Faces Of Northeast: Tammy McMurray

Tammy McMurray is originally from Gladstone, Mo., but she has lived in Northeast for the past decade. She has five children, but her youngest, Kayleigh was born in 2017. “I was sick a lot in my pregnancy with Kayleigh; the last trimester was probably the hardest. I could not keep anything down.”

When Kayleigh was seven months old, she was diagnosed with Trisomy X, a rare disorder where females are born with three X chromosomes instead of two. Young girls with Trisomy X have a hard time gaining weight, low muscle tone, and can also have behavioral issues. Kayleigh spent a considerable amount of time at Children’s Mercy Hospital, where she was hooked up to a feeding tube. “That was hard for me as a mother,” McMurray said.

On a recent day trip to Gardner, Kan., McMurray and her significant other noticed a man sitting under a tree. Her significant other decided to talk to the man, who told them that his name was Morgan and that he was a shaman. “We brought Morgan home with us. We live close to the tracks off of Front street.” McMurray said.

“Morgan stayed on our porch for a couple nights, and we fed him good home cooked meals. One evening, after dinner, Morgan pointed to Kayleigh and said ‘I went out & prayed for your little girl.’” That was a Thursday night, and the following morning, Kayliegh began eating. Eggs over-easy, sausage, and bananas. “Her face was in awe, like ‘Mom, why didn’t you guys tell me about this sooner?!’”

Personally, McMurray struggled with a nicotine addiction, but made the decision earlier this year to quit smoking. “I used Lent as my ‘Quit Smoking Day.’ I was smoking about 2 packs a day. I started listening to guided meditation videos and I would envision what it would feel like to be a non-smoker.”

McMurrary said her great grandmother used to say there is no such thing as “impossible,” that if you set your mind to it, you can do it. “So I woke up one morning, smoked my last cigarette around 9 a.m. in the morning, and to this day I am still a non-smoker. My significant other says I walked away from cigarettes like I had never smoked in my life!”

After the stress of her daughter’s health issues, and giving up smoking, McMurray chose to go on what she calls a ‘Spiritual Fast.’ “There were a lot of things going on in my life where my family just needed some healing on an intense spiritual level.”

She reduced her diet to chia seeds, flax seeds, quinoa, fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds. She excluded caffeine, dairy, gluten, and eggs for 21 days. In the course of her diet, she also began practicing yoga. “All of a sudden I have this new profound amount of energy.”

“Now I’m pursuing my Yoga Teacher Certificate.” McMurray said. “Yoga has taught me patience. I absolutely love my life now.”

McMurray and her significant other are raising ducks for food and eggs. They have a tomato garden, mint, elderberry and milkweed. They are growing gourmet mushrooms and hope to begin growing micro-greens and making their own essential oils.

Her long term goal is saving money for a down payment on about 10 acres of land so they can raise goats, chickens and turkeys with the intention of growing their own food, raising their own meat, and become less dependent upon the grocery stores or government programs.

“While I am thankful for these programs, I now have come to realize that they’re here to support us, not hold us up. There’s a better way and I found it!”

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