Environmentally sensitive need young champion for their cause

by | Jan 17, 2010 | THRIVE! JOURNAL | 3 comments

Julie Genser, PT founder

Hannah TaylorHannah Taylor of Winnipeg, Canada saw a homeless person for the first time when she was five years old. She remained worried for the man, and others in his same predicament, for the next year and so her mother suggested she do something about it to feel better. So Hannah started The Ladybug Foundation, a charity that fights homelessness that has raised over a million dollars to date. To raise funds, Hannah holds “Big Bosses” lunches where she speaks to groups of prominent businessmen over lunch to get them to contribute toward solving the homeless problem in Canada. She also created “Make Change” months during which she distributes glass Ladybug containers to businesses and schools all over the country for people to donate their spare change. In addition, she has speaking engagements booked throughout the year all over Canada, which she manages to handle while attending school.

In 2007 Juanita Peters made a short film about Hannah called Hannah’s Story (watch it, below). What I was struck by watching the film is how wise beyond her years this young girl is. She knows that it’s not just money that’s needed for the homeless, but “awareness” and “heart” as well. Since homelessness, ignorance, and lack of compassion for their predicament are three issues also faced by those with severe environmental illness, it’s easy for those of us with the condition to wonder while watching the film: Where is our mascot, our young champion for the cause? Is all we need one precocious young child to see the problem and be inspired into action? All I know is that it is entirely empowering and uplifting to see how one small girl has literally changed the world for so many homeless people in Canada. While some of us have been waiting for an investor or other accomplished person of some sort to save the day, maybe we’ve been looking in the wrong direction. Maybe our savior is only a few feet tall and still in grade school. I hope watching this video will inspire something unexpected:

  • Earthwalker is the username that PT founder Julie Genser created for her online interactions so many years ago when first creating Planet Thrive.

    Julie's (Earthwalker's) life was derailed over twenty years ago when she had a very large organic mercury exposure after she naively used a mouth thermometer to measure the temperature of just-boiled milk while making her very first pizza at home. The mercury instantly expanded into a gas form and exploded out the back of the thermometer right into her face. Unaware that mercury was the third most neurotoxic element on Earth, Julie had no idea she had just received a very high dose of a poisonous substance.

    A series of subsequent toxic exposures over the next few years -- to smoke from two fires (including 9/11), toxic mold, lyme disease, and chemical injuries -- caused catastrophic damage to her health. While figuring out how to survive day-to-day, and often minute-to-minute, she created Planet Thrive to help others avoid some of the misdiagnoses and struggles she had experienced.

    She has clawed her way over many health mountains to get to where she is today. She is excited to bring the latest iteration of Planet Thrive to the chronic illness community.

    In 2019, Julie published her very first cookbook e-book called Low Lectin Lunches (+ Dinners, Too!) after discovering how a low lectin, gluten free diet was helping manage her chronic fascia/muscle pain.


  1. Nancy Swan

    Thank you for this inspiring article. We go about our lives mostly unaware of the league of silent angels in our midst, those who sacrifice for the betterment of others.

    I met an amazing people and heard an overwhelming number of stories on my epic quest for justice for myself and more than two dozen injured school children and teachers. This story is special and stands as an example to the young of today – our hope for tomorrow.

    I am a survivor to toxic poisoning. Toxic Justice is my story https://sites.google.com/site/nancyswan/toxic-justice-a-true-story
    Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Swanfeathers

  2. jmecrow

    wow. so touching and inspiring.

  3. live with mcs

    Hannah certainally is a young champion! It’s amazing how big her heart is and how she views people in the world! Us with EI/MCS “do most deffinetly need” someone like Hannah to raise awareness and help! Life is hard, harder then most could ever imagine and maybe it will take an angle like her to bring it out on the table in finding us safe shelters that can care for us when we can’t care for ourselves. There is no shelter to go to that’s free of chemicals for the needy or homless EI/MCS people. This is needed, no doubt!!! This whole concept goes back to my benjies from heaven photo that I would love to have a safe place for folks to go to when they have no where to go, along with a safe place for people to live. We need this! I can only hope and pray that there is a Hannah out their for us as well :)

    Thank You for sharing this wonderful story!!!

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