Middle School Boy Determined to Find the Answer to Beating Cancer


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Most middle school boys are concerned with playing sports after school, playing video games, or taking up new hobbies in their spare time. Well, one middle school boy in Atlanta, Georgia, does all of this, and more. One hobby of his is a bit extraordinary: searching for a way to fight cancer.

After 12-year-old Stephen Litt became aware of two family friends being diagnosed with breast cancer, he decided to do something about it. He began researching and found that decreased rates of the disease in Japan might be due to certain antioxidants found in green tea. Stephen wanted to test this theory and see if these antioxidants could ward off cancer cells in planaria (worms) since they are known to have stem cells that mimic cancerous cells.

Stephen and his father purchased the necessary materials for the project and began conducting scientific experiments in search of their answer. He used experimental and controlled groups of planaria in his research and studied the results under a microscope that his grandparents gave him.

His findings showed that there might actually be a link between the green tea antioxidants and fighting cancerous cells. Stephen went on to win local and state competitions with his science project and was invited to tour a real research lab at Tuft University shortly after. In the future, he would like to transplant human cancerous cells into the planaria to see if the green tea antioxidants will have the same effect. To read the full CNN story on Stephen and his work, click here.

Who knows what the future has in store for this remarkable young man! We had to share his story because wanting to help others in such a major way, and at such a young age, is a very special thing. We tip our hats to you, Stephen, and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors. With bright minds like these popping up in the younger generation, we can certainly hope that finding the cure for cancer is not too far away!

Tara Jeanne Creates Honey Hill Naturals


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As you may or may not know, in March we wrote a blog on Tara, the 20-year-old who was fighting for her life after being diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma. Tara had an initial surgery to remove the mass and started her battle with this disease by using strictly alternative methods and eating a completely raw, organic diet. However, she has been forced to employ more traditional methods due to her tumor coming back and growing quite large.

 

Despite her unfortunate circumstances, Tara has been keeping an optimistic outlook on life and still has high ambitions with school, becoming self-sufficient, and traveling to Mexico for her brother’s upcoming wedding.  As her medical treatments have come with an outrageous price tag, Tara and her mom created a line of natural products called Honey Hill Naturals, which consists of sprays, hand soaps, and lip balms to help finance her recovery. More products are to be added soon and you can also get a #TARASTRONG bracelet on their product page.

 

Check out her natural goods below:

 

 Fine Mist Spray- $9

 

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(choose Lavender, Lemon, or Clove’s Spray)

Honey Oatmeal Hand Soap- $3

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(made with vegetable-based goats milk, organic honey, & organic oats)

Lip Balm- $4

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(made with organic coconut oil, organic beeswax, & organic vanilla extract)
Not only will you have some fantastic (and natural!) products, but you will also be supporting an amazing, beautifully-spirited young woman who is trying her hardest to find the positive in her situation. It is so often that so many of us take for granted in our lives what others would give anything to have, even if it just means having a normal day. We cannot always put ourselves in another’s shoes in order to truly sympathize, but we can do our best to make sure those shoes are nice and comfy for the bumpy road ahead. Tara, we are sending you countless thoughts and prayers and will be supporting you endlessly on your journey.

 

If you have a moment, please check out Tara’s blog and also consider dropping off a donation that she can readily use for her treatment.

 

As always, Answers for Angels appreciates your support in supporting others.

Charmane’s Journey


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Charmane M. Vaiasanisi is a talented songwriter, composer, and writer who has long been an advocate of holistic teachings and practices.  She was at one time an assistant kindergarten teacher at Rose Rock School in Oklahoma, which is a Waldorf education center.  For those unaware, Waldorf schooling balances academic subjects with artistic and hands-on activities in an effort to allow the children to get to know themselves and the world in a deeply personal way.  Children are encouraged to explore their artistic talents and passions to obtain deeper meaning and enrichment throughout their childhood and into their adulthood.  As Charmane is such a naturally artistic individual herself, she was happy to work somewhere that encouraged young souls to discover their own talents.  She says that “each child is growing into someone who is nothing less than a developing miracle who will never come again”.

