Welcome to Wilder!

Hi there, it’s Caley and Katey here, and we want to welcome you to Wilder! 

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You’re probably wondering who we are and what we are doing here…

In short, Wilder is a community where years of health failures and wins meet with the missional initiative to promote wholeness of body, mind, and spirit as we have found them on our own journeys. We'll be using this space to post recipes, collaborate with experts on health & wellness, share information & tips we've learned along the way, and to connect with others and their inspiring stories.

We’re not doctors. We’re not theologians. Basically, we’re just two girls with some major health problems, a lot of experience with food and healing, and major love for God. And we want to join you on the road to a healthy, whole life.

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If you are suffering from chronic illness or just looking for general wellness information, we want to partner with you and be your resource. The trauma of chronic physical illness brings up a lot of heavy philosophical questions and emotional pain. We are going to hit some serious topics, but we want to have fun while we’re doing it. Our vision of a whole life includes faith, doubt, hope, tears, laughter, loss, friends, family and everything in between.

As serious as our topics can be from time to time, we want this to be a fun place to share stories and connect with you on the pilgrimage to a healed, whole future.

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MEET KATEY

Nice to meet you! My imaginary dating profile would read as follows: I am a 30 something-year-old from a small town in north Alabama (Haleyville). I enjoy everything on PBS, my favorite actor is Leonardo DiCaprio, I listen to hip-hop, and my favorite activity is taking a bath. I currently live in Birmingham with my dog, two cats, and husband. I am straight up #blessed. 

I've had health problems the entirety of my adult life. In 2013, I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Ovarian Cancer. This really set off a chain reaction (physically and spiritually) that has led to where I am today.

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I lost my first ovary a few years prior, so losing the second meant no kids, early onset menopause, adrenal fatigue, weight gain, and a lot of new tricky issues that are all tied to my endocrine system. I tried all the hormone replacement offerings on the market (estrogen creams, bio-identicals, birth control, IUD) with no success. I sought out holistic medicine. I found a wonderful nutritionist in Birmingham and together we began to change everything. I began to eat clean-ish, kicked my hormones, detoxed my house, found Jesus, and in truth, I was doing well. Then, in December of 2016 things got weird.

I had a lot of very random symptoms going on and was in a lot of pain. I began doctor hopping trying to self-diagnose what was going to with my body. Spiritually, I was in a really dark place. After 8 months of seeking a diagnosis, my Gastrointestinal doctor "accidentally" found a lung tumor during a scan. Stage 3 Carcinoid. THIS WAS BAD. The prognosis was not great and that type of tumor doesn't respond to treatment. I had nowhere to turn but to God. (I'll share more about this as we grow). Through divine intervention, I was able to get in with a brilliant robotic surgeon at UAB. In September 2017, I had a successful robotic procedure that removed the tumor and my lower right lung lobe. 

This was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. God allowed this to deepen my faith, relationships, outlook, and purpose. I have learned more about my body and the impact of clean living.  Most importantly, I learned what it means to be healed. It lit a passion inside of my heart to share what I know about food, healing, and the love of God with all of you! 

 

Meet Caley 

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Hi there, all you readers! Caley here. I'm a 25-year-old freelancer living the good life here in the small but great city of Birmingham, AL. Equal parts nerd and artist, I love research (pub med, anyone? Just me?), books and podcasts just as much as I love photography, graphic design and buying beautiful things.

Shortly after graduating college and in the throws of faith reconstruction, I became ill with unexplainable but concerning GI issues. After six months of testing, I was finally diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and was given the grim diagnosis by a doctor with impressively terrible bedside manner that it would never go away, and there was only so much that I could do to treat it until I either got colon cancer or a colectomy. But I wasn't willing to accept that, and neither was my family. My dad bought me a GAPS cookbook that he read about online, and I went down the rabbit hole with the help of online research and nutrition columns. I've tried the GAPS Diet, SCD Diet, Paleo, AIP and Low-FODMAPs — all with little success on the UC front. Three years and a few hospitalizations later, I'm still in the battle for health stability. In 2017, I lost and gained a grand total of 70 pounds, started and quit a biologic drug called Humira, went back on then back off then back on steroids — but I've still maintained my commitment and stubborn belief in the healing of food, herbal medicine and a hope for a whole, full life. I won't give up. 

And that's why I'm here talking with you. To encourage you to keep fighting for your care, to tell you that you are not alone, even though it may feel like it sometimes — often, even — and to come alongside you believing for our healing. 

 

How we met

Katey and I met fatefully at an advertising agency where we used to work at as Account Executives. United by our love for overalls and my envy over her vintage wedding ring, we became fast friends and bonded over our health struggles and all of the things we were learning on our journeys to a holistic lifestyle. I was unable to return after medical leave in 2017, and shortly after, Katey also resigned after having surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. It was clear to us that God brought us together for more than just to be sick friends. We wanted to share the wealth of knowledge we now have after hours upon hours of research and years and years of illness. And we wanted share the hope that we've found in our journeys.

So that's why we're here. 

We're so glad to be here, and we hope you are, too!

 

Have a question? Email us at hello@thewilderblog.com