Scholarship Recipient Finds Hope in the Eyes of OHI Staff
Armelda Byrd looked at the pandemic as an opportunity to improve her health. “I thought I’d use the break from work to exercise and lose some weight,” said Armelda. “I lost 35lbs, but the uterine fibroid I’d had for many years started to give me pain. Surgery revealed the shock that I had rare Stage 3 Carcinosarcoma uterine cancer that had spread to my ovaries and some lymph nodes. The mass weighed more than 15lbs. I was in the hospital and rehab for over 4 weeks. When I finally went home, I was in a wheelchair, and not sure what to do next. I live alone, I was in pain, and I was rapidly losing weight. My doctor recommended chemotherapy immediately, but I didn’t feel I could endure it. My sister, a nurse, suggested OHI, but the program was out of reach for me financially. I reached out to OHI, and by the grace of God, they awarded me a scholarship! I combined that scholarship with my savings and financial gifts from my friends and family, and was able to book a stay at OHI San Diego for five weeks. It literally changed my life.”
Armelda came to OHI walking with a cane. She could barely participate in classes during the first week because she was so weak. “I know the program at OHI was pivotal to nourishing my body,” said Armelda. “But the staff at OHI was what I needed to nourish my soul. The love, understanding, and care they lavished on me made me confident that I would get better. They give me the strength to keep fighting.”
Armelda doesn’t use a cane now. Her pain is manageable, and her muscle tone is improving. “Without the OHI scholarship, I wouldn’t be here,” said Armelda. “Before OHI, cancer consumed me. My father always taught me to face my fears and with OHI’s program, I could feel the life force returning to me. My doctor made me feel like I needed to prepare for the end. OHI helped me prepare for the beginning of the rest of my life. Thank you OHI!”
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