I have been a professional journalist since 1986, when I landed my first job (as a junior in high school) in the sports department of the Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa. Today, I write about mental health, addiction and recovery, medical cannabis, caregiving, and public health. I have written branded content for Fortune 500 companies such as Universal Health Services, but I also have filed journalistic reports for Healthline.com.
My chatty, breezy, yet authoritative style has made me a hit with my clients.
I got into writing about health when I re-entered the workforce in 2013. That’s when my dad entered a memory care facility and was diagnosed with a very rare brain disease called frontotemporal degeneration, behavioral variant, also known as Pick’s. You can learn more about my dad’s rare disease by clicking here. Dad died Sept. 27, 2015.
Writing about health also coincided with my own sobriety. Shortly after becoming sober, I was jailed on no charges at all for reporting an intruder at my dad’s assisted living facility. I was vehemently despised by several self-entitled staff members who resented my advocacy for my father.
Prior to going to work as a freelancer for Healthline.com, I had a very satisfying career in newspapers. After graduating from Augustana College in 1992, I moved to Phoenix where I proudly served as a Pulliam Fellow at the Arizona Republic and briefly worked for the Scottsdale Progress after that. I then moved to Southern California, where I worked as a reporter for The Anaheim Bulletin and Orange County Register. I left the Register weeklies to work as an editor at Los Angeles Times Community News, and later the Press-Telegram of Long Beach. I even worked a year as executive news editor of The Advocate, the historic gay and lesbian news magazine founded in 1967.
I returned to the Quad-Cities in 2002 to escape a raging crystal meth addiction. My father already was living in a facility at that time, but he chose to move back into his apartment upon my arrival. I cared for him in his apartment, checking on him several times daily, for many years before moving in with him in 2012. He re-purchased the family home that he lost to my mother in their (second) divorce in 1984. She died in in 1995, and my brother and I inherited the home and sold it. The second time I inherited it (last year), I bought out my brother’s half and kept it. I have been enjoying renovating the cute little house that I was brought home to as a newborn in 1970.
I lead a very blessed life. I have chronicled some rather startling struggles on this site regarding serving as my dad’s caregiver and the rampant political corruption in my community, the Quad-Cities of Illinois and Iowa. I hope you will find hope and inspiration here. Certainly just five or six years ago, my life and my future appeared very bleak. Visualize and believe in a better life, and it will happen.
Finally, I am an Illinois medical cannabis cardholder with the qualifying condition of chronic PTSD. Do not let anyone ever tell you that you are not really sober if you are using medical cannabis.
I believe addiction should be a qualifying condition for a marijuana card if deemed appropriate by a doctor. It goes without saying that federal laws about cannabis need to be abolished to align with science and the majority of the states.
Thank you for taking the time to check out my website!