How LeTa got here.
I want to share with you why I’m on stage here today. Right out of College I landed in San Francisco working for Levi’s when I received a phone call from my sister telling me that the doctor said that she had stage 4 non-hodgkins lymphoma that had metastasized to every vital organ in her body. You have to understand that my sister is one of my most favorite people in the world. Within four days I packed up my life and headed back to Cape Cod where I was from.
I’m the kind of person that when your family needs you, you show up. At the time my sister was a waitress and her husband a carpenter and they had 2 little kids, ages 3 and 8 at the time, with no health insurance.
Now you have to understand that I grew up in the early 70’s. We had heard of chiropractic and had experienced it, but we had no other exposure to any concept of healing or a healing modality. There was no talk about foods causing inflammation and how most likely the diet we were eating was acidic and so forth.
So my sister had decided that she would go through chemotherapy out of a hospital in Boston which was a couple hours away.
She had cancer in too many areas for radiation, but she was part of a clinical trial of 20 individuals to do 6 months of chemo. This trial was about how much chemo is too much for the vital organs. What ended up happening, is that people started dying in this clinical trial. Doctors said my sister had about 20% chance of survival and as a side note, that particular trial never got approved.
It was difficult to see her bed ridden and sick. I went to “work” and got busy at looking in the Yellow Pages to find out if there was something out there that could help. We had dial-up internet at this point, so I was busy searching Yahoo for any chat rooms that may have suggestions… Luckily for me, my sister trusted me and was open to trying some complementary therapies and approaches to her healing in conjunction with her chemo.
I learned about Michio Kushi and macrobiotic cooking and it opened up our eyes to the fact that food had properties and our digestive system worked better following certain guidelines. I learned about herbal medicine and found a 4-root bitter tea that I would make for her and have her drink. It was nasty but she did it. We brought in a friend who knew yoga and meditation, massage, reflexology, reiki. And lastly, we did prayer.
I’m happy to say She is now 15 years in remission and thriving as a nurse back in our hometown.
I asked myself this question from that experience: why do we as humans have to wait until we get a diagnosis or something extreme happens in our life to make the changes necessary to live a thriving and healthy life? How can I know my body well enough, so that if a doctor does give me a serious diagnosis, I feel empowered enough to know that there are other things I may be able to do.
In the moments I felt like I was going to lose my most favorite person on the planet, I made a choice. I made a conscious choice to be courageous in the face of my number one fear: to lose my best friend. I empowered myself to search for the information we did not have.
Last week, I decided to call my sister to tell her that I was going to share her story on stage with you today. She said to me a few different times during that call that she hopes that people are open to learning about which foods are best for them and being open to using what we call alternative or complementary therapies before we get a diagnosis and especially if we do. My sister was the only person out of those 20 people in that clinical trial that had no lasting side effects. The western doctors said that the only reason she was the only one who didn’t have lasting side effects from the chemotherapy is because of all the adjunct philosophies I brought into her healing. While others from that 20-person group lived, every single one of them lost a spleen or had significant side-effects.
Start With Yourself.
I’m standing here today because I have decided to dedicate my life to educating and empowering individuals to govern over their own bodies. To remind you that you always have a choice. To help people gain the knowledge they need to live the best life possible.
After that whole experience with my sister, I made a trek to Saigon where I was born during the Vietnam War. When you close to death, you usually decide to make sure you have no regrets. Upon returning, I realized that it was time for my next chapter. I knew I wanted to make more people aware of the choices they have around their health. I decided to go to medical school. I was surprised to hear from the western medical doctors I interviewed that they were deterring me from enrolling into a medical school. They said that if i really wanted to help people, I should look into eastern medicine or chiropractic. They were feeling frustrated with pressure of the health insurance companies and the pharmaceuticals. I luckily found Chinese Medicine as the perfect paradigm from which I can use as a healing art and framework when educating around our lifestyle choices. Even though I am Chinese and have never met my mother, who would have passed down to me traditions from my lineage. The world works in mysterious ways. Even though I’ve never met either of my parents, somehow the wisdom of the East found me. And I am here in the United States as a force for the good of all.