PROLIFIC SUNDAY PEOPLE:MEET JULIA FORTUNE, THE NIGERIAN WOMAN CARVING A NITCH AS WELLNESS GURU IN LAS VEGAS

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine
BY CERUTTI OSAGIE
According to a very popular global saying, there is no part of the world you go that you will not find a Nigerian born fellow doing one sort of business or the other in that hitherto strange land
In far away Las Vegas, Nevada State in America for example is a most forward looking Nigerian woman carrying on the very prestigious profession of wellness brand of living, in the person of Julia Fortune, whose foray in the lucrative business began as far back as In 2007 when her high speed, high stressed life led her straight down the path of a cancer diagnosis. 
Now ,Looking back ,she admitted not  been  really  surprised working too many hours, commuting in traffic,  out of shape, eating and drinking all the wrong stuff, which all motivated her today to be globally acclaimed as a Wellness guru. IN This rare encounter, she tells PROLIFIC SUNDAY PEOPLE'S
her story from humble start off
ON   HOW LONG SHE HAS BEEN IN THIS BUSINESS 
What seems like forever has only been eight years.  In 2007 my high speed, high stressed life led me straight down the path of a cancer diagnosis.  Looking back I'm really not surprised, I was working too many hours, commuting in traffic, I was out of shape, eating and drinking all the wrong stuff.  Then I was slapped with two devastating words...Breast cancer - two of the most feared words any woman wants to hear, and here I was at the height of my career being given life altering news, if not what some called a flat out death sentence, but to me it’s not!!. 

My doctor told me that with the proper protocol and treatments there would be a good chance of survival, but I would have to continue the drugs possibly for the rest of my life.  Then he uttered three words that shook me to my core, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. In other words, cut, burn, and destroy - the cure all for every type of cancer, or so every oncologist on the planet will tell you.  I decided to have an Oncotype DX test performed and was told even with the chemotherapy that the chances of the cancer NOT RETURNING was only 5%.  That meant I would be putting deadly chemicals into my body and there was a 95% chance that it was useless. This also meant that chemotherapy has no effect on the type of breast cancer I had. So why would I put myself through all this if, with all the doctors had, I would have a 5% survival rate? Why would any one?  Really it boils down to lack of proper knowledge.

I put my Masters degree in education to work and found that doctors are not in the business of making you well, if they did, they would be out of business.  No, the doctors are in the business of selling, whoops!  I mean prescribing, you drugs to make you almost well, so you have to come back. I studied alternatives to "orthodox" medicine such as naturopathic, homeopathic, and certain Eastern medicines.    Based on my research I wrote a book, Chronicles of a Cancer Survivor, that told the story of my journey and how leaving orthodox medicine behind, save for a mastectomy and reconstruction. I saved my life and was declared cancer free in 2009.  Since then I have earned a Masters degree in Healthcare Management and have been lecturing on the benefits of healthy lifestyles and Wellness programs.

ON HER WELLNESS VISION FOR AFRICA VIA NIGERIA
 
First let’s make sure that we have the same definition for wellness. To me wellness is the prevention of illnesses, diseases, etc., but not through medicines or vaccinations. Wellness is a health program designed around proper diet, regular exercise, mental stimulation, and most importantly education. Wellness is also a personal issue, what works good for one may not be the right regimen for another. Wellness doesn’t replace the need for routine doctor visits; in fact, a proper wellness regimen should include routine doctor visits. Most people don’t think of their health, or even visit the doctor, until it is too late. That is when the diagnosis comes back with unpleasant news, and leaves the patient to wonder how this could have happened to them.
With that being said my wellness vision for Africa is the same as for Nigeria – an education program designed to promote wellness as a way of life. There are four facets to a good wellness program: Proper diet; Physical exercise; mental stimulation; and Education.
Education is the most important element of any good wellness program and needs to be started at a young age, as young as five or six. Why so young? By the time the kids reach college age this program will be ingrained in them as a routine that they will take with them wherever in the world they travel. This is why ALL schools need to have a comprehensive wellness program incorporated into their curriculum.
For those Nigerians, and other Africans, who are no longer in school it is imperative that the Federal, State, and Local Governments form strategic alliances with wellness related nonprofit organizations, such as my own Total Body Wellness Foundation, to go into communities and villages with trained Wellness Coaches and farming professionals to transform old bad habits into new healthy alternatives.
My vision for Africa, especially Nigeria, will require the cooperation of many entities, both governmental and private. The result will be villages, communities, states, countries, and a continent that will be on the cutting edge of healthy living. The world will be looking at Africa in a new light.
ON WHAT ARE HER SECRETS OF SUCCESS 
Passion: If it is success that one desires and they are without passion, the chances of success are slim indeed.  Passion is the 110% investment that is absolutely necessary to keep the motivation and drive to see any concept become a reality.

Serving Others: The truly admired, the truly esteemed, the truly successful are those who find the ability to serve.  The American comedian Dick Gregory once stated, "One of the things I keep learning is that the secret of being happy is doing things for other people".  

Persistence: All successful people are persistent, really.  Leave it to a baby to illustrate persistence; when they're first learning to walk they fall down.....a lot, but they always get up.  No matter how long it takes or how many times they fail they always get back up.  People don't realize that Thomas Edison, who invented so many things including the light bulb, didn't just pop the light bulb out on the first try; it took years and many failures to come up with the finished product.  

Focus: The ability to focus gives passion and persistence the backbone needed to complete the task.

Communication: You can have all the qualities listed above but if there not the ability to effectively communicate and build interpersonal relationships, what have you gained? 


ON HER LIFE GUIDING PHILOSOPHY
 
In one word: Jesus.  I have been a Christian all my life, but it took a cancer diagnosis to bring me to my knees and draw closer to Him.  My philosophy is echoed in Mark 12:30-31; "...Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with your entire mind and with all your strength".  The second is this, "...Love your neighbor as yourself ". There is no other commandment greater than these.



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