“The Anatomy of a Miracle … A story of love, courage and family
By: Kimberly Puffenbarger, President of OneLifeUSA
When I was only 21years old, a new college graduate with future plans of medical school, my world was turned upside down…
I received a phone call telling me that my mother had been diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer, stage IV, and her prognosis was not good. She would be going to MD Anderson Cancer Institute in Houston, TX for treatment. I was told that I needed to come home. She would need someone with her. Her husband’s job would not allow him to fill this role – I was needed to go to Houston to be with my Mom; if she was lucky, she was going to be there for a while.
At the time of her diagnosis my mother, Jana Brabec, was a 42 year old, beautiful runway model. For someone who had always taken good care of her body and had depended on its looks for her livelihood; this news was especially devastating. However, once the basics began soak in, we realized that it wasn’t her physical looks that were going to matter: It was whether or not she was going to live.
For those of you who may not be familiar with inflammatory breast cancer, it is quite different from the from other types of breast cancer. There are major differences in its symptoms, prognosis (outlook), and treatment. It can be harder to diagnose, tends to occur at an earlier age, is more aggressive—it grows and spreads much more quickly, and is harder to treat successfully than most other types of breast cancer. It is never found at an early stage. It is always at least stage IIIB (locally advanced) when it is first diagnosed (because the breast cancer cells have grown into the skin) and has often already spread to distant parts of the body when it is diagnosed, making it stage IV (metastatic).
Because my mother’s cancer was already stage IV when she was diagnosed, her prognosis for survival was not good. She was given the opportunity to participate in an experimental program that would involve a rigorous schedule of intense chemotherapy, followed by surgery, then more chemotherapy, then radiation, and then more chemotherapy. If she made it through the program, her treatment would last anywhere from 2 ½ to 3 years!
The upside was this was her best and maybe only chance for survival. The downside, besides the obvious intense treatment schedule, was that once in the program she had very little – if any say in course of medications or procedures. Additionally, if she suffered any setbacks that prevented her from keeping up with the experimental program, she would be dismissed from the program. Her biggest challenge (besides living) would be to remain illness free while undergoing her treatment. Because the chemo would wipe out her immune system, her chances of contracting an illness were tremendous. The common cold could literally kill her, or make her so sick that she would be booted out of program.
With little choice, she signed the paper work and became a cancer treatment guinea pig.
The personnel at MD Anderson were fabulous. They encouraged us to become informed about my mother’s condition, her medications, and how she planned on fighting this battle. We learned that even though she had no input into her medical treatment, she did have a great deal of say in many aspects of her cancer challenge. She was told how much better she would feel, and possibly perform, if she took an active role in things she did have control over: her diet, pain management, exercise program, etc. They also told us that they would help us pursue any avenue she was interested in. They would connect us with experts in whatever area she wanted; be it – meditation, acupuncture, laughter therapy, yoga, nutrition, etc.
That’s how we became interested in things like vitamins and herbs and learned that they may be beneficial in keeping her healthy during her cancer treatments. With the assistance of many talented people, a vitamin and herbal program was set up for my mom. She took them faithfully, along with eating a low fat/high protein diet, and followed an exercise program she could handle.
My mother was one of the lucky ones. She made it through her treatment ordeal and became a cancer survivor. She fought with everything she had and she beat the odds.
My mother felt that the vitamin and herbal combination she took played a role in her survival. She wrote, “I know the antioxidant formula played a role in saving my life. Now, there are mounds of scientific data and research that prove: Taking antioxidants are fundamental to disease prevention. I hope you will gain from my experience: Realize there are informed choices you make each day that impact your health and the health of those you love. I believe that taking OneLifeUSA supplements is a good start. Perhaps this will lead to others: A diet low in saturated fats, exercise and a daily dose of laughter!”
During her long treatment we saw so many others fighting their individual cancer battles. We noticed that many of these people did not lose their battle to cancer, but their actual cause of death was a secondary infection they contracted and could not recover from. This observation made us realize just how important it had been to keep my mother illness free during her cancer treatments. Therefore, after her treatments were completed, she decided that she wanted to continue to keep taking the vitamin and herbs she had been so faithful to over the past few years. She felt that if they had helped keep her healthy with a wiped out immune system, they would certainly be beneficial now that recovery was complete. Problem was; she found it all but impossible to purchase individual products that would amount to the same ingredients in the same dosages.
That’s when over twenty years ago, with the guidance from those who had formulated her plan, she was put into contact with a vitamin manufacturing lab. The ingredient list was formalized and within a few months she had everything in one capsule. This was the birth of our Advanced Anti-Oxidant in a base of Echinacea and Garlic. She now had all of her ‘super secret’ ingredients in one easy to swallow capsule.
The problem was she had over 500 bottles of it! That’s when she got the idea that if this helped her, maybe it could help others… and the FREE bottle program was born. In no time she had requests pouring in. Her orders for more products were soon in thousands and to this day we continue to ship out FREE bottles of our Advanced Anti-Oxidant formula.
Maybe this product was the deciding factor in saving my mother’s life; or maybe it was a combination of things including God’s hand on her shoulder.
With all of our present day knowledge, we know why the formula from over 30 years ago, probably does work in helping to prevent disease and illness. We are proud that this single formula has grown into over 50 – yet it remains our #1 top seller.
Today words like ‘antioxidants’ and ‘free radicals’ are common place. We are acutely more aware of germs and how they spread. Hand sanitizers are no longer just for doctor’s offices and hospitals. Additionally, after things like the Swine Flu epidemic, most of us now make some sort of effort to prevent illness.
With thanks to my Mom for her courage, her insight, and her love; I encourage you to follow her lead. OneLifeUSA is pleased to play a role in keeping you healthy. We are here to help make sure that ‘You May Never Be Sick Again’.