Tristin Roney, MA, was near the end of a decade plus of schooling to become a licensed psychologist when he was diagnosed with Stage IV rectal cancer. His entire life was derailed and it cost him his career in psychology. Fortunately, he was able to utilize many of the skills he had developed to pivot into an effective patient advocate for others.
Tristin studied psychology for over a decade in order to become a licensed psychologist. He received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a master’s degree in Contemplative Psychotherapy from Naropa University, and was months away from completing a PhD in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Health Psychology. He had a career in the United States Air Force working as a clinical psychologist. His life was set.
Then tragedy struck. Digestive issues led to a colonoscopy, where doctors found a large tumor in his lower colon. He would ultimately be diagnosed with Stage IV rectal cancer.
Initially, he gave complete control to his doctors. He did 9 months of chemotherapy, radiation, and multiple surgeries. He lived with an ostomy for most of that period. But when all was said and done, he was given 2 years to live and told he would be on chemotherapy for the rest of his life.
Tristin, and his wife Juanique, refused to accept this prognosis. They also realized they could no longer trust Tristin’s life to the medical establishment. This led to a flurry of research into alternative options, and the rest is Provo Health history.
As for Tristin’s professional life, everything was derailed. He was forced to resign from his position as a clinical psychologist and was determined unfit for continued service in the Air Force. This, in turn, forced his resignation from his PhD program, essentially putting an end to his lifelong path toward licensure as a psychologist.
Fortunately, Tristin had developed a new passion as a result of his experiences. He was now determined to focus his efforts on helping others experiencing harrowing and debilitating health issues. He started volunteering at Provo Health as a patient advocate, where he has thrived.
He found his extensive research background served him well in accumulating in-depth knowledge on many health issues and treatment options. His reading interests shifted from therapy manuals to nutrition studies and treatment protocols. His knowledge of human psychology, and particularly health psychology, helped him to better understand the behavioral and emotional factors related to clients’ success or failure in achieving their physical health goals.
Tristin has several focuses at Provo Health now. His specialties include analysis and consultation of nutritional, functional, heart-sound, and blood-chemistry factors in health. He also spends a fair amount of time as a recipient of the treatments Provo Health offers. And while his life looks nothing like he planned a few years ago, he has never felt more fulfilled or satisfied with his life.