An Open Door Leads To Healing

Acela and the team at truecare

Acela asked herself: “Will I always be like this? I prayed every day, I told God, I really need this, my kids need me, I am all they have, if you really love me, open these doors to healing.” Acela’s journey of abdominal pain and heavy uterine bleeding began 2 years ago. Her physician told her that the ultrasound and biopsy showed uterine fibroids. Scared of surgery, Acela tried home remedies “always with the hope that it would go away.”

During that time, Acela could not miss work and she recalls feeling embarrassed and ashamed. “I would stain my clothes and would have to keep working. I started packing multiple clothing options.” Acela was feeling hopeless and frustrated. She constantly felt weak, experienced hip and leg pain, anemia, and exhaustion.
The most challenging part was explaining everything to her sons. “My kids would ask me to go somewhere, and I would say of course my loves, we will go. And then the day of, I could not go.” Acela saw her world get smaller and smaller, limited by her fear of a sudden heavy period.

One day, Acela was hemorrhaging and needed a blood transfusion. She was referred by TrueCare to Champions for Health Project Access San Diego (PASD). Surgery had a wait of 6-12 months. “I said that God put the right people in my life at the right time. Ms. Evelyn (PASD care manager) came to my house and helped me fill out the application, it was incredible! Who does that for you? No one!”
Surgery was scheduled 3 months later at Palomar Medical Center with Dr. Eimaneh Mostofian, an OB/GYN with TrueCare, Project Access volunteer and Champions for Health Board Member. Acela was shocked “On one hand I was so excited because I was going to have surgery, and on the other side I did not feel ready.” Dr. Mostofian shared, “With Project Access, I am able to serve patients locally. It fulfills that place in my heart in a professional realm. I can make an impact throughout a woman’s life, all in one day. The scope of what is possible is endless.”

Dr. Mostofian shared, “The trust that a patient has in their physician is necessary, so the physician’s responsibility is overwhelming and a blessing during those vulnerable moments.”
As Acela is recuperating from surgery, she has a wide smile, a sense of peace, and such gratitude. She stated “I am so thankful to everyone. Without the doctors volunteering time, I don’t think I would be here.” As Acela heals, she has been taking her boys to school and they are already making plans to go out on weekends.

Since 2008, Project Access has facilitated $27 million in care for 9,600+ uninsured patients just like Acela by providing free consultations and surgeries — all thanks to the dedication of volunteer specialty physicians. Open doors for a Project Access patient by contributing to Champions for Health at


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Esteban Villanueva