Lisa MacDougall, RMT and Owner of NewLeaf Total Wellness Centre
Lisa’s own story of grief and healing has meant that NewLeaf is a strong supporter of Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, Ronald McDonald House and local children’s organizations including Abbotsford Judo Club.
Lisa’s story of grief and healing is at the core of her business vision to this day. New Leaf proudly supports Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, Ronald McDonald House and local Abbotsford Childrens’ clubs.
Everyone has a story to tell. I believe that story shapes who you are and depending on what you do with that story can lead you through various journeys in life.
-Lisa MacDougall, RMT and Owner of New Leaf Total Wellness Centre
Tragedy hit my family in 2010, just over a year after starting my business. In July of 2010 I gave birth to a tiny sweet little baby girl, a little sister for my son who was 4 at the time. She was 2 weeks overdue and only just over 4lbs. A shock to everyone. Just hours after her birth, we were then rushed to Children’s Hospital where we would eventually get the diagnosis and prognosis that no parent wants to hear… “Your little girl has a genetic disorder called Edward’s Syndrome also known as Trisomy 18, and the odds are not good.”
Everything stopped. Is this just a dream? What do we do? How do we tell our son? The million questions and scenarios flooded through my head. But I wasn’t going to crumble. My daughter, Abbie, would not be one of the 80% do die within the first 2 weeks of life. She would carry a different statistic….she would be the low percentage that makes it.
Unfortunately, after only 9 short, emotion filled weeks, she passed away in my arms at Canucks Place in Vancouver.
I wish I could say that my story ends here, that this was the tragedy I spoke of but it was far from over for me at that time. Not long after Abbie was born, my husband left the marriage and my business partner decided that running a business wasn’t for her. So alone and grieving, I found myself in my office surrounded by bank loan papers, contracts, lease agreements, and separation papers; frozen! Those millions of questions rushing through my head yet again.
At A Crossroads
I think this is what they call a crossroad in your life….where you have two choices: Run or stay and face it!
As much as every bone in my body said run, I didn’t. I couldn’t. I had my son to provide for and lessons to teach him and I had a business with employees and subcontractors that believed in me. I had a vision to fulfill.
And Here We Are
Years later my business is flourishing and continuing to grow. My son has just graduated Elementary and is an amazingly caring and compassionate young man. I’m surrounded by supportive friends, an amazing team of professionals that work hard everyday to uphold my vision and morals and ethics I hold dear. We have amazing patients that value our service and whom we help achieve their goals.
I continue to passionately be involved in supporting Canuck Place and Ronald McDonald House in order to always honour my daughter and her memory as well as ensure that other families benefit from these great services. I’m also involved in many local charities and businesses that contribute positively to the community and who hold the same values as myself. Does my story end here? I hope not. I hope I can continue to inspire people, to bring healing for people, to be a leader in my community, in my family and in my profession.