Ivelisse is a young and vibrant wife and mother of four. She is also a stage 4 colon cancer survivor. Her journey begins long before her diagnosis. Her father died of colon cancer when he was in his late thirties. She knew that family history put her at higher risk of developing colon cancer at a young age and was diligent about getting regular colonoscopies, eating organic and exercising. Despite this, she developed colon cancer more than a year before she was due for her next colonoscopy. She was just 37.
A week after diagnosis, Ivelisse had 15 inches of her colon removed along with 28 lymph nodes. The pathology report would later show that the tumor had perforated the colon wall and that the cancer was present in one of the 28 lymph nodes, “a very good sign” according to the doctors. Obviously the presence of cancer outside the colon wall necessitated further treatment. Avulse and her husband Jimmy consulted a variety of doctors, did much reading and research, and bathed the whole process in prayer. They concluded that conventional chemotherapy did not offer the best success rate. In her case chemotherapy would only increase her survival rate by only 10-13%. Instead they chose a complementary and alternative approach. Surprisingly, her oncologist agreed to continue to monitor her despite refusing chemotherapy.
Ivelisse was about a week into her immune therapy when she went in for her 5 week post operation appointment. Her oncologist gave them the shocking news that the cancer had spread to her liver. This put her at stage IV colon cancer. Ivelisse went in for surgery once again to remove the tumor. They removed about 20% of her liver. After surgery, Ivelisse began her prescribed protocol by her complementary and alternative doctor which included daily alternating injections of mistletoe and thymus, cimetidine, homeopathic remedies and additional supplements. The great news is that six years later, Ivelisse beat the 8% survival rate of stage IV colon cancer and is COMPLETELY CANCER FREE! She is still following her protocol under the care of her complementary and alternative doctor, and monitored by her oncologist, GI doctor and OBGYN.
After facing, fighting, and overcoming stage IV cancer, Ivelisse and Jimmy established Believe Big in 2011 to help families navigate the cancer journey. They found that even though Jimmy spent 20 years in the health prevention and wellness industry, it was still extremely difficult to find reliable resources that addressed healing for the whole person — physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.
Believe Big is standing in that gap to provide patients with the tools and resources needed to be their own advocate for their health. They provide up to date information in one place so patients and family members can download important questions to ask oncologists, suggested
steps on what to do when diagnosed, how to find a complementary doctor that is trained to boost immune function, fight the mental battle using God’s word to eliminate fear, and more. By God’s grace, these tools helped Ivelisse win her battle with cancer. Believe Big!
To learn more about Believe Big, click here.