The Run for Our Future, Moving Natural Medicine Forward

Bianca Garilli, ND

Although no ND is your “typical” physician, Dr Dennis Godby is even less so. For most of us, our calling into naturopathic medicine went something along these lines: I want to make the world a better place; I want to be a healer; I want to bring health and joy to peoples’ lives. Thus began our journey into the beautiful, exciting, and ancient and modern world of naturopathy.

Dennis Godby, MA, ND, lives out his calling into naturopathic medicine on a different level, one that involves not only improving the lives of his patients but also embracing his vision of increasing awareness of the entire profession to people across the nation. His mission in 2011 is to undertake The Run for Our Future.

Dennis says:

Every day I see patients suffering from a wide variety of medical conditions. Some that are life-threatening, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, and others, while not immediately life-threatening, such as anxiety, mood swings, headaches, and hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalances; are certainly joy-threatening. Tens of millions of Americans are living below their health and vitality potential, unaware that there are a plethora of answers to their diminishing quality of life that can help them to flourish and live their lives with energy and passion.

Very often, after just one or two appointments with a naturopathic doctor, patients will return feeling wonderful, with a new outlook on their life and health. Often, however, patients also feel incredibly frustrated that it took so long—usually years—to get to the root cause of their illness.

It is quite frustrating and sad for me knowing that so many people are suffering, unnecessarily, simply because they do not know that options such as naturopathic medicine exist to help them heal. Naturopathic Doctors are ready and able to guide patients on their journey back to health. The American people simply don’t know NDs exist—that has to change!

As long as I have a heart, a conscience, voice and a body, I must speak to the American people about what I have seen, witnessed and heard from my patients. I ask you to join me in this potentially historic effort.

On July 17, 2011, beginning in San Francisco, my two sons, Isaiah and Jeremiah Godby, and my nephew, Jonas Ely, and I will begin a 3,258 mile run across the USA to tell Americans the story of naturopathic medicine—providing opportunities for millions of Americans to hear true stories from patients of their healing through naturopathic medicine—like the story has never been told before! (http://www.therun.org/about-the-run/)

This is not the first time Dennis has been a catalyst for change:

  • Run to Promote Physical Fitness & Nutrition, August 1978 to September 1978, Solo Run, Corvallis, Oregon, to Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 1420 miles
  • Run to Support Oxfam Against Hunger, November 1982, Solo Run, Brooklyn, New York, to Boston, Massachusetts, 250 miles
  • Run to Raise Awareness of Hunger, October 1983, Solo Run, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to Madawaska, Maine, 365 miles
  • Central America Emergency Run, December 2, 1984, to March 24, 1985, San Francisco, California, to Washington, DC, 3006 miles

I get a chill down my back just reading his biography because I know we have the right man for the job! Dennis and his crew will begin this inspiring, monumental, transcontinental journey in San Francisco on July 17, 2011. On November 16, 2011, they will complete their 3250-mile run in Bridgeport, Connecticut—tired, ecstatic, and successful in their mission to introduce the profession of naturopathic medicine to Americans everywhere.

The Run promises to stimulate interest in naturopathic medicine in both licensed and unlicensed states, create conversation at a grassroots level as a way to help expand state licensure, and provoke the average consumer to rethink his or her healthcare options, everyday lifestyle choices, and current health situation (or lack thereof). Dennis’ run promises some amazing press opportunities as he travels from city to city and state to state through daily press conferences and publicity events, as well as a 4-month human interest story that will draw attention to the cause and to additional philosophically aligned fund-raising events.

Naturopathic physicians and natural medicine companies from across country are stepping up to the plate to support Dennis, his team, and our profession and, ultimately, to improve the health of the nation. This is an opportunity for us to be seen as a united front of natural healthcare practitioners focused on common goals, making the world a better place, being a healer, and bringing health and joy to peoples’ lives.

You can support Dennis in various ways—from grassroots fund-raising within your own practice or community or by simply sending a link about this great journey to all of your patients, family, and friends. Better yet, if Dennis is coming through your state, organize a 5K run/walk, and get your local community out to enjoy the sun, fresh air, a little bit of exercise, and a whole lot of fun. Heck, if nothing else, show Dennis and his team your support and thank him for his commitment to increasing the visibility of our profession by signing your name on his Web site at www.therun.org/supporters/endorsements/.

As of the writing of this article, there are 787 “verbal” endorsers at the link. Where are the rest of you? According to the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, there are 3800 of us in the United States alone. I challenge you to support Dennis today. Together, we can create so much and make all of our journeys more impactful, successful, and joyous.

To learn more about The Run and to read about Dennis and his amazing team of runners and supporters, visit www.therun.org/. To make a tax deductible donation to The Run, write your check to the Institute for Natural Medicine (INM), and mail it to Dr Rebecca Asmar, 838 SW 1st Avenue, Suite 330, Portland, OR 97204.

Bianca Garilli, ND, is a former US Marine turned ND. She currently works for Metagenics, a nutrigenomics and lifestyle medicine company, as the ND program manager. Before moving into the nutrigenomics world, Dr Garilli ran a private practice in Orange County, CA, and worked as a staff physician at the University of California, Irvine, Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine. Dr Garilli has lectured on the topic of natural and integrative medicine at UC Irvine School of Medicine and Chapman School of Law; she has conducted grand rounds at ND colleges and regularly lectures within her local community. She has also created and taught group-structured programs for weight loss and wellness at various clinics. Dr Garilli received her undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Maryland and her doctorate in naturopathic medicine from Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington. She can be reached at BiancaGarilli@metagenics.com.

 

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