Welcome! This blog contains research & information on lifestyle, nutrition and health for those with MS, as well as continuing information on the understanding of the endothelium and heart-brain connection. This blog is informative only--all medical decisions should be discussed with your own physicians.

The posts are searchable---simply type in your topic of interest in the search box at the top left.

Almost all of MS research is initiated and funded by pharmaceutical companies. This maintains the EAE mouse model and the auto-immune paradigm of MS, and continues the 20 billion dollar a year MS treatment industry. But as we learn more about slowed blood flow, gray matter atrophy, and environmental links to MS progression and disability--all things the current drugs do not address--we're discovering more about how to help those with MS.

To learn how this journey began, read my first post from August, 2009. Be well! Joan

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Thank you, Joan Embry

We have lost a brilliant, courageous and loving woman.  Joan Embry was deeply devoted to her family, as well as a movement for people with MS.  Joan passed away on April 1 (unexpectedly and unrelated to COVID-19)

As a trained nurse and nutritionist, Joan Embry worked tirelessly with her husband, Ashton Embry, to create a program which might help their son cope with his multiple sclerosis diagnosis.  Out of the love and concern for their son Mathew, the Embrys created Direct-MS, a proactive charity formed in 1998, with the goal of "providing information and strategies that could help reduce symptoms and even slow or halt disease progression."  DIRECT-MS link

The Best Bet Diet was a cornerstone development of the Embrys, based on scientific research compiled by Ashton Embry.  Matt quickly incorporated this diet over 20 years ago, and he credits his successful, progression-free life with MS to this program.  Here is Matt talking, enthusiastically and obviously wonderfully healthy, about the diet that changed his life.

This program would eventually be the inspiration for Dr. Terry Wahls program, as well as many others.  It was a post about the Best Bet Diet on an MS bulletin board regarding vitamin D that sent me off to PubMed to explore the connection with my husband's diet, exercise and sunlight exposure; as related to his vascular problems.  This eventually became The Endothelial Health Program.  I would learn years later that it was Dr. Roy Swank who was the grandfather of this approach to healing with MS, as he had noted the vascular connection and impact of diet decades earlier.  Dr. Swank was also the inspiration behind the Best Bet Diet.

The Embrys were at the very beginning of the empowered patient movement on the internet.  We would eventually connect over Dr. Zamboni's research into the venous system and CCSVI in 2009, after my husband had been treated at Stanford University.  The Embrys were curious about this research, and would begin the Canadian exploration into the vascular connection.  Matt would eventually be treated for CCSVI.

But the cornerstone of Direct-MS is the diet.  And as we all know---it's one thing to eliminate foods, but quite another to find foods and recipes that will keep us satisfied and fit into our lifestyles.  Dr. Swank was well-aware of this problem, and worked with his patients to create his program, as did the Embry family.

In the last year of her life, Joan was updating recipes and working on The Best Bet Cookbook, which Direct-MS, incredibly generously, gives away for free on their website.   You can download a free pdf of the book here:     The Best Bet Cookbook

The Embrys have never put profit or personal gain ahead of their message.  They have always been tireless advocates for better living for those with MS.  The few times we had together, in person, at The Canadian Neurovascular Health conferences or at our home for Matt's filming of Living Proof, were highlights in my advocacy work.

I can think of no better tribute to the Embry Family at this time, than to share their good news of hope and healing---by contributing to their charity, by downloading the Best Bet Cookbook,  or by watching, or rewatching, Matt's beautifully made documentary film, Living Proof https://www.seelivingproof.com

Please join me in lifting the entire Embry family up in prayer and intention, however you practice this in your own life.

As Jeff and I go out to work in the garden today, to harvest greens and soak up the sunshine, we recognize how fortunate we are to have so much, in the midst of global suffering and hardship.  We will say a prayer of gratitude, which includes the gift of the Embry family.  We deeply recognize the importance of family, food, health, love, connection and hope.

All of the things Joan Embry held precious in her own life.

Thank you, Joan.

1 comment:

  1. I can not express how much a mothers love is so important and nurturing especially when that mothers child has developed a chronic illness. Matt like your mum, as soon as my mum found out I had developed MS she did everything in her power to help me. Mothers like ours are such a blessing and I thank God for them daily. The book your mum has released is such a blessing and I am so thankful that her love and care will continue though it. Rest In Peace Joan Embry and I pray to meet you in glory.