By Sheri L. Stuart, Staff Writer
FLINT, Mich. – Minister Donald Alston said years of poor eating habits combined with a family history of high blood pressure are what led to the breaking point in his life. When the dangerous combination finally caught up with him, the medical diagnosis wasn’t good. In fact, it was bleak.
“I was told by my physician that I should get ready to plan my funeral,” said Alston, 39.
The diagnosis was the wake-up call that demanded an immediate lifestyle change, including blood pressure medication, which Alston admits he often neglected to take as prescribed. Change eventually came to the Alston household but not before the young minister endured two hospitalizations, diminished kidney function and temporary blindness.
“I really thought it was over at the time,” Alston said. “I started praying and meditating. Then one day I heard God say to me, Peace be still. I’m not done with you yet.”
Alston’s wife, Tiffany, said her faith is what sustained her as she cared for Donald and the couple’s three children – Christopher, Christian and Cameron.
“When he was in the hospital, people would just come out of nowhere and help me out with the kids. I was trusting in God and he put everything in place for us,” Tiffany said.
“I was just trying to stay focused on only what mattered. I had to separate what was important in life. Anything that wasn’t important, I didn’t focus on. I focused on the kids, going to work and his health,” she said.
The Alstons researched ways to improve Donald’s kidney function and decided to overhaul the family diet that now includes more water and fresh fruits and vegetables. Family favorites like spaghetti sauce are made from scratch. Pork is off the menu they said.
In response, Alston lost 100 pounds in 12 months and is now back to work full-time.
“I still have some way to go yet, but I feel better than ever,” said Alston who shares his journey in his newly released book, “I am Healed Walking in Faith.” Alston said God gave him a second chance and he’s rediscovered life. Minister
Alston and his family attend Renewed Faith Church. He said he looks forward to sharing his story as a source of encouragement for others. A book signing is scheduled February 23, 24 and 25 at Genesee Valley Mall.