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I’m 46 years old ,a dad to two beautiful teenage daughters and a 27 year partner to a beautiful and wonderful wife. I run a paintball field in the UK and during 1997 whilst doing some building work on my site I collapsed and had need of a doctor. I had immediate blood tests and was admitted to hospital that day. During assessment I felt clearly that something was seriously wrong but that I would survive.

I was admitted, and was informed by my consultant that I had hairy cell and that I was only the second person in my county to have been so diagnosed in the last 15 years. His assessment, based on all available evidence was an 85% cure rate and that my need for surgery (splenectamy) was immediate, due to the disease enlarging my spleen to the size of a baby.

The collapse on my Paintball site saved my life (and yet I felt that fate determined I was not going to die) it was I know now, bringing me to a new personal experience from which I feel that I have grown beyond measure.

In 1992 I had cause to visit the county of Devon (England) with my teammates to help run a Paintball seminar .During the visit the lady who owned the facility asked me If she could help, me. I was carrying a noticeable injury to my ankle which had been sprained and I took it that she was suggesting a bandage. I told her that I was fine and she continued with her business. Later in the evening she asked me the same question and I felt I had to ask her what she meant. She sat me on a chair and placed her hands on my foot,it was calming but I felt no sensation of anything other than the warmth of her hands. When I stood the jarring pain that had accompanied every footstep had gone and I immediately new that something amazing had occurred.

A fellow teammate ,John commented that he received ‘healing’ from a lady in his town and he asked if this lady could do anything for a continual pain that he had at the base of his neck. He sat down and she took his head in her hands, I was immediately overcome with an awareness to place my hands on Johns knees and told him and her as much. He had no problem with that and she just gave me the most amazing smile as if to say step forward. That moment changed my life, as I distinctly felt a presence which was calming but overpowering almost making me want to pass out.

I had to insist that I spoke to this lady and to explore the emotions that were running through my body. She told me that her name was Joyce and that she would be happy to talk for as long as I wanted. She told me that I would work as she did for the good of others and that she recognized me as such, as soon a she saw me arriving at the hotel.

That was nearly 10 years ago and in that time I at first did not truly comprehend her words. I knew that incident had changed my life irrevocably but I do not think that I was prepared for what was to come.She has since become a great friend (almost duality with word and deed) and we often ‘work’ together on an almost daily basis. I have only recently decided to go online and installed a modem (after years of being hounded by my kids to do so) simply because a new business venture (this year) demands that my customers work online for quotations etc.

Today, I decided to put the word ‘Hairy Cell Leukemia’ into a search engine. Many sites came up and I pressed buttons to access the personal testimony of others who have been diagnosed and treated like me. Your entry came up, Woody, and I felt compelled to write to you after reading your entry and reading between the lines your commitment to the well being of others (especially kids who ended up on the wrong path ). You did feel your dad and that feels right to confirm your instinct (you knew anyway).

I believe that every situation has a purpose when its difficult we can run away or we can have faith to follow our destiny. My healing hands have become fairly well known over the years and for me I will always still see the good in everybody and offer my friendship. I truly believe my faith in oneness and open heart, open mind philosophy allowed me to experience major surgery and 2 courses of chemo without fear or trepidation. I still have residual cells in my bone marrow. During hospital time it brought me into contact with patients who found coping with cancer extremely fearful and as such making their own journey back to health (if that is their destiny) debilitating ,negative and stressful to the point of giving up .

I also found that the caring staff doctors and nurses have to much to do and are also at their wits end(another story re: UK national health system). Before my diagnosis I had counseled and laid hands on many people including cancer sufferers and those trying to come to terms with their last months of life and now my destiny is to be one of them.I carried on doing that in hospital. It has made me stronger and I believe, allows trust to develop when someone says’ how do you know what its like’? Why should I care?

I believe that my destiny is to continue living a ‘normal’ life but when circumstances present themselves I have enough faith and strength to reach out and not let a meeting or ‘chance’ happening occur without offering the gift of healing mind or body or both .I truly believe that this opportunity is bestowed on me to enable others who have gone before me (and ask nothing in return other than faith in humanity), to work through me.

I also believe that I have come closer to God in the last few years and have come to the conclusion that you only need to offer unconditional love or caring to be accepted by all men regardless of their beliefs.That has been the toughest one to master and I’m still practicing.

Power to your elbow Woody(as we Brits say). Keep offering, what they seem to be getting from you.

Steve Collins.

Northants, England.

24th January 2002.