Posted on

Susan Stratton Harding

101K people follow @healwithmelissa on Instagram. Melissa Taylor is a two-time cancer survivor and is helping her followers heal and thrive with natural health — with a little dancey-dance on the side, thank you very much. Melissa is an international presenter and trauma-informed healing facilitator, and holds a degree from the University of Utah in sociology and psychology. She authored her first book, “Heal With Me,” to help others healing from cancer. She also launched an online cancer healing course with

Susan Stratton Harding grew up working the family orchards and farms in Orem. That work ethic is what has kept Susan working deep into her seventh decade of life. While she had never had plans to run a rafting company, a crucial conversation with her father changed her plan. Susan’s parents wanted to serve a mission, so her father asked her if she would take over running Tour West, a river-rafting company that arranges adventures for people from around the world on the Colorado River in Utah and the Salmon River in Idaho. While her oldest son manages the river operations, Susan continues to run the company “six steps” from her bedroom and enjoys the ups and downs of running the rapids. You can say that she’s one that goes with the flow.

Fully Booked Usually get up by 6 or 7 a.m. Walk if the weather permits. Answer phones, do bookkeeping work, discussing river rafting stuff with our employees, government requirements, park service requirements, etc. Close up around 5 p.m. Sometimes, I find myself driving to one of our three warehouses (in Arizona, Moab or Salmon Idaho). If I’m lucky, I could find myself on a river trip — hopefully next summer. 

Plot Twist That I would end up with a river rafting company. When I first started at BYU I was going to study history.

Hero’s Journey There have been a lot of work-related challenges. In 1983, we had a huge amount of water and there were many accidents. We had a 33-foot raft flip full of passengers. Also, when we went through the pandemic, the Park Service completely closed access to the river. Much of the money had been collected. We decided to give all our customers the option of a refund or hold their money over the next year. We refunded lots of money. We lost quite a bit of money, but many of the people that took a refund came back to do trips  making the years after the pandemic much busier.

Character Backstory I finished my degree from BYU at age 65!

The Sequel In five to 10 years, I hope I am still around, retired, and living days filled with family, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Dream Storybook World A world full of peace, honesty, kindness, generosity, etc. 

the same name. Melissa’s online healing community is called The Thrive Hive – where she helps others learn how to not only survive, but to thrive. As if that wasn’t enough, she also started “Seasons,” a group life-coaching program to facilitate self awareness and discovery of individual purpose through astrology. Hashtag – she does it all!