“I have no intention of going through chemo,” declares Shirley.

When 89-year-old Shirley Cleveland was diagnosed with colon cancer, she knew she didn’t want chemotherapy and opted for surgery instead. Knowing the risk of surgery at her age, Shirley’s son Scott—the only Seventh-day Adventist in the family—advised her to go through Hartland’s “Lifestyle to Health” program in order to boost her immune system before the surgery.

“I was ready to be completely cleansed out and get back onto something more healthy so that I could normally go through the surgery and avoid the chemo,” Shirleys says. “I also wanted to change my habits so that I could continue on with better health.”

The team at the Lifestyle Education Center (LEC) put together a customized program for Shirley to help her achieve her goals. The regimen included daily charcoal poultices and castor oil packs, specially adapted exercises, as well as hydrotherapy treatments designed to stimulate circulation and expel toxins from the body.

“I think probably the best therapy for me has been the fever baths,” Shirley continues. “I’m seeing the results of toxins being removed. It does drain you to the point that you’re tired a lot, but I feel like that’s just part of healing, because when you’re losing toxins from the body, you’re going to be tired.”

When asked how she enjoyed the food, she announced, “I’m going to become a vegan when I get home!” Although she had a “pretty good diet” and already felt healthy before she came to the LEC, now she has learned the benefits of a plant-based diet. “It’s not going to be hard for me to switch over. The hard part is going to be going home and cleaning out the freezer and the pantry,” she laughs.

“I really appreciate the education that Hartland gives to all of the students here,” she adds. “They are so well rounded that they’re prepared for just about anything in life. Everybody here has been very helpful and they go out of their way to make sure that everything is the way it should be.”

I highly recommend the ‘Lifestyle to Health’ program,” Shirley concludes. “You would not only enjoy it, but you would learn so much and go home with more than what you came for.”