Guided by Hope
Let perseverance be your engine and hope your fuel. – H. Jackson Brown Jr.
For many that have struggled with illness or setbacks in life, it may seem as though health and happiness are out of reach. However, hope is about perseverance and perspective. Joanna Schick’s journey to wellness and recovery hasn’t always been easy, but through it all, she kept searching for answers. “I was misdiagnosed for over 20 years. I went from doctor to doctor, and they changed my medications every week. I was like a zombie… When I was trying to find answers to all the pain I was in, I tried everything! But through it all, I learned a lot.”
Joanna’s challenges with health began at a young age. As a child, she experienced terrible headaches and suffered three strokes when she was in her twenties. She suffered her first at 22 which left her with burns on her arms after collapsing on a radiator, and her final stroke at the age of 27 left her temporarily paralyzed. “Because I was young all my feeling came back, but that’s when all the doctoring started,” says Joanna.
Joanna recounts that she constantly tried to obtain information and resources from anywhere she could, but all she found was drug after drug. After many years of searching for answers and always coming up empty-handed, she requested a particular test from her doctor. It took some convincing, but her doctor finally approved the scan. Little did she know it would change her life forever. The results showed that she had an obstruction that required brain surgery.
“After my first brain surgery, I was able to return to school and receive my high school diploma. Because of my grades, it was recommended that I enter college. I didn’t finish college, but I came a long way,” Joanna explains. However, after the operation, she experienced depression, weight gain and developed disordered eating; “I was just lying around all the time, I couldn’t go to work, and my husband was ready to plan my funeral, that’s how bad it was.”
But Joanna never stopped looking for answers. In her 40s, she turned to nutrition to help control her weight which is what led her to start researching nutritional supplements and sharing what she was learning with family and friends. After regaining her health and moving to Eureka Springs, Arkansas with her husband Ernie, some of Joanna’s issues returned. Once more, she struggled to find answers before learning she required another operation. Joanna recounts, “They said it was a good thing I came in because I could have died."
It was around this time that Joanna found TriVita’s products. She first read about Nopalea in 2012, and has since taken many other TriVita products. Joanna’s and Ernie’s favorites are CoEnzyme Q-10, Vital C, Cholestria, Vision Guard, Nopalea, MyoHealth and Adaptuit. “I love Adaptuit! I take three ounces before bed, and I sleep like a baby. It’s wonderful and besides it tastes good… I don’t know if there are any products I don’t take!” Looking back Joanna says, “It’s really the nutrition that saved me left and right … I highly recommend all these products!"
For Joanna and Ernie health is a priority; “It’s very important for people to be consistent when it comes to nutrition because it pays off. And a little exercise doesn’t hurt.” The couple enjoys staying active with walks, and her husband enjoys working outside. Joanna makes it habit to exercise for 45 minutes a day, she even performs therapy exercises with her 14-year-old dog to keep him healthy! “Our doctors say we’re doing great and we should just continue what we are doing.”
Joanna is also passionate about charity work and helping others feel better. “Right now I’m making jewelry for all the volunteers at Good Shepherd Rescue, the local animal rescue, which is over 40 people. We have a tiger rescue here, and I’m working on pieces of jewelry for all their volunteers, too. I also give to all their silent auctions. Plus, I’ve done some jewelry shows at assisted living facilities and the money is always going to charity. At Christmas and Valentine’s Day, we’ve given to residents at some of the assisted living homes because we feel that a lot of them don’t even get a visitor all year. That’s our passion!”
Joanna and Ernie are currently planning a family trip to Stuttgart, Germany in August with their son, daughter-in-law and their two children. “We moved to Arkansas because it reminds us of Germany. I went to school in Germany for a while. My mother took me for my grandparents’ golden anniversary. The neighboring town’s school heard about me and invited me, so I went to school there for a year. It’s really a great memory!”