One beautiful March morning in 1996, Dr. Benjamin R Sanidad, Jr., 51, began the darkest journey of his life. He collapsed while administering anesthesia for surgery at Marion General Hospital. When a friend/colleague looked down an endoscope into Dr. Sanidad's stomach, his eyes filled with tears. By then, Dr. Sanidad writes, "I was ready to hear the diagnosis. But I was not as ready to hear the location." It was cancer of the esophagus, a disease usually fatal within months.
Resigned to die, Dr. Sanidad accepted treatment to appease his colleagues. He tried to pray, asking God to draw his family closer. "I didn't even know if God had heard me," he writes. But after surgery, something changed in Dr. Sanidad. With the support of family and friends, he began to fight for survival. He refused chemotherapy and opted for an alternative, natural treatment. He also renewed and deepened his faith in God. Four years later, Dr. Sanidad returned to work.