Thousands of people have overcome cancer against incredible odds, and Kelly Turner has made a career out of studying these cases—1,500 of them and counting. She calls it radical remission, or people who have experienced a complete reversal of a serious or terminal cancer diagnosis.
In October 2016, she led a workshop at Omega for more than 60 people, teaching the nine key healing factors that she discovered can help people heal, including changing eating habits, lowering stress, strengthening intuition, and developing a daily spiritual practice.
Being In the Right Place at the Right Time
Anna Hutchinson received scan results the night before she arrived at Omega. Her cancer had spread, again.
At the age of 38, Hutchinson was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer, which can be hard to treat and has a 5-year survival rate of about 11 percent. She is now four years into her healing journey and searching for answers after conventional treatments have not stopped the spread of cancer in her body.
“In my heart, I’ve always felt that there’s a natural cure for cancer,” the scholarship attendee told Omega. “If my body created it, my body can also heal it.”
Hutchinson had a magic moment upon arriving at Omega. At registration, a young girl caught her eye. She said she was at Omega for a mother-daughter workshop happening that weekend, too. It turns out her name was Sage, which is the name of her daughter who passed 15 years ago from a brain tumor. Sage’s mom name was Anna.
“Every hair stood up on my body,” Hutchinson said. “I knew it was a miracle right there and I was in the right place.”
She had experimented with healthy eating before coming to Omega but said she learned so much at the workshop and from the meals at the Dining Hall.
“One thing that really struck me is that only two of the healing factors have to do with diet, the other seven are all emotional and spiritual,” she said.
Hutchinson explored those factors in a morning yoga session. She was surprised she was able to get through the class and later that afternoon realized that her ongoing pain had subsided. She credits not only the yoga teacher but also the environment at Omega.
“The energy is so different at Omega," she said. "Life is so simplified and it’s wonderful to be surrounded by nature. I didn’t want to leave. You know so many vacations leave you with that feeling of needing a vacation, but I felt like I wanted to stay. To be able to see and hear from those who have beat the odds was just life changing.”
Taking a Dance Break
Maria Marewski, another scholarship attendee who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, echoed Hutchinson's sentiment about coming to the workshop. She chose an unconventional route for healing, rejecting chemo, radiation, and surgery.
“Going this route has been a lonely journey in that it is so hard to find people to connect with whom I can even talk to about cancer from this perspective, let alone find professionals in the field who will support this approach,” Marewski said. "There's an aura of hysteria about it and a lot of people project onto me their own fears about it. It was so good to be in this room with a lack of judgment and feeling connected to such a supportive community."
She was surprised that one of her favorite moments from the workshop was a dance break.
"There was a moment when we all danced and it lifted the energy of the whole room," she said. "Those feelings of well-being were exactly what we all needed. I felt really motivated from that."
After the workshop, she says she’s now more aware of her daily life patterns and how to improve them, including taking more time for self-care.
"Kelly really got me thinking about the result of my habits each day, especially the habits of thinking and feeling," she said. "I really got to look at my patterns. I feel boosted from connecting to others who are seeking an alternative path. I left feeling connected, inspired, grateful, and really hopeful."
© 2017 Omega Institute for Holistic Studies