Marlboro, NJ was my home for the first 18 years of my life. It was a wonderful place to grow up with a tight community. Some of my closest friends, decades later, are ones I grew up with from Marlboro, Manalapan, and Freehold. I loved the shore, the swim club, going to the city, and hanging out doing nothing with my friends. But, to be honest, I was excited to leave after high school and ready to see more of the world. I went to undergrad in Bloomington, Indiana where I studied literature, but never felt passionate about finding a career in that world. I was off path and felt it in my gut.
I had always convinced myself I wasn’t a great science student, but in order to finish my undergraduate degree with the pre-med requirements necessary, I needed to change the way I saw myself. Oof! That was an intense transition since I had done minimal science as a Lit major focused on Shakespeare. But I worked myself harder than I ever had before because it meant everything to me, and ultimately came to actually even love organic chemistry! When the time came to start the chiropractic curriculum I felt more than ready for the rigorous schedule which included cadaver labs, neuroscience, and microbiology classes.
As I was tackling my prerequisites, my father found out he had a tumor pressing on his spinal cord. Full stop. I stopped my pre-requisite classes mid-semester to go home to NJ and help care for him. My family dreamed he would be back on the golf course in 6 months, but instead he passed swiftly 4 months after his aggressive diagnosis. Caring for him by my mother’s side for those months was the hardest and best thing I had done with my life up until that point. He had been my coach for my whole life and this was my time to try to be his. He still taught me through it all. Such grace and love through the fear and pain. If you knew him, you know what I mean. After he was gone at the age of 58 I tore through my courses with a new intensity and ultimately graduated from New York Chiropractic College in 2005 with a drive to help people to suffer less and enjoy life more. Unfortunately, a few years later, cancer also stole my best friend in the world, my mom, from my brothers and I in her 60s.
I had spent my life watching them both fight to win a never-ending battle with their weight and their health. There were so many things they both tried to do in order to “be healthy”, but neither could ever find their way to feeling great. I knew that nutrition and pain management were passions that, as a chiropractor, I could help my patients with. I spent my first years as a chiropractor in Manhattan with that focus. Years later after fertility struggles, miscarriages, and to my amazement one sweet baby girl, my focus expanded to include prenatal certification as a Webster certified chiropractor. It’s a technique that focuses on low force technique that helps balance the body during pregnancy. I also trained as a doula, and I am trained to work on babies who are struggling in infancy. I perform very gentle craniosacral therapy for babies and mamas to work to improve breastfeeding relationships and help baby to feel more relaxed and at ease.
I worked in Manhattan for the past 15 years until COVID. One thing this pandemic has shown me is that nothing feels better for me than being home. My parents lived in Monmouth County for 35 years and my husband and I decided that being here to raise our daughter was the best next step in our lives. It’s strange to come back without my parents physically being here… but this is where the fabric that makes me who I am, was sewn. I feel them when I’m on Route 9, when I pass where my dad parked our Cadillac on Union Hill Road to catch the bus, or where my mom’s real estate office was on 9. Going to Wegmans was like a party for her! She’d always see someone she knew and she just loved it there.
This is the community I want to serve and the place I want my daughter to think of when she thinks of home. I want her to love the shore, and the city, and hanging out doing nothing with her friends. I want her to always have this place woven into the fabric that makes her who she is. It’s a beautiful place to live and a wonderful community to be a part of. I’m so thankful to be back!