We hear how best friends, Margie Doig-Gander and Dr Heidi van Loggerenberg (homeopath), started an online scientific wellness company after they both battled cancer.
JOINCIRCLES is an online scientific wellness company that provides innovative and real-time biochemistry tests. Knowledge and guidance is then provided to nourish, protect and nurture your DNA and biochemistry for optimal wellness. Functional products are sold via their online shop. The business was awarded a finalist award for innovation in the TT100 Awards in 2017.
Friends since primary school
Margie and Heidi have been inseparable since the age of eight. They’ve shared many similar life experiences, including cancer diagnoses.
Growing up in beautiful Kwa-Zulu Natal in the 1980s, they attended three different schools together. In later years they shared an apartment, got married in close succession and both had two children at around the same time. They were both diagnosed with oestrogen-positive cancers within two years of one another.
Breast- and ovarian cancer
At the age of 35, Heidi was diagnosed with breast cancer, ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), in 2008.
In 2010, Margie, at the age of 36, was diagnosed with Stage 1b ovarian cancer.
Both women elected not to have prophylactic chemo and instead decided to go different routes: Heidi, elected for a double mastectomy, no chemo and no tamoxifen.
Margie had a full hysterectomy, and an omentectomy – the removal of the omentum (a thin fold of abdominal tissue that encases the stomach, large intestine and other abdominal organs).
Now, at the ages of 44, living in Johannesburg with their husbands and children, they started JOINCIRCLES. “The business was created because we had lived through the gap in healthcare. We both experienced this gap during and after our cancer diagnoses,” Heidi explains. “ Instinctively, we both knew that our cancers did not just appear. We must have ticked many of the risk factors growing up. Our biochemistry must have been changing over a long period of time. We just didn’t know that the combination of our genetics plus all our small daily choices over our lifetimes could tip us into a cancer.”
Margie adds, “We were incredibly grateful for our surgeons and to be able to have surgery. However, we felt frustrated by not being able to access information about why we got cancer, and then how to make different and better lifestyle choices moving forward, to better support our bodies and reduce the risk of a recurrence. We pioneered the JOINCIRCLES approach for ourselves and it worked. Plus, we felt empowered! Where cancer had once made us feel so disempowered. It was at this point that we decided to share our approach of optimal wellness with others.”
Advanced DNA and biochemistry tests
“We are more than an online health shop because we provide our clients with access to incredible advanced DNA and biochemistry tests. We enable them to use the results of these tests as a tool to guide them as to where they need to make changes and focus their nutrition, environment and lifestyle choices,” Margie says. “The products in our shop have been checked and stamped with our approved logo. Many nutrition products are based on nutrigenomic principles and are in their active form to provide optimal nutrients to our biochemistry. Our environment products are free from xenoestrogens, endocrine disruptors, DNA mutators and carcinogens. Most of our lifestyle products are selected based on the latest research.”
Connecting with your why
Taking a DNA test and receiving your health information may be daunting to some. So where to start? Heidi suggests finding your why. “Connecting with your why is a great starting point for the personalisation of your health. Yours may be driven by witnessing a friend or family member pass away; wanting to be fit and mobile in your twilight years; or wanting to enjoy mental alertness and stamina.”
Note: By having a DNA test, it will not prevent you from getting cancer. There is no known cause of cancer. The results of the test will act as a tool to change your lifestyle for optimal wellness.