The Inspiration

Picture a woman working on a ranch somewhere in the desolate lands of West Texas. Her cheeks are flushed and her brow is laced with sweat from manual labor and rays of the sun. Though her face is stern, it’s only in concentration of the task at hand. Inside she’s smiling with feelings of accomplishment and security. She loves her family, herself, and her life, although it’s not a life for everyone. Her days often consist of being horseback before sunrise and working through sunset. If needed, she can change a tire, rope renegade livestock, fend off predators, and get home just in time to cook an amazing meal for her family. There is little she cannot accomplish or overcome with hard work, common sense, and perseverance. Can you picture her? This is a West Texas Woman.

Now picture a West Texas Woman being told by her doctor that she has 3rd stage colon cancer with only three months to live. Her common sense and perseverant traits tell her chemotherapy is not an option. But in that moment, there is no other option.

Picture another West Texas Woman who has dedicated her life to helping others, through the education of health and wellness, being told by the masses that Chemotherapy was the only treatment option for her friend with cancer, and that this treatment would diminish if not eliminate her friend’s quality of life.


Finally, picture a third West Texas Woman who has been told that she may be limited in life experiences because her pains will increase with age due to physical issues, which have yet to be cleary identified. For this reason, this woman has dedicated her life to not only experiencing the highest quality of life each day possible, but also to helping others to experience the same. She does not want to miss a moment.

Though these West Texas Women share similar traits and backgrounds, they lead very different lives today. Despite their different path choices, a phenomenal purpose and mission was born because their paths crossed. A purpose and mission that may revolutionize the cancer industry while inspiring a higher quality of life.

The first woman is a friend of the family from back in the 1990’s named Jo Lynn. I knew Jo Lynn all throughout my childhood due to our connections in ranching and the rodeo circuit. Around 1997, she was diagnosed with 3rd stage colon cancer and was given only three months to live. She refused chemotherapy and approached my mother, who was known to be an advocate of healthy, nontoxic choices. While mom didn’t have an immediate answer, through her network, a solution was found. Mom was given a video of a doctor speaking about an effective, nontoxic, cancer medication, offered by LifeForce Hospital. Although its cancer medication originated in the United States, it was currently being offered in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico for immediate access.

The second woman earlier described is my mother, Charlene. At the time, in addition to our family ranch, Charlene also co-owned a health food store and was and is currently a promoter of health and wellbeing. Back to the story of Jo Lynn, after seeing the video of this effective, nontoxic, cancer medication, my mom accompanied Jo Lynn to LifeForce Hospital for treatment. It was a two-day, outpatient procedure. After the first day, Jo Lynn was in such good spirits that they went shopping at the local mall. There are two remarkable points in Jo Lynn’s shopping desire. One: Jo Lynn is not really one for mall shopping, and two: it was quite uncommon for someone to feel good enough to shop right after a medicinal cancer treatment. Several months after the treatment, Jo Lynn’s lab work showed the cancer dissipating. For the last approximately 19 years, Jo Lynn has been cancer free. Mom was so inspired by this outcome, that she has worked as a United States patient consultant for LifeForce Hospital ever since, and has witnessed multitudes of people with the same or similar experiences.

The third woman described above is myself. I had the most incredible childhood on a West Texas Ranch, near the Devil’s River, north of Del Rio, Texas. But since birth I have struggled with numerous, and mostly unidentified, health issues. Allergies and injuries are the only thing that I can speak to with certainty, but I also have experienced chronic neck, back, shoulder, and joint pains most of my life. This, however, does not stop me from living my life as though it were an adventurous movie. With that said, my aliments are little compared to those who battle cancer, but my determination and life passions are something which I hope to use to help others, whether they are struggling with a degenerative disease or not.

These three stories were tied together in 2007 when my mother created So Live, Inc. to fulfill the mission of sharing information about effective, nontoxic, cancer medications that are working their way through the FDA approval process. The flagship cancer treatment is the one that Jo Lynn, and many other friends and acquaintances, have received since my family first learned of this treatment. In 2013, I was appointed Executive Director right after law school. With the knowledge and direct experience from my mother, my inherited passion for life and living it well, and our amazing Board Members, was born. From our So Live online platform, we began hosting inspiring, fun, and sometimes exhilarating fundraising events, which we call LIFE Events. The purpose is to achieve our mission by raising awareness for effective, nontoxic, cancer medications through impactful events and facilitating a higher quality of life for all. While you could say our vision is to ultimately conquer cancer, I would have to say our true vision is to increase the quality of life. Regardless of what ails us, we want to wake up and be excited about the journey ahead, each and every day. Join us on this mission and journey to make each day a wonderful moment – a So Live Moment. 

  - Shanna Schulze (Barnes), Executive Director

“There are treatments out there that are capable of conquering cancer, while giving us a higher quality of life. They are just not available in the U.S. I want to change that. We deserve a choice.”

Charlene Barnes, Founder

Don't miss a single
So Live Moment!