People commit to fitness for many reasons—for their health, for their appearance, for their sense of well-being. But Roschelle Ogbuji is different. For her, fitness was literally a way to save her life; to survive an ordeal that most people cannot imagine. And Urban Active is proud to have played a small part in Roschelle’s healing fitness journey. This is her story.
It was December 1, 2007 and Roschelle and her then husband Chimezie, a biomedical informatics researcher were an average Shaker Heights, Ohio couple going out for the evening, leaving their three children with a babysitter. Roschelle checked in by phone after they came out of the movie and everything was fine. But by the time she and her husband pulled onto their street that evening, everything was anything but fine. Her driveway was filled with emergency vehicles, fire trucks, police cars and as they raced to the house they learned the horrifying news—there was an electrical fire and two of their daughters—6 year old Imose and 2 year old Chika had died, and 14 month old Anya was severely injured.
After lingering on life support for three days, Baby Anya lost her battle…but not before Roschelle and her husband made the decision to donate her organs through LifeBanc, so that some good could come out of this unspeakable tragedy. Anya’s heart was given to an 18-month-old boy, and her liver, pancreas and small intestine were given to another child.
This decision to give life to two other children, which became known as “Anya’s Purpose” has shaped the direction of Roschelle’s life as she has embarked on an amazing spiritual and physical journey.
We all cope in different ways. And Roschelle Ogbuji buried her sorrows at the loss of her three young children in food. But when her weight ballooned to 347 pounds, she knew that something had to be done. So she started to change. And Urban Active has played a pivotal role in her transformation.
Roschelle’s philosophy is simple: You are responsible for your life. … You are responsible for the energy that you create for yourself, and you’re responsible for the energy that you bring to others. Listen to that voice. Do what is right and do the right thing.