On March 30, 1996, while administering anesthesia at Marion General Hospital, a feeling of extreme weakness swept over fifty-one year old Dr. Ben Sanidad, and he slipped to the floor. After being helped to a gurney and resting he felt strong enough to stand up again. Another doctor urged Ben to stay overnight for tests.
The next morning an endoscopy revealed a small, fast-growing tumor on his esophagus. This grim diagnosis of esophageal cancer sounded in Dr. Sanidad’s ears as a death sentence. It seemed there was nothing he could do, so he numbly resigned himself to his fate. He had personally seen the rapid physical decline of patients with this condition and expected to live no more than six months longer. It seemed hopeless, with no possibility of seeing his children grow up or of enjoying his wife’s companionship, no chance to get serious about his relationship with God.
But wait—what about prayer? Ben wondered if God would even listen after he had ignored Him for so long. “Oh, God, please hear me,” Ben prayed. “I’m powerless to face this problem alone. Before I die, Lord, help me draw closer to Esther, the kids, and to You,” he pleaded.
Indeed, God was listening, and in a marvelous way, He completely answered Ben’s prayer.
While waiting for the surgery that would remove the tumor prior to chemotherapy, Ben began reading his Bible and earnestly praying for guidance and healing, if this was God’s will. “God was my only hope,” he says. Ben’s children left school to be by his side.
His wife Esther contacted many friends to request prayer for Ben. She encouraged him to exercise faith in God’s way. Ben was anointed in their home, and his faith began to grow.
After surgery, due to complications, chemotherapy was delayed for several weeks. During this time, Ben and Esther researched the two most common cancer treatments: radiation and chemotherapy. The statistics were bleak and unpromising, so they researched alternative treatments. Ben also read Counsels on Diet and Foods and Ministry of Healing, by E.G. White.
As he read, Ben began to make lifestyle changes. He quit taking all medications and put off chemotherapy. He contacted Hartland Lifestyle Education Center. With God’s help, Ben turned his back on all he had learned as a physician and headed in a different direction—God’s way of healing.
At Hartland Lifestyle Education Center, Ben entered wholeheartedly into the program. He learned about God’s eight natural remedies and other things medical schools don’t teach. During the eighteen-day program, Ben’s strength gradually returned, and he began to feel health and joy again. Upon his returning home, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances saw the radical change and asked, “What has made the difference?” Ben has had many opportunities to give his testimony of God’s healing mercy and power.
Ben’s personal testimony in his book Choosing to Live is a most effective means of sharing the good news that it is possible to maintain or regain health by following God’s plan.
Over ten years have passed since the original diagnosis, and Ben is still following God’s plan for health. The cancer is still in remission. On many occasions, he has shared God’s principles of health with patients at Marion General Hospital, where he works.