by Sabrina Petersen
Can I do this? Doris asked herself when she first came to Hartland’s Lifestyle Education Center (LEC) for an 18-day program. She was up against diabetes, obesity, hypertension, congestive heart failure, lymphoma in her legs, and having to walk with a cane. Her protocol would involve stretching, walking, massage, hydrotherapy, and a vegan diet for the next 18 days—and she didn’t even like vegan food!
She soon realized the answer to her first question. “After I found out I could do it, my second thought was, Will I be able to get rid of this cane?”
Doris had already surmounted many obstacles prior to her arrival.
The story began when Hartland’s Three Angels’ Chorale sang at her church in Pennsylvania. Through contact with some students, she learned more about the LEC. She really wanted to attend the program, but could she afford it?
“Oh, no,” she had laughed when Angela Pulley, the director, told her the price.
“Well, wait a minute,” Angela had responded. “We’re going to pray about it.” That prayer began opening the way for Doris. She set to work with fundraising ideas; through the help of friends and church family in hosting a spaghetti dinner, God provided the needed amount.
When she came, God continued opening doors, including solving her dislike for the vegan diet. “I fell in love with my first meal.” More importantly, she enjoyed the supportive environment created by the staff. “I appreciate their willingness to work with people, to help people like me—people that have severe health problems. They always smiled, they were humble, and they did their job lovingly.”
God’s hand could be seen in Doris’s improvement. She was able to bring her diabetes under control, significantly decreasing her medications. The severe swelling in her legs decreased, and she found herself needing her cane less. Whereas before she had walked slumped over—even comparing her gait to that of a 90-year-old—she says, “Praise God, I can stand straight now!”
Doris left with a new motivation to improve her health. “I plan on sticking to the vegan diet and continuing with my exercise. I have no doubt that with God’s help I’m going to meet my goals of really throwing away that cane—totally—and keeping His temple like He said we should keep it.”