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Name: Hilda R.

Age: 43

Ornish Site: Hawaii Pacific Health – Straub Medical Center

Health Challenges: Mini stroke, hypertension

Greatest Motivation: I’ve lost 13 pounds so far but my overall goal is to eliminate my medications. I’m on the right path and am optimistic that I will achieve that goal. I want to be there in the future for my family, especially my nieces. But I also know that in order to be successful, I need to be healthy for me.

Her Story: At 43 years old, a stroke was not something that I expected. It’s not something that my doctor or nurses expected either for someone my age. But, in early 2016, I found myself in the hospital recovering from a mini-stroke. I was concerned and so was my family. My sister, who is a nurse, told me about the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program – a coworker of hers had experienced great medical results with the program so she thought I would benefit as well. I decided to enroll in the program and am so blessed that I did!

The motto I use with my kindergarten students is “new day, new choices.”

From the start of the program, I had the full support of my family. My dad and I are the cooks in the family and we’ve had such a fun time learning how to prepare new foods together. In our family heritage, most foods are fried; so learning a new way to cook has been exciting. We’ve found ways to retain our culture by tweaking the recipes – for example, now we bake our favorite foods instead of frying them. Whenever we have family gatherings, I bring program-friendly foods for others to try and people are always surprised by how good it is!

As part of the program, I also feel like my family has grown to include my cohort members because we became so close. We were from all different backgrounds and ages, but we are related nonetheless. I look up to everyone in the cohort. Being one of the youngest in the group was a blessing for me; I was able to learn and grow from the other participants’ experiences – in the program and in life. Even with our busy schedules we still communicate, checking in on our Ornish Ohana (which means family in Hawaiian).

I’ve lost 13 pounds so far but my overall goal is to eliminate my medications. I’m on the right path and am optimistic that I will achieve that goal. I want to be there in the future for my family, especially my nieces. But I also know that in order to be successful, I need to be healthy for me. The mini-stroke was a big scare and I don’t want to go through that again – especially now that I know I can prevent it.

The motto I use with the kindergarten students is “new day, new choices.” This motto, I think, extends into the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program. If we falter, tomorrow is a new day. Don’t get frustrated; the program will work. Remaining flexible and open-minded are keys to success with the program, but in the end, it’s up to you. Just continue to take baby steps and the success will come – it has for me!

 

 

Contributed by

Adam Farina
Contributor

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