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Jeane Hains-Natural By Necessity

Jim Correll, director Fab Lab ICC at Independence Community College, Independence Kansas 

Jeane Hains became the owner of Natural Food Center in Coffeyville in quite an unexpected way becoming “natural” by necessity after a childhood illness almost claimed her life before she could become an adult. 

I was recently completing a questionnaire before attending a marketing class in Colorado, one of the questions was “How did you get to this place in your career?   I pondered my answer for a while wondering just how I should answer. After all, as I started my adult career, I had never guessed that someday would own a health food store. 

How Did You Come To Own a Health Food Store? 

I answered, “Divine Intervention.” During a later one on one meeting with the instructor the first thing he asked meReally, how did you come to own a health food store?”  My answer again, “Divine Intervention, more than once”, he looked at me puzzled so I explained. 

Growing up on a farm southeast of Altamont, KS, the youngest of nine children to older parents my goal as an eight-year-old was to hang out with my dad as he worked around the farm. Some of my older siblings had serious illnesses such as measles and rheumatic fever before I arrived, but I had always been healthy.  That would all change the summer of 1978.   

The summer started as usualI was busy with farming and raising cattle but one day in June I sprained my ankle.  While recuperating, I was disappointed to be in the house instead of in the field.  After four weeks my ankle still had not healed. X-rays revealed no broken bones, but the doctor was concerned about a swollen lymph node on my neck.  We went to a doctor in Joplin, MO.  Medication shrank the lymph node and a biopsy showed nothing.  As the following weeks passed, pain in my body increased to the point I was unable to walk. Every joint hurt. 

Leukemia at Nine Years 

In August of 1978, two and a half weeks after my 9th birthday, we headed to KU Medical Center I was put in a room and poked with more needles than I ever knew were possible.  Within twenty-four hours the diagnosis had been confirmed with five other major medical centers around the United States, Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. 

The following three plus years consisted of loads of medication and chemotherapy, cranial radiation-a mandatory part of chemo at the time, bone marrow biopsies, spinal taps, x-rays, blood tests and transfusions.  

During those three years several of the other kids in the oncology wing did not survive their cancer battles.  Why was surviving but they were not although I was aware that I had a team of people praying for me, I was just a kid. Fast forward to my teenage years. While attending a camp for kids with cancer, I experienced the same scenario. Why was God allowing me to survive?   

Seeking Natural Remedy 

As an adult I started to see various health related symptoms arise. After seeking the help of western medicine to overcome those problems I realized I was not pleased with the side effects or the results. 

I sought the assistance of a naturopath, someone who guided me to healing the residual effects of the chemo with a more natural approachdietary changes and supplementation with natural herbs and minerals.  The results were much better.  Working with the naturopath and adding a few things after my own research helped me to a more normal function. 

Working a stressful job impeded my progress. wanted to find a healthier option for myself.  Having been a customer of the Natural Food Center (NFC) in Coffeyville for years I met with owner Mary Bookter to see if she was interested in selling. She was not ready at that time.   

Divine Intervention 

I continued to look for other employment options.  While interviewing for a position with a corporation they requested a reference call to my current employer. I was hesitant to agree wondering just how my boss would react, but I did consent.  I asked one of my sisters to pray that I might get this position. I informed my boss that I had applied for another position and he might receive a reference call. He took that as my two weeks’ notice and proceeded to replace me, although I had not secured the other position.  Due to the stress of this realization I called NFC for a special supplement.  I then called my husband to have him pick it up and before I got off the phone with him, I received a call from Mary Bookter.  Was I still interested in buying the store?  Well yes of course!  Feeling a bit shocked with the call from Mary I called sister that prayer I’d requestedShe admitted, she hadn’t really prayed that I would get the position that I had applied for, but rather that God would put me where He wanted me.  “Divine Intervention” 

Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created. Esther 4:14   

I believe I’ve discovered HIS purpose for me. 

Jim Correll is the director of Fab Lab ICC at the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship on the campus of Independence Community College. He can be reached at (620) 252-5349, by email at or Twitter @jimcorrellks. Archive columns and podcast at 

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