and place clean on my body in any way I can.
Then in 2019, while I was researching how I could use my talent in building technology to help others with skin challenges, I developed hypothyroidism, which caused me to develop super painful acne for the first time in my life. So I turned on my research brain, listened to my body, worked with multiple doctors, and found solutions to how I could get my skin back to a place of balance because that is what needs to happen when you develop painful acne. Something is out of whack inside your body, and it’s demonstrating on your face. Balance needs to be found again.
I’m passionate about sharing my education – and continuing to learn more – in hopes of sparing others some of the defeat I’ve felt both as a child and as an adult. I’ll start with helping people sort through the noise and the products that don’t work by only bringing the best products into our inventory.
Everything at MadeWith goes through our testing program and must perform well in the test group before getting into our inventory. But even before it hits our test group, our head of Brand Relationships + Product Research confirms the product reaches our level of clean by running the brand’s ingredients list past our Never MadeWith list to make sure brands aren’t using ingredients that are known or linked to things that harm our bodies, animals, and/or the planet.
So while my transition to clean has been in motion for over 20 years, I continue to clean up my act more and more every day. And I will help as many people as I can be as clean as they can; in the way we shop, in the way we consume, and the way we support clean brands and their mission to make the world a cleaner place.
It’s time we all show the world and our children what we’re MadeWith.