  
 

During her time as an assistant teacher at the school, she began to notice that her health was declining. She hadn’t felt well for an entire year.  She had been through a recent breakup, though, and didn’t think much of an actual, physical ailment.  In May of 2014, she decided to quit her job and planned to start substituting in the fall after having some time to regain her health.  It wasn’t long after she started back with substituting that life threw her a major curve ball.

  
 

In November 2014, Charmane was enjoying lunch at a local restaurant when she experienced a seizure.  She was taken by ambulance to the ER and was eventually diagnosed with a brain tumor.  Though she now had an explanation for her fatigue and not feeling well, the news devastated her and she grieved for the hope that she had in pursuing a life-long career at the school.  This was the first job that made food stamps unnecessary.  It was a job would allow her to stand strong on her own two feet as a single mom.  She was eager to provide a better life and home for her fifteen-year-old son, and to start anew in something that she loved.  Her dreams came crashing down around her and she was forced to face the reality of a serious illness.  She stopped working.  She lost her license due to the seizure and still to this day has to rely on transportation from friends.

  
 

After her brain tumor diagnosis, Charmane worked steadily to clean up her diet.  She spent hours upon hours researching in books and on internet sites, searching for ways to heal and to make her life as natural as possible.  She went on a ketogenic diet, then full GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome), which is a diet that is intended to heal and normalize the gut.  She spent ten months seizure-free.  In September 2015, however, she was hit with another seizure.  This time she recovered faster than she did with the initial one and decided to begin supplements in addition to her GAPS diet. In February she had yet another seizure followed by a string of several more within a few days time span in May. She underwent surgery and most of her right frontal lobe was removed due to damage caused by cancer. Conventional chemotherapy and radiation were recommended, but Charmane is not one to settle for conventional nor did she want to risk harmful exposure and poisoning her body, so she looked into other treatment plans. She finally decided on visiting the Northern Baja Gerson Center in Mexico, which can be seen in a documentary The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest, hosted by Ty Bollinger.

  
 

The center is modeled after Max Gerson’s protocol which involves juicing and supplements for healing. As Charmane had some prior experience with juicing and saw amazing results when she tried it, she knew intuitively that this was the best route for her.  That is not to say that it was easy, though, and her son had to move in with his father while she focused on her health.

  
 

Her new regimen consisted of organic fruits and vegetable juices, organic coffee enemas, and dietary supplements for healing, such as B-12 injections, COQ10, Selenium, and Frankincense essential oil. The first week of the Gerson lifestyle proved to be very difficult for her. The boreholes in her skull from surgery became sore, sensitive, and her scar itched like crazy. With exfoliation, she noticed grimy skin, dandruff, and loose hair clogging up her comb.  She coughed up phlegm every morning, vomited mucus, had a sore throat, and had profuse earwax for days.  Pimples broke out along the scar on her scalp.  She had a lot of fatigue, nausea, bloating, and up to five bowel movements per day in the beginning.  She had headaches, a fainting spell, and one episode of severe chills with uncontrollable teeth chattering. Despite all of these negative reactions, she says that they were over by the second week.

  
 

She has noticed positive effects from her new protocol as well.  A tooth that had been black and framed in calculus underneath due to a cavity is now completely fine with pink gums beneath it. The gray color in her teeth from Keppra, an anti-seizure medication, has also gone away. Her right eye, which had protruded ever since brain surgery, has now returned to normal and she can’t even see the scar from her surgery. Her eyes are brighter. Her lips are no longer chapped and bleeding. Her lungs feel clear and she finds it easier to inhale.  Her acne has cleared, her nails have become shiny, and she no longer needs deodorant. She says that her facial features look fuller and she doesn’t look as old and ‘beaten down’ as before. Most of her grey hair has disappeared! Even the pain and numbness in her foot and hip went away during her stay at the Northern Baja Center. See below pictures of Charmane enjoying a meal, enjoying the sun, and hanging out inside a hyperbaric oxygen tank during her time there.

  
 

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Even though the treatment is intense, Charmane says that she feels it is definitely strengthening her.  She said she felt a deep peace and relaxation while at the treatment center.  She has had no seizures since May 2016.  In December of this year, she will review the results of MRI scans with her doctor to talk about whether any cancer cells have returned and what to do from that point on.  She remains hopeful and is praying that she is all clear and continuing to heal.

