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"I have worked as a caregiver, a CNA or Home Health Aide, since age 18," says Troi, who grew up in Issaquah, Washington, and moved to Seattle in her early 20s. "I've specialized in hospice and developmental disabilities." When her brother committed suicide early in 2004, Troi took a year off from work to intern at the Lost Valley Educational Center near Dexter, Oregon. "I was an entrenched urbanite, transplanted to a rustic rural environment," she says. "It was lifesaving. I realized how much tension I was carrying, living in the city. I started healing." Afterwards, she relocated to Eugene and returned to work as a caregiver. She lived briefly in Portland, where she studied to become a Reiki Master Teacher, then started nursing school at Lane Community College. Since graduating in 2012, she has worked as a nurse for a local nonprofit serving people with developmental disabilities. She also teaches Reiki. In March of 2015, she launched Snuggle Lab, a business aimed at creating a positive touch culture in Lane County. "I've seen the effect that loneliness and lack of touch can have on people," she says. "I've been hosting snuggle events for friends since 2004. Our online meet-up group has over 200 members in less than a year." Snuggle Lab's EMBRACE, a Valentine's Weekend event set for Saturday, February 13, at 7pm, will begin with an extensive orientation. "All our events are clothed and consensual," Troi says. "People are welcome to come and just check us out." To sign up for the event and learn the location, or to learn more about positive touch, visit snugglelab.com.

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 11 February 2016

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