Chapter 1 – My life by accident
It seems that all the men in my life were meant to arrive by accident. After completing my post graduate training at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, I decided I needed to forge out on my own. I packed up my things in my new standard Ford Focus and learned to drive it on the way out to the east coast. Destination; Halifax. I arrived during the storm of the century which for a southwestern Ontario girl came as quite a shock. Twelve-foot snow banks surrounded me as I took in my new reality of living provinces away from my loving mom and sister.
I decided to become a Naturopathic Doctor somewhat by accident as well. An avid baller, I spent my university years focused on playing basketball with my fellow teammates on the University of Western Ontario’s Women’s Basketball Team. During this time my father was losing his battle with colon cancer so school just wasn’t a huge priority for me. Learning came easy, thankfully, as I floated through my existence without much thought of my future as an adult. Maybe it was my symptoms of ADHD which made it difficult to plan in advance. Blessed with a brain that could learn quickly and a lot of family responsibility, I ended up following my sister on her path to become a Naturopathic Doctor… and I am so profoundly grateful that I did.
My training as a Naturopathic Doctor has been the single most important aspect of having two sons with PANDAS. PANDAS stands for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcus. For some, the intense symptoms of PANDAS result in broken families and years and years of children struggling without help or understanding. For us, we were blessed with an incredible knowledge of how to treat autoimmunity by addressing the root cause of PANDAS… and it is NOT streptococcus as the name implies.
After many years of supporting families who have kids with PANDAS, I am sharing our story to help raise awareness about PANDAS / PANS and how using a systematic approach stops the brain from being bombarded… leading to recovery.
Sonya Doherty, ND, FMAPS (Cand.)
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine
Chief Medical Officer at Treat Autism