Vicaro’s Story: Health, Healing & Life After Surgery


Navigating the Road to Recovery with Family & Healthy Prepared Meals Delivered

Laurie McCalla is the owner of two businesses and a full-time mother. With so many responsibilities, she has little extra time. So, when Laurie’s son, Vicaro, was diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 15, Laurie needed help from friends, family and any other resources that allowed her to prioritize Vicaro’s wellbeing. When she found out that Factor could provide healthy prepared meals delivered weekly, she was all too thrilled to save time cooking.

It all started when Vicaro, who played varsity tennis, began to miss his forehand.

“The forehand would come across, and he was completely missing it. It turns out; his vision was starting to be impaired because of the tumor. It was putting pressure on the optic nerve. So we went to an ophthalmologist, he had an MRI, and ten days later he was in surgery. I mean it happened so fast,” Laurie said.

Vicaro driving the boat at his family’s lakehouse.

Maintaining a Healthy Diet Post-Diagnosis

Removing the brain tumor left him with no thirst mechanism and an inability to heat or cool himself.

“There’s a lot that he has to manage, and one of the last things we want to worry about is him not eating well,” she said.

Although Vicaro is now healthy, the family still works round-the-clock to manage his health. With Laurie and her husband both working full time, there is little time to prepare fresh, healthy meals.

“I can’t cook lunch every day for him, but I want to be sure that he has a balanced meal and a great meal that’s sourced from good food sources, “ she explained.

So, she started to do some research to see if there was a solution that met their needs.

“[We] created a spreadsheet of the pros and cons and advantages and disadvantages of all these [meal services] and all of a sudden; I started seeing all these ads for prepared food [delivery services]. I was reading where someone said the [Factor] food is delicious, and the sourcing is fantastic, but it comes in these little black trays. And I thought, you know what, I’m going to try it,” she said.

Tasty Meals that Meet Dietary-Restrictions

When Laurie discovered Factor, she and her family had never tried a home-delivered meal delivery service. They were pleasantly surprised with their first experience.

“Now we have a rating system. Every time my son has a meal that he likes, he puts a rating on it. That’s how we know that it’s a meal we want to order again. He loves salmon. He loves the Paleo [BBQ] Salmon. One of his favorite chicken dishes is the chicken with vodka sauce,” she said.

Due to Vicaro’s condition, he has several restrictions on what he can and cannot eat. Luckily, Factor has plenty of flavorful dishes that meet his specific needs, without skimping on the flavor.

Vicaro loves that many of the Factor meals include his favorite vegetables, asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower. He’s also enjoying having a different option for lunch every day that’s not a sandwich. “I don’t know if you all realize the value of having it ready to go for someone who has the time squeezed out of their life,” Laurie explained.

Factor’s Paleo BBQ Salmon is one of Vicaro’s favorite meals.

Healthy Options for the Entire Family

Laurie initially signed up with Factor to ensure that Vicaro had healthy lunch options. However, after having healthy prepared meals delivered for several weeks, the entire family quickly became fans.

“We started the subscription with all of these meals being for Vicaro. It’s kind of fun because we have all these meals stacked in our fridge so that he see the labels on the outside. So it’s like ‘Oh, do I want pork, or chicken, or beef that day?’ What’s happening is they are so good that now we’re eating them. We’re really thinking about expanding our order just because we’re enjoying them so much,” Laurie said.

Laurie also stresses how much fun it’s been having Factor healthy prepared meals delivered. Delivery day is especially exciting for Vicaro.

“It’s always fun because when we get our boxes, Vic loves to open it up and see what’s in there,” she said.

Living with Perspective & Positivity After Brain Surgery

While the surgery was a trial for Vicaro and his family, they’re determined to make the most of the future and not look back.

“People need to know that there is a great life after brain surgery, and you can look at the glass as half empty and ‘Woe is me.’ But the way we look at it, we were so happy that he was alive and that he is enjoying his life, and that he has a very high quality of life,” she said.

In addition to eating healthy, Vicaro is very active. He’s now exploring his artistic side and enjoys pottery. His work is so impressive that he sells it at shows, selling out at his last event.

With so much to do, Factor’s healthy prepared meals continue to give Laurie back invaluable time.

“Factor – the quality of life that you all have given back to me and my husband, I don’t know how you express that to your audience. You have no idea. It really is giving [us] back time that has been stolen. It’s the right quality solution for us. Really and truly, our quality of life has improved because of Factor,” Laurie explains.

These days, while there are still medical needs that need tending to, Laurie and Vicaro are brimming with positivity and grateful for the time they have together.

“He [has] all these medical things, and he’s still the most positive, happy person you’ll ever see. It’s an honor to be his mother. You have no idea what kind of person he is. It’s my privilege that I get to care for him,” she explains.

Vicaro and his sister, Bella, at the pottery studio.

* Vicaro’s story is provided for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as a guarantee of health improvements. No individual result should be seen as typical, as many factors contribute to health improvements. To achieve best results, Factor’s meals should be combined with an overall plan of improved nutrition and exercise under a doctor’s care. Vicaro’s story is not a substitute for medical advice. You should consult your doctor before beginning any diet, especially regarding any current medical conditions or treatments.

Save time and have healthy prepared meals delivered! Try Factor’s dietitian-approved meals today and get $40 off over your first 2 weeks of orders!

Related Articles


5 Reasons All Athletes Should Do Yoga

Lifestyle, Nutrition

9 Simple Dairy-Free Diet Swaps


6 Reasons You Should Be Strength Training


How Omega-3s Can Boost Your Heart Health