Scholarship Recipient Faces a Health Challenge with Positivity

Marcella Rodriguez had always been relatively healthy, and rarely went to the doctor.  “I never got sick,” said Marcella.  “I was an actress and model, and always took care of my body through exercise and good nutrition.”

In November 2019, Marcella found a small hemorrhoid, but ignored it.  Eventually, she started bleeding from her rectum.  In August 2021 she went in for an endoscopy and colonoscopy, and they found a 4-inch tumor on her rectum.  “It was the same anal cancer that Farrah Fawcett had,” said Marcella.  “It was the shock of my life.”

Marcella endured four chemo treatments, and saw her white blood cell counts drop from 6.8 to 1.6.  Her doctors lowered her chemo dose by 25%, and she managed to tolerate four more chemo treatments and 30 days of radiation.  She slowly recovered over the winter, but by spring her cancer had returned.  “I met with six specialists trying to find a doctor that would give me options, not just the same toxic chemo,” said Marcella. In December 2021 she went in for more surgery, and found the cancer had spread from her rectum to her vagina.

“My friend, Lourdes, faced Stage 4 Lymphoma,” said Marcella, “and she battled back by going to OHI.  I thought to myself, ‘How can fruits and vegetables help me fight cancer?’, but I knew I couldn’t endure more of these toxic cancer treatments.  So I reached out to them.  They reviewed my medical situation, and offered me a scholarship.  I arrived on Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022.”

Marcella found the first two weeks empowering.  “My energy was great, and my mental clarity returned,” said Marcella.  “The third week of detox was hard, but I used the time for rest and reflection.  I feel like my health journey is just beginning here!”

Marcella is so grateful to the amazing OHI staff.  “Everyone here is so loving and supportive,” said Marcella.  “Whether you want to recharge your body, mind, and spirit, or whether you’re facing an overwhelming health opportunity like me, OHI will completely change your life.  This scholarship has truly saved me.”

Please consider contributing to the OHI Scholarship Fund to help those in need experience the benefits of the OHI program. Over the course of our 45 years, OHI has provided scholarships to individuals who could not afford to otherwise attend. In most years, we have been able to fulfill all requests for assistance through the generosity of our community. OHI invites you to join us in celebrating our healing mission with a tax-deductible gift. Your contribution will help to make our community stronger, healthier, and more vibrant.

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Optimum Health Institute is a non-profit, religious organization. Your donation is tax-deductible.