The Life-Changing Impact of Health

By Judy Ringstaff -  April 1, 2024


The Life-Changing Impact of Health

After Schade’s first stroke in 2006, he spent five days in a coma, followed by 11 days in the hospital.


On January 6, 2006, Bradley Schade suffered a stroke which left him unable to use the majority of the left side of his body. This was just the first of many serious health incidents which led Schade on a journey that resulted in a wholistic, Bible-based lifestyle. After Schade’s first stroke in 2006, he spent five days in a coma, followed by 11 days in the hospital. For the next several years, Schade says, he tried to take better care of his health. His first step was to give up drugs and alcohol. Despite sober living for 12 years, Schade continued to gain weight rapidly, reaching 230 pounds in 2018. “This was the heaviest I’d ever been in my whole life,” Schade says.

Schade was not always in such poor health. “I was once very athletic,” Schade says, “I weighed about 160 pounds.” However, after his marriage in 1991, Schade quit playing basketball and softball, “I traded it all in for eating!” Schade says. After 15 years of a fairly sedentary lifestyle, Schade suffered his first stroke in 2006. Although he tried his hardest to control his weight, he was fighting a losing battle.

Schade often traveled to Florida for work and in January 2018, he was there finishing out a work commitment. Just as his contract was about to expire, he suffered a heart attack. Schade knew that all that he had been trying was not enough.

As soon as he was able, Schade called a medical missionary acquaintance, who came down to Florida. “She stayed with me for 12 days,” Schade says. She cooked Schade healthy meals, prescribed natural preventatives for heart health, and encouraged him to walk “three to five times a day, a mile to a mile and a half each walk.” Her efforts paid off, Schade reports. When he had arrived in Florida, he was 230 pounds. He had lost 11 on his own, before his heart attack, by doing a strict smoothie diet, bringing him down to 218. When the medical missionary left after just over two weeks, Schade weighed in at 182 pounds.

This first encounter with a plant-based, active lifestyle impressed Schade. He followed it for a year and remained in relatively good health. However, by 2023, he had gained considerable weight and was hospitalized for six days due to poor health.

Schade attends the Central church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and when a Start ANew health program with Dr. John Kelly was announced, he was anxious to attend. Schade had previously experienced the power of a plant-based, active lifestyle and knew that it was the only way for him to get back to good health.

Schade began attending the class on October 15. Start ANew was an intense daily program, lasting anywhere from two to eight hours. Monday through Friday the program was from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, on Sabbaths from 1:00 to 8:00 pm, and on Sundays from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm.

The program was incredibly structured. When attendees arrived, there was a cooking demonstration of “something really, really healthy,” says Schade. Following the demonstration, all attendees went on a 20-minute walk. “After every meal you walk for 20 minutes,” explains Schade. After the walk, attendees watched a 20-45 minute video about wholistic health, followed by breakout sessions. Every day varied. Some days attendees would exercise, and other days they would receive natural treatments, such as hydrotherapy.

Walking, at the beginning of the program, was incredibly difficult for Schade. “I had been hospitalized,” he says, “and I couldn’t even walk 20 minutes. People had to bring me in from those first walks because I was having chest pains and difficulty breathing.” Now, after following the program’s lifestyle for several months, Schade reports that “after all this walking, I am having little chest pain—a 1.5 on a scale of 10 compared to the 3 to 5 pain from before.”

Every evening, attendees were sent home with breakfast for the next morning, which had been prepared by Kelly’s wife, Sally. “For 14 days they made all my food for me,” Schade says. “We were told not to eat anything except what they prepared.” For lunch, there was a delivery “between one and three.”

“My diet was transformed,” Schade says. “They loaned me a crockpot for the program, and I’ve since purchased my own and make whole grains.” Schade saw the effects on his diet immediately. At the beginning of the program, he was administered an all-natural appetite suppressant. “On day eight,” Schade says, “I couldn’t even eat all they gave me, and at the beginning I’d be eating off of other’s plates!” Eating and enjoying smaller portions has stuck with him even after the program.

“If someone told me on October 1 that the thought of eating ice cream would make me sick to my stomach, I would have laughed at them.” Schade says. “But now, there’s no question. I can feel inside of my body the reversal of genetic dispositions. I can feel a healing inside me. My breathing is more regular.”

Following the completion of the program and after continuing to implement the wholistic lifestyle taught by Dr. Kelly and his team, Schade saw another miraculous occurrence with his own health. Due to the hydrotherapy treatments and lifestyle changes which occurred during the course of the program, Schade saw a significant improvement to the left side of his body, which had been almost completely unusable for 17 years. “I haven’t been able to feel the bottom of my foot since 2006,” Schade says. “I can now feel my foot, and scrunch my toes.” Additionally, Schade is “starting to get fine motor skills back in his left hand.” Schade credits the hot and cold hydrotherapy treatments as the reason for his recovery after 17 years of dysfunction.

Hydrotherapy uses hot and cold water to treat wounds, relieve pain, congestion, and much, much more. The use of water is safe and effective—a gift from God. Ellen White often speaks of the use of hydrotherapy. Modern medicine is barely beginning to catch up with the principles laid out by God in the Spirit of Prophecy.

“This lifestyle is God’s way,” Schade says, “He doesn’t speak anything that isn’t for a human being’s benefit.” By following the health plans laid out in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy, “you’re making God smile,” Schade says. A wholistic, Biblical lifestyle such as that taught during the Start A New program depends first and foremost on the Creator for spiritual health and nourishment. It follows Biblical principles, embracing elements found in nature for nutrition and health, which God has given freely for human consumption (see Genesis 1:29-31).

“There is eating for strength and health,” Schade continues, “and then there is eating for insanity.” Following biblical and Spirit of Prophecy plans for health create a lifestyle which molds a person into a temple for the Lord. Schade explains that what you eat is similar to what you read. “What I eat can be compared to reading my Bible,” he says. Whatever a person consumes, whether it is food or media, whatever one reads or sees or eats has an impact them and their body, which is the temple of God.

Individuals interested in learning more about the Start ANew program can visit for more information.