  
 

When I asked Charmane to describe her experience and current outlook, she said,

  
 

“Yes, it has been a roller coaster—a roller coaster with no safety bars or seat belts.  Fear of the uncertain future has been the hardest part of all of this—a lingering shadow sewn to the bottom of my feet—there all the time, every step of the way.  I’m learning I never did know what was to come.  Cancer is teaching me to be much more present in the ‘here and now’ than I was before.”

  
 

She is unsure of where the future will take her.  She is living day by day and wondering if she will ever be able to sustain a normal life with a financially flourishing career.  She hopes to someday return to her old job or to even become a music teacher.  She is also faced with the possibility of moving in with her family in California in order to better manage the expenses that she has.

  
 

Answers for Angels is so honored to help such an amazing individual in battling this disease and the heavy financial burden that comes with it. We have awarded Charmane with a $350 gift card to Natural Grocers in Oklahoma to pay for items she needs that food stamps will not cover. 

  
 

The world is made brighter by souls like yours, Charmane.  We wish you all the best and will support you on your road to healing.

  
 

Check out Charmane’s musical page on YouTube to see her talents in action!

Mary’s Story- A Time of Change


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When Mary was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in April of 2016, her life changed tremendously. On top of the emotional adjustments that one must make when faced with such news, her life was also being affected in other ways. Her retirement options changed. She had to learn how to better manage her stress at work and to let go of that which she could not control. She had to finally put taking care of herself before taking care of others.

 

In those efforts to put herself and her health first, Mary sought out a nutritionist that she had heard about through a friend as she trusted natural means of healing over traditional medicine, which can be toxic. She began treatment by having a blood panel done in order to know what deficiencies she had and where to start. The idea behind correcting deficiencies with vitamins and supplements is that as you bring your body into optimal functionality, the better prepared it becomes to fight cancer. Having blood panels and other tests done can be quite revealing and also very beneficial in one’s treatment plan.

 

After Mary struggled with detox symptoms in the beginning of her treatment, her nutritionist recommended taking a True Health Diagnostics test in order to find out more information on her genetic makeup. For years Mary had known that something was off as she was incredibly sensitive to medication and also had an unusual, life-threatening reaction to anesthesia at one point. Her nutritionist hypothesized that she might not be able to process things at maximum potential and thus wanted to investigate further. Sure enough, not only was Mary missing the genetic marker for processing anesthesia, but her liver was also only detoxing at 40%. To correct this, she began taking supplements that would support and clean out her liver. She says that she already feels more energetic after starting them and will remain on them for the rest of her life.

 

Mary has also made several other changes to her life. She routinely walks and practices yoga. She has cleaned up her diet by eating tons of organic vegetables and also by avoiding dairy and sweets. She regularly sees a licensed therapist to assist her with the emotional aspects of her journey, as having such an illness can be incredibly hard on an individual, like riding on a roller coaster that you never wanted to get on in the first place. She is learning to find peace and feels empowered after her sessions. For anyone going through this journey, therapy is an amazing tool and can bring an inner peace that will strengthen your mind, soul, and physical body.

 

We wish you the absolute best, Mary, and hope that you continue with your positive steps in healing. We also hope that you continue with the swing and country dancing! Keep those feet moving, and that heart full. As Oprah Winfrey has said, “Every day brings a chance for you to draw in a breath, kick off your shoes, and dance”.

 

As always, we feel very blessed to be able to help support Mary on her journey and would love to help as many people as we possibly can. As if dealing with cancer itself is not enough, we understand how burdensome it can be on patients and their families to make ends meet financially when health bills, travel, and other expenses chip away at your financial security. We are dedicated to making this experience easier for those in need and couldn’t do so without the support of our amazing community. If you would like to help others fight the fight of their life, please contact our president Katie Davis at katiedavis@answersforangels.com. You can also donate by clicking the “DONATE” button in the top right area of our webpage.

 

The holidays are right around the corner and you can really make a difference in making this a special holiday for those affected by cancer! Thank you to all and God Bless.

Kristin’s Story


For those of you who missed the AFA 5K on July 23rd and the interview with cancer survivor Kristin, below is her story.

