True Stories Of Survival Against All Odds

stories of survival

Marlena Fiol, PhD. is a globally recognized author, scholar, and speaker. She explores the depths of who we are and what is possible in our lives.

Her significant body of publications on the topic, coupled with her own raw identity-changing experiences, makes her uniquely qualified to write about personal transformational change. She holds an MBA and a PhD. in Strategic Management and has taught on the faculties of New York University and the University of Colorado. 

Marlena's mission is to share true stories of survival against all odds to inspire us to become the most authentic versions of ourselves.

In her interview, she shares her journey from an abusive upbringing in Paraguay to love and loss in the United States and finally on to forgiveness and reconciliation. Marlena was physically abused as a child, sexually abused as a teenager, disowned by her father, and banned from participating in her Mennonite church -- all before her 18th birthday.

And that is only the beginning of her amazing story:

Against All Odds

against all odds

After being publicly humiliated in front of her entire close-knit Mennonite community, Marlena Fiol did not know how she would recover

Discover a story of healing and personal transformation. Marlena's childhood was full of contradictions. Her father was both a heroic doctor for people with leprosy and an abusive parent.

Her Mennonite missionary community was both a devoted tribe and a controlling society. And Marlena longed to be accepted in Paraguay and to escape to somewhere new. In Nothing Bad Between Us, follow Marlena's journey as she takes control of her life and learns to be her authentic self, scars and imperfections included.

Uncover inner peace―and inner strength.  Nothing Bad Between Us is a story of brokenness and eventual redemption that taps into our collective yearning for healing and forgiveness. As you read Marlena's story, you will:

  • Learn how to forgive yourself and others without giving up your personal growth and self-confidence
  • Discover that transformation and redemption often exist even in the most broken parts of who you are
  • Find out how to stand in your power, knowing that vulnerability will not lead to your downfall, but to increase, courage, connection, and authenticity

Readers of memoirs about family, self-healing, and the strength of a woman like The Glass Castle, Love Warrior, and Leaving the Witness will be captivated by Nothing Bad Between Us.


Marlena Fiol, PhD. is a globally recognized author, scholar, and speaker. She explores the depths of who we are and what is possible in our lives.  Against the backdrop of World War 11, Nazi uprisings, political unrest in Argentina and Paraguay, and the scourge of leprosy left untreated, Dr. John and Clark Schmidt vow to live a life of service what cost?

Based on true events that span six decades, CALLED is an epic tale of adventure and love that celebrates the triumph of the human spirit. 

Three Lives Inextricable Intertwined:

A handsome physician obsessed with caring for the underserved

A shy and devout Mennonite nurse

And an Argentine revolutionary

Connect With Marlena

stories of survival

Marlena Fiol, PH.D

best-selling author

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