This month's theme all began from a conversation I had with Dr. Tyler Elmore. So, it seemed fitting to end this month by sharing the background around the question "Where Am I Essential?"
Ironically, Dr. Elmore had the same autoimmune disease I struggled with in my teens, although my symptoms were not nearly as extreme as his. At his onset, he was given a grim diagnosis—and he fought back!
I learned to fight back too! And decades later, I've been rewarded in hearing, from his research, a crusade that matched my own education toward healing.
I've learned a great deal from Dr. Elmore, not only regarding health but also key insights into how to view the world around us. He has dedicated his life to helping others heal, but what's interesting is how he views his influence. His insights have certainly challenged my own perspective of how I help others. I'm grateful to wrap up this month with Dr. Tyler Elmore's words.
TCA: This question (and month’s theme) “Where Am I Essential?” was triggered by something you said about your current life. Could you share a little background on what events have influenced your life to lead you to where you are now?
TE: The major event that influenced my life happened in 1993 when I was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness and given five years to live. That is where my journey started. I searched out 14 different medical opinions and all 14 offered nothing but a grim prognosis. They informed me that there was no cure for what I had, but they could offer me heavy medications along with chemo to help reduce my pain for the next five years while I slowly died.
At this point, I realized that I need to take an active part in my healing and that is when I realized that nobody cared about my health more than me. I was in charge of my health and if I was going to beat this I had to take an active part in the process.
Soon after this, I was introduced to a Physician in Las Vegas who introduced me to the concept of inside-out healing. He said that God has given us a perfect pharmacy within and that our best chance of healing was to get this pharmacy working properly and by doing this the peripheral symptoms would start to disappear. This process included a focus on fixing digestion, absorption, assimilation, and detoxification. He did not guarantee a cure, but what he said made sense.
After a four-year battle, I finally beat it. That led me to pursue a career in healthcare where I have spent the last 23 years.
However, last year, four of my friends and I decided to start a not-for-profit organization that focuses on poverty reduction and development in Cambodia, as well as giving Americans an opportunity to visit Cambodia, immerse themselves in the service of others, and experience being a part of something much bigger than themselves. It's a life-changing experience in perspective.
As we set out building this organization—and spending time figuring out the most effective way to build this organization—we were led to some amazing people in Cambodia who helped us understand the needs and desires of the Cambodian people. These people are very happy, industrious, and hardworking. What they lacked were opportunities.
These people are so eager to learn, we quickly realized that with opportunities Cambodians would flourish. We also realized that the only difference between us and them was the availability of opportunities. This realization hit home and I started to think about where I really was essential.
The more I thought about this the more desire I had to help. I started to reflect on my life here in America and realized that if I left my neighborhood, and my church community, sold my practices and left, my absence would be easily filled by another person. The availability of talent and people just like me would step up. My absence here really wouldn't hamper anybody else—they could easily find another doctor to go to, and another family would move into my house and fill in right where my family and I left off. This is not a pity party, this is just my perception of the reality that I live in. At the same time, I realized that in Cambodia the complete opposite was true. I (and my group) are desperately needed. If we are not helping and providing opportunities, who will?
It didn't take long to realize that I am essential there and that the difference that I (we) can make will last generations and beyond for people in Cambodia. The development we are doing is sustainable and, ultimately, they will develop the skills to be self-sufficient, and provide their families with skills and opportunities.
TCA: Why does this question “Where Am I Essential?” have significant meaning in your current activities?
TE: Some of that is answered in the above question. Also, the significance of this statement has really developed meaning in the last year since creating and building “Become More”. While traveling to Cambodia, several times, and refining our development path, I quickly realized that the people there were very unique. Quite frankly, they have the most friendly and open culture I have ever experienced. Despite all the poverty and difficulties faced by Cambodians, they continue to be happy and hard-working. They are very industrious and smart. The only difference between me and them was that I was born with opportunities and they were not! I was born into a wealthy country with limitless opportunities and they were not. My success in life is not because I worked harder, or because I am smarter than them. Of course, I worked hard, but I was born with opportunities that they didn't have. Once that realization set in, I felt a whole new purpose in my life. That purpose is to help create opportunities and hopes for them so they, in turn, can pass that on to their children. If Become More is not creating this opportunity, then who? Eventually, somebody might come around and help, maybe not. Right now if we aren't helping, those opportunities won’t exist! That's what drives me/us.
TCA: The story of the Become More Charity is inspiring. How has being involved in this charity organization changed your outlook on life?
TE: My work with Become More has completely changed my life. So much so, that I am selling my practices and going to work full-time building Become More. 3-4 months per year will be spent living and working in Cambodia.
TCA: What additional insights can you share about Become More Charity organization and those who have been involved in its impact and growth?
TE: How Become More came into existence is through the LoanPro story. The Roberts brothers grew up in Syracuse, Utah. After a variety of entrepreneurial starts, they began to do business in the auto sales and financing industry. Unsatisfied with the lack of transparency that most lending platforms offered, they endeavored to create their own software application that would better meet the needs of their lending company. This software worked so well that other lenders began to request access to their new software platform and that is how it all started.
Today, LoanPro is one of the fastest-growing fintech companies in Utah, achieving unicorn status in 2022. Loan Pro recognizes the privilege and opportunity to give back to their local and world community through the creation and support of “Become More Charity”, a registered 501(3)c non-profit organization established to unite people to become more through service experiences that increase gratitude, growth and giving as we seek to alleviate extreme poverty in the world.
Initiatives are underway locally in Davis County, Utah, and internationally in the country of Cambodia with the goal to lift 100,000 people out of extreme poverty.
To learn more about Become More, visit https://becomemorecharity.org/
Also, follow Become More's inspiring stories.