 

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At forty three years old, Kristin was doing better than ever with her health. A few years prior she had been sixty pounds heavier and struggled with high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and depression. She went on a mission to tune up her body. She became a vegan. She became a health coach. She practiced a healthy, naturally-focused diet and lifestyle. The pounds shed off and she felt fantastic, finally headed in the right direction along the tracks of life.

Unbeknownst to her and despite how great she felt, this train would quickly derail and come to a screeching halt. She started noticing that her hair was thinning and that she began to have nail ridges, which she had never had before. Suspecting that it might be due to a thyroid issue or stress, she went in for a routine physical to figure out what was going on. At the request of her doctor, Kristin agreed to get a mammogram although she wasn’t entirely sure that she needed one. Something inside of her told her to just check in case. That little voice of intuition must have been guiding her with good intent, because the results showed that she had breast cancer.

She was floored. She didn’t understand how this could be, as she was incredibly health conscious and spent so much energy on maintaining her vitality. The doctors said that they believed it to be Stage 1 Breast Cancer, guessing that the tumor itself was around 1 centimeter in size. They recommended getting a biopsy and she complied. The results showed that the tumor was in fact cancerous.

On October 22, 2014, a Lumpectomy was performed. The tumor was not 1 centimeter; the Tumor was 7 ½ centimeters and had spread into her lymph nodes. In a split second, everything had changed. What they thought was Stage 1 Breast Cancer was actually Stage 3 Breast Cancer. This was far more serious. Due to her age, they recommended aggressive chemotherapy and radiation and wanted her to begin with these therapies in 8-12 weeks.

She was caught in a storm that she could not escape. She knew how serious the diagnosis was but also had a strong desire to stay committed to her natural lifestyle. Could she fight the disease in a holistic manner, without the commonly-used and highly-recommended traditional methods? She wasn’t sure. Experts were telling her one thing. Her heart was telling her another.

She had more fear about making this choice than she did about dying from the disease. “When I was with the oncologist there was a spirit of fear. Every time I went to the oncology building there was just a spirit of fear. And I understand it because cancer is a scary thing. But I was just not willing to make the decision from a place of fear”. So what did she do? She refused to accept that she had to use traditional therapies to win this war. She dug her heels into the ground, and said no.

During those following weeks that she would have otherwise been preparing for chemo and radiation, she started researching places that would provide her with the alternative treatment goals that she preferred. After searching in other states and even in other countries, she suddenly recalled a place right near home. The Total Health Institute in Wheaton, Illinois, was a place that she was already familiar with. She had gone there in 2011 somewhere near the start of her health journey but because she was doing okay at the time, she had never continued on to use a treatment plan. How strange that life somehow brings us right back to the beginning…

Total Health was founded by Dr. Keith Namac who has traveled around the world researching and discussing alternative methods with some of the top healing minds in our time. His belief is that God created humans to live in total health and that we can do so by repairing the very connections that make us who we are. In essence, along with physical changes that need to be made, there are a number of intangible issues that need to be handled as well. Kristin says that “the whole theory behind the treatment is getting mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual alignment so that your body can do what it is designed to do, which is heal itself”.

Their belief at the institute is that we all have cancer cells, but when our body is out of balance, we are unable to keep these cells from proliferating. Therefore, they set in place an intensive six month program to get her realigned and heading down the right tracks once again. She began a number of treatments designed to fight the cancer at many different levels. Along with an intensive, raw, vegan diet, she also took many supplements for deficiencies in vitamins and minerals. She began a nine-part therapy program that involved Biophoton Laser Therapy, Colon Hydrotherapy, Lymphatic Drainage Therapy, IV Vitamin C Therapy, PEMFT (Pulsed Electrical Magnetic Field Therapy), NeuroVisceral Therapy, Heart Brain Entrainment Therapy, NeuroHormonal Therapy, and Oxygen Therapy. Each and every one of these separate pieces work together in harmony to mend the whole.

For the most part she felt okay during these treatments. On her best days she had to remind herself that she even had the disease as she physically felt well. On her worst days, she had exhaustion and nausea from the detoxification that was happening in her body. She pressed on, though, determined to heal herself in the most natural ways possible. Throughout the ordeal, Kristin began processing her experience and emotions in healthy ways such as through counseling, writing in her journal, light exercise, and praying. She recognized that many illnesses are directly influenced by outwardly issues. “When we internalize what’s going on in our world, it has to be expressed somehow. Our emotions have to be expressed. And if we don’t handle them in a healthy way, our body will get them out somehow and it’s usually through illness”. She believes that her trapped emotions expressed themselves genetically through cancer, just as others will experience illnesses such as heart disease or diabetes when they fail to release present and past burdens on the mind and soul. “For me, that was key. I really had to address that”.

