Farewell Dear Emma

One cold and rainy day in 2010, I was sitting in the waiting room of an NHS GP practice in London. I picked up a magazine from the table beside me and in it found a book review. The book was The Baby Making Bible. The author, a fertility acupuncturist in London called Emma Cannon.

I was drawn to this book and this article with an almost magnetic like force. I got home and ordered it immediately. I read it, devoured every word on her website (this was pre social media stalking days) and found her words resonated so deeply with me that a few weeks later, I emailed her for the first time.

I had done my dry needling training in South Africa, but the qualification wasn’t recognised in the UK. Discovering Emma’s book and her work in fertility acupuncture and women’s health, motivated me to complete my Acupuncture training in the UK shortly there after. It also ignited my interest in Women’s Health and when I was offered the opportunity a few months later to work in the field of Women’s Physiotherapy, I accepted it.

In 2014 I was at a meeting with a prominent Doctor in London. We were discussing an upcoming opportunity to write a book together and he was in a rush as he was needed at Buckingham Palace. I found myself in awe at the meeting (not at his service of the Royal family), but at realising my hero Emma was now practicing out of his new health clinic. He was most amused at how much I adored Emma’s work and asked if I would like to go and meet her with him quickly. “Oh no” I replied, “I’m not ready to meet my hero in real life at such short notice.”

He laughed in reply and invited me to a cocktail party that he was hosting which Emma would also be attending. Upon arriving at the event the following week (with many of London’s finest specialist Doctors in attendance), as he finished his introductory speech, he ran over to me and asked “are you ready to meet her now?”. I replied that I was. He walked me over to Emma and chuckled at what a fan I was of hers as he introduced me to her. Over the next hour I discovered that I loved her as much in real life as I did from reading her books, an affection that has only grown ever since.

The joy of the accessibility of social media and Emma’s love of writing has meant that even while back in SA, I’ve got to follow along with her thoughts and musings through her social media channels and newsletters as she walked the recurrence of her cancer diagnosis and treatment with such grace.

During the deep and dark lockdown days of 2020, I joined her weekly Sunday afternoon live zoom sessions. It was money I didn’t really have to spare at the time, but I gained so much wisdom from Emma in these sessions, that I am so glad I attended them.

When I was last in London in mid 2022, I sent her a message on instagram asking for home address and posted her a small gift I had taken over for her in my suitcase. She was in the midst of her cancer treatment but still so full of wisdom and kindness.

Last week, it was with such sadness that I received an email saying that my hero, my inspiration and my teacher had passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her loved ones.

Emma, you have no idea how much your work and your presence on this earth has shaped my life and my work as a Women’s Health Physio.

Thank you and may you rest in eternal peace <3