In today's podcast, Jason and I had the great pleasure of talking with Heather Barnes Jackson, the co-founder and CEO of the Realm of Caring Foundation (RoC), an internationally acclaimed non-profit primarily serving families who are dealing with life-limiting and chronic health conditions and are using cannabinoid therapy. The foundation serves over 55,000 families and 1500 Health Care Professionals from all over the world through their care center that speaks 5 languages and fields over 7000 inquiries monthly. They reach over 1 million people a month through their efforts and awareness. RoC is doing innovative and first of its kind research with Johns Hopkins University, collaborating on the largest registry in the US. They use this research to deliver revolutionary education to the community. RoC has distributed over $350,000 in grants to families in need. They also have aided in over twenty states adding cannabis legislation since 2014.
Heather is married to her high school sweetheart, Frank, with whom she has two sons, Zarek and Zaki. The family lives in Colorado. Zaki has a rare catastrophic form of epilepsy called Doose, and after he journeyed from hospice to health using cannabis medicine, Heather made it her mission to "empower families who find themselves in the same position her family was in."
Heather talked a bit about how she started Realm of Caring and how it grew over 10,000% since 2013. She's also a published researcher, an author and a speaker who has presented in 7 countries. Today she shared with Jason and me her passion for community, social entrepreneurship and "disrupting the status quo." I picked her brain on how to turn off social media and take care of herself, and she wowed me and Jason with an intense discussion of her most recent obsession -- suffering and grief and praise.
Heather says, "... what I've come to realize is really embracing the grief, which we all want to turn away from and want to run away from and not experience. I think the perspective shift for me, over these last three years or so, is the expression of grief being praise." She shared her experience going through what she described as a kind of "breakdown" when Zaki's seizures recurred after a four-year seizure-free period, a time when her energies were exhausted and what would eventually become a path of personal healing and self-care.
Heather's honesty and humility, as well as her sense of humor and dogged persistence in educating quite literally EVERYONE is truly awe-inspiring. She is "leading a movement to reimagine the way we think, talk, and respond to cannabis and hemp and the people who use it."
Heather’s work has been featured on Dateline, New York Times, National Geographic, TIME, Good Housekeeping, 60 Minutes Australia, CNN with Sanjay Gupta to name a few.Follow Heather on FB⎥ Twitter⎥ Instagram @HeatherChat visit: www.Heather.Chat
Purchase < $100
We started exploring estate planning, guardianship and all the paperwork that goes into that. It feels good to have done it!
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
Most Inspirational Person/Group
All the researchers, particularly Raphael Mechoulam, the Israeli chemist best known for being the "godfather" of cannabis research
All the everyday families figuring out solutions for their kids!