She also counts on her faith and connection to Christ. As a spiritual person, she prayed and attended church. After a year and a half, her prayers have been answered as she has had three clean mammograms. She also had large fibroids that decreased fifty percent in size despite the doctors saying that these would be sticking around until they could be removed. She believes that if she continues, these will be completely gone as well.

This is not to say that it was an easy road. On top of the taxing physical and emotional aspects of her recovery, she also racked up $20,000 in bills for her treatments. Her insurance would have covered half a million for conventional therapy, but wouldn’t contribute a dime towards a natural, alternative approach (and one that has helped her tremendously). She reached out to the community and to family and friends for support and created a GoFundMe account to assist with the colossal debt that she has acquired in simply trying to get better.  After hearing from a friend about Answers for Angels, she reached out to us as well. She then became the tenth recipient of the AFA grant.

Kristin’s costs for supplements and organic foods are still very high.  Please help her make ends meet by going to her GoFundMe account to donate.  If you’d like to receive a tax receipt, donate to AnswersForAngels and mention Kristin Sauer in the memo; we will send Kristin 100% of the funds.

Kristin, we are so happy for you and are proud to assist you on your journey and fight against cancer. We fully support your alternative approach and your healthy, optimistic views on healing. We will be with you every step of the way. Here’s to your happiness, health, and to reaching five years of clean mammograms!

Poking around at Integrative Medicine


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Acupuncture use can be traced back at least 2,000 years to China where it was commonly used to relieve pain, combat disease, and improve overall health. The ancient acupuncture practitioners believed that a life force or energy called Qi flowed throughout the body and that an imbalance or disruption in this energy would lead to disease or to a decline in health. To balance this energy and adjust its ability to flow would lead to optimal health.

In acupuncture practices, there are 12 meridians (or pathways) within the body and each one is associated with a respective organ. There are hundreds of points along these meridians that can be adjusted with needles that pierce the skin and allow energy to flow more freely and effectively to the targeted areas. The adjustments can improve both physical ailments (headaches, joint pain, abdomen pain, etc.) or mental ailments such as anxiety or depression. There are vast benefits of acupuncture on the mind and body and the impacts can be incredible. In fact, it is sometimes still used in China as the sole anesthetic during surgery!

There are many theories on how acupuncture works, whether the needle insertions alleviate pain by stimulating the release of endorphins or if pain impulses are blocked due to needle stimulation affecting the CNS. Others believe it to be a simple placebo effect. Regardless of how it works, the general consensus is that in some way, it certainly can.

When dealing with cancer, many patients and their families look to holistic means of recovery as one’s own mind and body can be extremely strong sources of support in healing. Due to its effectiveness in general pain relief and other common ailments, many hospitals, hospices, and clinics use acupuncture in their care. Patients are administered acupuncture to combat dry mouth, fatigue, breathlessness, hot flashes, and other uncomfortable issues. Many say that on top of the physical relief that they experience, they also find a greater sense of wellbeing and peace.

Acupuncture has not been shown to cure cancer, but it has been helpful in treating the symptoms of the disease and side effects of the medication. For cancer patients who would really like to look into alternative methods of treatment, acupuncture is a great place to start. Align your energy. Align your mind and body. Align your health. Align your life.

Keep checking us out on our blog and on our Facebook page for updated posts and event info.

We are committed to improving quality of life for those struggling with cancer and would love to help take away some of the burden from the patient and from their loved ones. If you are a patient and would like to try acupuncture at a clinic near you, please contact us for more information on how we can help cover the cost.

Here’s to fighting the fight together!

Sources:

“Acupuncture”. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/acupuncture. Accessed on July 10, 2016.

“Ancient Chinese Acupuncture”. Academy of Classical Oriental Sciences. http://www.acos.org/articles/ancient-chinese-acupuncture/. Accessed on July 10, 2016.