Hey everyone, Dr. Fox here!
I thought I would take a moment to share my story with those of you who are curious about who I am and how I ended up practicing a form of medicine that I didn't even know existed up until my fourth year of my undergraduate degree.
My story started with a humble beginning. I was raised by my Mom and Step-Dad in Chilliwack, BC. My parents worked hard but were never well off, so to speak. Pay check to check is how we lived and often that wasn't enough. In spite of our financial constraints they still managed to keep me involved in the sport of my choice. So, for a long time I participated in Chilliwack's local baseball and soccer leagues until I was in high school. Our diet back then was the same as most family's: cheerios in the morning, sandwiches for lunch, and Mac and Cheese for a lot of our week day dinners... if I was lucky, a little tuna would be added to it for an extra kick!
Fast forward to 2008, when I was fortunate enough to have given birth to the soul of this entire journey, Autum Allen. At the time of her birth, I was a painter at my Dad's construction company. He had taught me the skill of painting at a very young age, which made it an easy path to follow. Around the time Autum turned one, her Dad and I separated. This was a scary time for us. I realized very quickly that I wanted to provide more for Autum than I was able to with my current job. After a short delay, I enrolled in UFV's kinesiology degree program.
My time at UFV was life changing. I met some of the biggest influencers in my life in the form of inspiring professors. They provided a new confidence and way of thinking for me that set me on a completely new path. Originally, I enrolled to become a physical education teacher. However, shortly after starting I switched paths when I realized my deep passion and love for the anatomy and physiology of the human body. I not only wanted to use that information, but also interact with that knowledge for the rest of my life. It was just a matter of figuring out what career would take me there while also aligning with my own personal values and beliefs.
And so, for the first 3 years of my degree I was on track to become a medical doctor. It seemed to fit my new found passion to a tee. I acquired all the prerequisites to apply for medical school and had spent a year volunteering at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital in the ER. It was through that volunteer experience that made me realized becoming an MD wasn't the lock and key fit that I had thought. There was a huge component missing: time and connection with patients. Knowing this aspect didn't align with who I was and how I wanted to practice medicine, I had to say goodbye to yet another career path.
For the last year of my undergrad I was a little lost, and unsure of where I was headed. Thankfully, a close friend of mine invited me along to the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine for an open house. At the time she was considering attending, and wanted a partner in crime for the day. Unbeknownst to us at the time, it was me who would ultimately end up attending Boucher. I remember it being such a surreal experience. My friend and I went from station to station, chatting with different naturopathic doctors while they taught us about the different approaches and modalities they used to treat their patients. But it wasn't until the end of our visit when they handed me a brochure with the 6 naturopathic principles listed on the back that I realized this was the profession I had been looking for, but didn't know existed until that day. Sounds a little cheesy I know ha ha, but its the honest, corny truth!
And so the story goes, Autum and I moved to New Westminster with no family or friends to support us, and went for it. Fast forward to today, I can proudly say that she and I did it, together. Those four years were the most challenging I have ever had. There was a lot of sacrifice involved, more so on my daughter's part than my own, having to move away from her Dad. But, we did it. Now here we are, back in our hometown, sharing our story with all of you.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read a little about us, and our story. I hope it gives you a better understanding of who I am both as a doctor and as a person, which in reality, is the same person in both those realms. Just a person who loves people and loves the medicine I practice.