Well, actually, Truehope has two founders: Anthony Stephan and David Hardy. This is their story.
Anthony Stephan’s wife, Debora, had bipolar disorder and took her own life in January of 1994. Debbie’s father had done the same sixteen years earlier.
A year later, two of Anthony’s children were diagnosed with the most severe form of bipolar. Both had been given a variety of heavy medications, and they experienced serious side effects. Anthony was afraid he’d soon lose another loved one to the grip of bipolar disorder.
For a year after his wife’s death, Anthony studied everything he could find that might save his children, Autumn and Joseph. When a specialist told him to give up and accept his children’s fate — that both would likely be ill, medicated, hospitalized, and possibly die young — Anthony refused to accept that he had no other options, so he started a new kind of search.
He believed that if there was something that could save his children, God knew what it was. He never stopped praying; he hoped God would hear his cries and have mercy on his family. When he least expected it, his answer came.
Anthony met David L. Hardy, who was well educated in biological sciences and who had spent 20 years as an animal feed specialist. Hardy said the behaviour of Anthony’s son, Joseph, sounded to him like the behaviour of a pig with ear-and-tail-biting syndrome. Hardy explained to him that some farmers had success with nutritional supplements to control the syndrome in their pigs.
Anthony immediately knew this was an answer to his prayer.
He and David worked with scientists and manufacturers to create a human version of the pig formula using human-grade supplements. With a lot of prayer and months of hard work, they were able to get Autumn and Joseph well. To this day, Autumn and Joseph have not looked back. Joseph is happily married with four beautiful, healthy children. Autumn is happily married with four beautiful, healthy children. She is a successful writer who wrote a book called A Promise of Hope, which tells the story of her struggle and how she miraculously took control of her mental health.
Anthony never planned on making a product that would be the answer to thousands of prayers, nor did he plan to start a nutritional company. As Autumn and Joseph recovered and began to resume healthy lives, however, word of their success spread through the community like wildfire.
Reports of success continued to pour in, and Anthony knew there was more to do to bring this discovery to the world. In 1996, he formed a company and dedicated his time to refining and producing the formula, which started out as several micronutrients taken separately.
Anthony was happy to share his success, and soon hundreds of people were trying this early version of what is now called EMPowerplus.
He sought to bring the results to the attention of scientists, whom he hoped would research this unusual approach. He realized he had stumbled on a clue that could lead to a new understanding of what causes mental disorders and how to better manage them.
Anthony gathered information and data from new micronutrient treatment users and presented them to Dr. Bryan Kolb, a world-renowned neuropsychologist at the University of Lethbridge. Intrigued, Dr. Kolb sent Anthony to see Dr. Bonnie Kaplan, a behavioural research scientist at the University of Calgary.
Dr. Kaplan had her doubts, but she agreed to try the micronutrient treatment in a pilot trial. In order to help the research, Anthony put all the necessary ingredients into one capsule that could be administered easily. He found a company who would produce the product to his exact requirements, and he called the product EMPowerplus.
Once the all-in-one micronutrient formulation was available, Kaplan and her colleagues put together some open trials. These studies showed that nutrition held significant promise as a treatment for mental disorders, confirming the need for more research and grabbing the attention of researchers and specialists across North America.
Truehope’s focus is to ensure EMPowerplus is available to all who have mental health challenges. We hope that as scientists play their part and as governments consider the welfare of all of their citizens, natural solutions like EMPowerplus will be available through standard medical systems.