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Quest for a Cure: An Aspiring ND’s Journey to Naturopathic Medicine


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Fifteen years ago, Kayla was a little girl in pain. She frequently found herself curled into fetal position on her childhood bed—this pain was a daily norm.

Kayla suffered pain in the abdomen, pain in the intestines, and pain far more intense than a child should know. The agony evolved into “a prison of gastrointestinal problems,” Kayla said, which altered her social opportunities, relationships, athletic prospects and quality of life. 

The symptoms remained throughout her childhood. Eventually, Kayla went off to college with her medical bag of over-the-counter stomach aids. As a freshman in the midst of collegiate preseason, Kayla said she remembers putting her pained body through three-a-day training sessions and fueling herself with refined carbs and sugary treats.

“Medical doctors, nutritionists and specialists alike could not figure out what was wrong with me, nor did they seem to truly care,” Kayla said. “With a diagnosis of IBS, it seemed as though I would forever carry on feeling this way.”

In 2009, Kayla’s body reached an all-time low. Her muscles and joints were dead. Her stomach was screaming for retreat. She was constipated, bloated, not sleeping and just an absolute mess.

It wasn’t until three years later that Kayla reached what she deemed her last resort.

She attended a free community information session at a local health food co-op, where Dr. Suzy Harris, proprietor of Cedar Wood Chiropractic and Natural Health Center, was participating in a panel session documenting how natural medicine can diagnose and treat those suffering from food intolerances.

“Something about her approach resonated with me,” Kayla said. “I sensed that she cared, and I was confident that she could help me. It was decided – she would be my last hope.”

Fast-forward three more years, and after meeting with Dr. Suzy and undergoing intense lifestyle changes; heavy metal, sugar and toxin detoxification; natural supplement use; a complete 180-degree change eating plan; and learning more ways to manage my stress, Kayla became a new person.

“The pain in my eyes is no longer there,” she said. “The swelling in my cheeks and skin has vanished. The forced one-meal-a-day due to the immense abdominal pain is gone. Artificial sweeteners? No, thanks. Acid reflux medicine attached to my hip? Bye.”

Now, Kayla is a girl with a dream—a dream to change others’ lives just like Dr. Suzy changed hers.

Upon encountering dozens of women and men suffering from health issues similar to hers, Kayla decided to apply to the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (SCNM) so she can be the “Dr. Suzy” for others.

“It hits hard and deep to think about the millions of people going through what I have gone through, and even more,” she said. “… I want to advance the science of naturopathic medicine. I want to be a part of the change.”

Kayla was recently accepted into SCNM's ND program! To learn how you can get involved in the naturopathic medical field, contact our admissions team, email us at admissions@scnm.edu or 480-858-9100.