Believe Big Story Hope – Lisa Engelke

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Hello. I’m honored to be here tonight and share with you the hope I’ve been given in the face of cancer. At this very moment, I am fighting cancer. Three years ago, I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. I was 35 years old, married to my husband, Ken, and our girls Sam and Layla, were 5 and 3. The news was devastating. It was also baffling. Breast cancer doesn’t run in my family.

And, I was on a health kick and feeling my best when the tumor showed up. Now, “Triple Negative breast cancer” sounds bad, and it is. It is more aggressive in women under 40 and is more difficult to treat than other types of breast cancer. In fact, out of all breast cancers, mine has the lowest 5-year survival rate, of only 14%. To top that off, my first oncologist informed me that conventional cancer treatments would “guarantee a second cancer.” Seven surgeries and three years later, I’m here tonight to celebrate the light that Believe Big has brought into our lives. Believe Big has been steadfast, never giving up on me and giving me plenty of practical help.

They awarded me a wellness grant for IV mistletoe therapy, a house cleaning coupon, a treasured book at Christmastime, and my “fav” a Believe Big mug with the I Will Have No Fear prayer card. I see and read it EVERYDAY, multiple times a day. I use my mug first thing in the morning and last thing before bed to remind me of the gift of hope when I am feeling my worst. I receive amazing support and information from Believe Big at no cost. Believe Big told me about mistletoe, directed me to a physician who could prescribe it, and connected me to a health center with an integrative approach to treat my individual “terrain”.

To this day, I refer to the Believe Big website almost weekly. The “first steps” section was like gold to me when I was newly-diagnosed, emotional and needed someone to tell me what to do next. The website’s comprehensive list of mistletoe doctors state by state is invaluable, along with healthy recipes, ways to navigate safer foods and products, and other tools that launched me into my research journey. I now have a retreat-like in-home studio for the non-toxic therapies that elevate my health and well-being.

My individualized diet and supplements, light exercise, juicing, meditation, on-going mistletoe therapy, and Acupuncture all started with my call to Believe Big. I “Believe Big” and maintain a positive attitude every day. I’ve followed this protocol without conventional treatments and it is working. I stand here today not in full remission, but full of hope. Soon after my diagnosis, I attended the Believe Big Dinner and heard inspiring stories of how to integrate treatments, giving me a big dose of confidence that I could do it, too. I am doing it!

Believe Big teaches how to live with cancer. Believe Big teaches us how to THRIVE with cancer. That’s what I am doing here. I don’t want to die from cancer. I want to live with cancer. I’m convinced that telling our stories is truly a cathartic part of the healing process.

Thank you Believe Big for this night and for the opportunity to speak and to fulfill my purpose, my dream….to be a Hope Giver like you.