I believe prevention is the cure.
Too many people are suffering today, whether its cancer, depression, heart disease, diabetes, mental illness, arthritis or any other chronic health condition, we need to start asking the question why?
Many of these illnesses arise from similar underlying causes such as inadequate nutrition, lack of exercise, toxins in our environment, emotional blocks, alcohol & smoking; and many of these can be prevented through simple lifestyle changes.
My name is Emma, I’m the founder of Bloom, and this is my why…
Back in December 2007 my good friend Sharon Cohrs was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer at the age of 36. I found it a huge shock as I’d never really given breast cancer a thought before, and Sharon being such a health conscious person always into fitness and nutrition, it just seemed unbelievable as to what she was about to go through. At the same time I had a couple of family members going through treatment for other cancers and I just thought enough is enough.
Showered with gifts…
I saw all the beautiful gifts, flowers, books and teddies that Sharon received in well wishes and support which was beautiful, but I just thought it’s not going to change things at the end of the day, and I felt that I needed to do something big to make a difference.
Time to fundraise…
Holding a major fundraiser I felt was the closest thing I could do to make a difference. So in 2008 I decided to put on the biggest Pink Ribbon fundraiser in town, and the Pink Ribbon High Tea was born.
The event was a huge success with over 200 people attending and raising over $10,000 for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. From there the event became my creative outlet and the more I networked with women, heard touching personal stories and the journeys endured, the more I felt compelled to carry on and go further. In four years the Pink Ribbon High Tea raised over $35,000 for various breast cancer charities.
Put the handbrake on and ‘U’ turn please!
I had thrown myself into raising money to find a cure; however I started to get impatient, with so much money being raised for cancer charities, why hadn’t the cure been found?
Watching my best friend navigate through her cancer journey and 4 of my family members passing away from cancer, I became intrigued and started searching for answers. My attention was then drawn to some articles on healing foods, in particular people reversing illness and disease through lifestyle changes. I started pulling cleaners out of the cupboard and food out of the pantry, reading labels and discovering that we actually live in a toxic world. This is when I realised an urgency to shift our focus towards prevention.
No matter how much money we raise, no matter how many pink cupcakes we eat, chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease will not go away until we start taking responsibility for our own health.
I realised how little emphasis is placed on prevention, as there are many simple measures we can implement in our homes right now to help prevent disease, and aid the body with healing. All we need is the information and knowledge so that we can make our own informed choices on what we eat, how we live and the products we use.
So by then the idea of drinking champagne and eating cupcakes at the High Tea fundraiser just didn’t make sense to me anymore. Supporting the status quo is not a means for change.
Committed to sharing the information I had discovered, in 2011 I launched ‘Prevention is the Cure’ and ran a number of health seminars and workshops inviting guest speakers to Cairns. But it still felt like no progress was being made and it was all too easy to slip back into the conveniences of life.
Following this I realised our great disconnect to the land, to our growers and producers, and to real food. When you look back at our history food was life and it encompassed everything from family values to community celebration, we followed the cycles of production and managed the land accordingly. Market days encouraged family outings and buying local supported the economy. Children grew up with simple wholesome meals supporting a healthy immune system, and avocados came from a tree – not a squeeze tube in the supermarket.
So I decided we needed to get out on the land and The Organic Experience bus tour was created. The tour took people to the Atherton Tablelands, meeting the growers and reconnecting to the land. I wanted people’s senses to be heightened to pursue wellness through food and gain an appreciation for our environment.
At the same time I met so many incredible people doing amazing things in our community to support natural health. I decided to create an event to showcase these amazing products and services, where people could experience and learn without the hours of research I had gone through. The Bloom seed was planted.
In October 2012 I launched the first Bloom event at the Shangri La Hotel. Special guest speakers included Jessica Ainscough (The Wellness Warrior) and Kim Morrison (Like Chocolate for Women). There was an amazing buzz and atmosphere in the room, and the event provided great opportunities for networking and connecting with the Cairns community. Women of all ages attended, many seeking information to support changes in their lives and to be inspired.
Since then my journey of learning and discovery has continued to unfold, like the petals of the Bloom flower, one by one pieces of the wellness puzzle fall into place. In 2015 I took time to learn about emotional and spiritual wellbeing, and now realise the importance of a holistic approach to wellness, encompassing the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies, which I have now brought into the Bloom concept. In 2017 I was enlightened to miracle healing and witnessed healings including my own which adds a whole new dimension to my journey in pursuit of wellness.
Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born
– Anais Nin
My friend Sharon got through her treatment with courage and determination. She went on to become the first breast cancer survivor to summit Mt Everest, and along with her husband Allan Cohrs, they became the first Australian couple to summit Mt Everest and have since lead treks to Ama Dablam in Nepal and Mt Kilimanjaro.
My world is now focused on sharing information on prevention, wellness and nutrition. Once you start scratching the surface it may seem all too overwhelming, too hard, too scary or too time consuming, but small changes is all it takes for each and every one of us to create a healthier world.
Anything is possible…
Thanks bloom. I had a great time and learned lots. I even invited a friend new to bloom and she really enjoyed herself. Appreciate the effort you guys put in. Looking forward to next years bloom which I’m hoping is in the same place.
I loved this event, being new to Cairns I got a great sense of community and wellbeing. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming. Plus there was lots to learn from all of the lovely people there.
Wish there was more time to attend all talks and outside events, though I know time constraints are a factor. I think you’ve done the best you can with what you’ve got. It’s about getting the message out there and if the cost is kept minimal then the more people that will attend and further the message can get. But you have to do what you can do. Well done Emma and Bloom Team – you should be very proud!
You guys did a fantastic job. The expo was fantastic. Key speakers were very inspirational and made the day an awesome experience. Many thanks for educating me on a better way of life, not just for me but also my family. What exceptional people you all are!
My gratitude to you for giving the Knitting Nannas a free stand so we could spread the word x
Loved it!!! Didn’t want to leave but couldn’t wait to get home to put things into practice.
I hadn’t been before so it was interesting. A bit of a long day however was enjoyable. I think I would go again. Well done to all for organising something to make everyone more aware of health and wellbeing.
The meditation with the bowls was fantastic!
Really look forward to the next one. Love that we had this in Cairns, will next time quietly leave or research presenters a bit better to avoid wasting an hr listening to someone and missing another great speaker in other room.
Fantastic job Emma and your team. It was a great day and really showcased whats available in the Health and Wellbeing field both in Cairns and throughout Australia. Thank you.