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Healing Illness Through Plants

House plants succulents

By Chris Avery

Woman holding sign posing in front of plants.
Supplied photo.

In 2018, Edmonton local and cancer survivor, Sherry Dussome, started a new life when she opened her budding plant business.

“It calms me. It grounds me,” said Dussome about her growing business. As the owner of The Naked Bush, Dussome uses her newfound pleasure in restoring indoor plants to overcome a life of battles.

Dussome has battled osteomyelitis, rubella, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, poverty, abuse and cancer.

“I got Osteomyelitis at the age of two. Treated with penicillin, I nearly died from an allergic reaction. At age four I came down with Rubella. My sight went cross and I lost the hearing in my right ear,” said Dussome.

After spending six months in Toronto Sick Kids hospital, Dussome overcame her illness. She lived out the rest of her childhood in the small town of Manitouwadge, Ontario.

Fast forward fourteen years, and Dussome moved to Edmonton where she met her first husband. She got pregnant with her first child, Nicole. At the time, her devoutly Catholic parents immediately advised a wedding, but always the fighter, Dussome waited until two months after having Nicole—and moved back to Ontario— before she married.

In this marriage, codependency set in. With such strong feelings, stress followed. This environment brought Dussome to face her next battles: PTSD, poverty, abuse and multiple sclerosis.

In 2008, Dussome moved to Vancouver Island to find the person she lost to codependency – herself. With help from local friends, family and counsellors, Dussome lived the next five years of her life in relative peace.

On the island, Dussome met her second husband. She enjoyed frequent visits from her children. Soon, Dussome met the battle of her life: cancer. In 2013, Dussome was told about her diagnosis after a colonoscopy.

Subjected to improper health care on Vancouver Island by pill-pushers and neglect, Dussome continued fighting. Not one to back down, Dussome faced cancer with a will to survive. Five surgeries later, after removing her colon, 65% of her liver, and her dignity, Dussome found peace again in Edmonton.

Now Dussome devotes her time to struggling plants.

“She gives them a new life,” says one customer. “Sherry is a miracle worker!” said another customer.

“Working with plants is not a job to me, it’s a calming activity that brings me renewed strength,” said Dussome. “As the plants grow and you nurture them, you realize that life goes on, that life is like a plant.”

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