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Life or Debt: a tuition appeal for global health

Organized by: Kimani McDonald | Growing up in Jamaica, Tanzania and Ethiopia, I experienced first hand the dire state of health of the world’s poorest communities and the wide range of ways people chose to manage their health.

From cancer drugs at the Ocean Road Cancer Institute in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to herbal tinctures from the Rasta Man high in the hills of Portland, Jamaica, and the 80% of the Ethiopian population seeking primary care from rural traditional healers, it became clear to me that if I wanted to serve the marginalized as a doctor in a meaningful and effective way I would need become proficient in both evidence-based natural and conventional medicine. After attending one year of medical school in Jamaica I knew a huge piece of our health puzzle was missing. Eventually I found my answer at Bastyr University in Washington state: Integrative Medicine for Global Health. Two and a half years into my training at the world's leading academic center for advancing and integrating knowledge in the natural health arts and sciences, I am so incredibly confident and passionate about the ability of Integrative Medicine to address so much of our global health burden.

But unfortunately passion and purpose don’t pay tuition and I now face the scary, expensive reality of a private education in the United States. You see, international students do not qualify for federal financial aid in the US and all my savings, family loans and grants have now been exhausted. With two more years left in the program I need your help to stay in school. With your contributions, I will have the opportunity to successfully graduate as a licensed primary care doctor in Washington state and complete a residency training to refine my skills as a Naturopathic Doctor. My ultimate dream is to return to my home nations of Jamaica and Africa to develop free/low cost naturopathic clinics that deliver high quality, efficacious, integrative health care. With your help we can collectively change the health and wellbeing of our human community.


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