Natural Health Heroes: Forging her way through adversity to find her purpose

Written by Endeavour College of Natural Health | 15 June, 2021

woman in 50s holding plate of nutritious stir fry smiling

Before she came to Endeavour in Adelaide, Irene Schonberg studied nutrition online. It started from a personal desire to understand what healthy eating meant. It evolved into helping others with complex chronic health conditions, inspired by her husband’s fight for life.

“The week I started face-to-face studies in Nutrition at Endeavour, my only child started primary school, and my husband was re-diagnosed with brain cancer,” Irene said. “I thought I’d have to cancel my enrolment. But I sat in the classroom and thought, ‘I can’t leave. This is where I am meant to be.’ As it turned out, everything I was learning helped my husband. I never missed a lecture and being at Endeavour gave me a brief escape from the trauma at home.”

“After 20 years in the IT industry, I was studying in my late forties. I loved being at Endeavour. Age never came into it. I never felt judged, and I found a lot of support there. Endeavour became my family,” Irene said. “Learning about how the body functioned and about toxicity fascinated me.”

Irene’s husband passed away seven months later. He was a healthy 38-year-old who lived a balanced and healthy life. Naturally, Irene wanted answers about why he had cancer. She started researching ways to measure heavy metals and discovered the Oligoscan device, which uses high-frequency light spectrophotometry to report heavy metals, nutrients and minerals.

“In February 2020, I started seeing clients at my clinic. One month later, a friend called me about her husband, who had been diagnosed with brain cancer. I spent all day with this couple, teaching them about how to live cleanly. I took my spectrometer, which I had bought for my clinic, unsure if I would be able to use it. Towards the end of the day, I scanned this gentleman. He had high levels of mercury, aluminium and lead, so I formulated a plan to reduce these and get him eating for optimal health,” Irene said.

A month later, Irene got another phone call from a person with Stage 4 brain cancer. “While I can’t treat brain cancer, I can support these patients to nutritionally rebalance their health. As well as my husband, I have now seen three clients with brain cancer. I noticed the similarities between all four, which I felt I had to share in an article called, Brain cancer – a hypothesis in its origin and treatment.

“I know I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now if my husband was here. But through this trauma and grief, I have found my purpose – to support others. I like working with complex cases – it’s like detective work. I believe there is always something we can do to help our bodies achieve better balance,” Irene said. “I have seen this with my 95-year-old mother as well. She moved in with us to help us manage when my husband died, but we almost lost her in my final year of study. Using my nutrition knowledge and working with her medical team, I was able to get her back to full health.”

Irene started her business, Eat Right for Life, renting a room in an osteopathy clinic. It worked well because the modalities complemented each other. The osteopathic business expanded, and Irene has moved into a yoga school. As well as seeing clients, she is currently working on a series of in-person education workshops to educate others about “eating their way to better health”.


Endeavour College of Natural Health

Endeavour College of Natural Health is Australia's largest Higher Education provider of natural medicine courses.

The College is known as the centre of excellence for natural medicine and is respected for its internationally recognised academic teams and high calibre graduates. Endeavour offers Bachelor of Health Science degrees in Naturopathy, Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine, and Acupuncture, a fully online Bachelor of Complementary Medicine, Undergraduate Certificates, a Diploma of Health Science and massage courses.

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