In April of 2013, Carrie Medford gave birth to our 5th child, Blake Medford. When I left the operating room where little Blake had just been delivered via C-section, I never imagined how this delivery would change our lives more than any other. After a couple hours of spending time with my new son in the hospital nursery, one of the Doctors from the Operating room came out to find me. She said that the operating team had found cancerous masses all over in Carrie’s pelvic and abdominal regions. They were unsure of the type of cancer it was, but were sure that it was cancer and it was not good. The Doctor said they still had a lot of operating left so they could try to clean out as much cancer as possible.
I wanted to appear strong at first and have the optimism and faith that those who know me are familiar with. I began questioning everything in my life. I thought we were eating a healthy diet. We made most things from scratch and had eliminated most processed foods from our diet. I thought we were getting enough exercise. Carrie trained for and ran a 5k race during the first half of her pregnancy; I had just completed the Phoenix Marathon. Was any of that worth it? Should we just be eating whatever the food factories are producing and marketing to us as “healthy” or “does a body good”? I had a friend die of cancer just a few months before. He was not the model for health and wellness in his habits, but he went at a relatively young age. I didn’t get it, what should we do?
Eventually Carrie would receive the cancer diagnosis of Stage IV Uterine Leiomyosarcoma, a rare and aggressive cancer of the soft tissues. She was also diagnosed with the autoimmune disease Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. The prognosis was not good. The Oncologist gave her 12 months to live if she did not do chemotherapy. If Carrie received chemotherapy, however, the prognosis could be extended by another 3-6 months, but there was no guarantee. Either way, the Oncology Sarcoma specialist told us she was going to die. We left his office scared, confused and sad that this could be our last year together. It gave us no hope. Frankly, I was not going to let my wife die – and if she did die, I didn’t want her to be a walking zombie, weakened and sick from chemotherapy drugs during the latter parts of her life. We had 5 children to take care of and enjoy. The emotional roller coaster Carrie and I went through could not compare to anything we had been through in our lives to this point.
I had been doing some research and talking to people that had recovered from their cancers with diet. There were some miraculous stories. That’s exactly what we needed – a miracle. According to the “specialist” Carrie was going to die anyway, so we had nothing to lose by trying. Carrie was skeptical since we had already been eating what we perceived to be a healthy diet. I admit, i was a little skeptical too. She was not excited to give up some of her favorite things to eat and drink. I was not excited to give up some of my favorite things to eat as well, but I decided the whole family would eat the way Carrie needed to eat to make it easier on food preparation. I was not excited about the price difference I would be paying for organic versus conventional produce but I found an article about a study done on the price difference and decided it was well worth the investment. After more research though, I was convinced that everyone should be eating this way to minimize, prevent, and even heal many conditions (Read here for more information). I started to source as many organic vegetables and fruits as possible and as local as possible. Vegetables are the most nutritious foods on the planet – nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Organic or natural is important because you do not want to expose your body to extra toxins (pesticides, chemicals, etc.) when it is trying to heal from disease or remove the toxins that it already has stored. You shouldn’t want to expose your body to those toxins even if you feel well or think you are well. I thought I was well until we started to eat this way (ask me about the changes I experienced). Local is important because as soon as the plant is cut of from its nutrient source, it’s nutrient value begins to decline. So the longer since it has been harvested, the less nutrients it has. The sooner you can get it from the farm to your table, the better. That is why we are supposed to eat every fruit and herb “in the season thereof” as one scripture states. If we are importing our produce from another place’s season, the time degrades the nutrients. I still recommend eating produce period, just eat as much local produce as possible. Juicing is important because it concentrates the nutrients to give your body and immune system the jump start healing it needs to repair itself from all sorts of diseases and conditions.
After many prayers and much research, we developed our lifestyle program based on pieces and parts of other natural medicine programs, scriptures and scientific research. You can see it here.
According to the 2014 research results of the American Cancer society, about 50% of men and 33% of women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. A substantial portion of cancer deaths point to tobacco and alcohol abuse. According to the World Cancer research fund, a significant portion of cancers could be prevented by proper nutrition and physical activity. The American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and even the USDA recommend eating more servings of vegetables and fruits than the majority of us consume. In my studies I have concluded that 80% of your physical well-being is related to your diet (nutrition). The other 20% is related to emotional health and exercise.
We started a juicing program and ate more organic salads than most people have seen in their lifetime. We turned to the healing power of organic produce to make her well. Most of the produce we find in the store has been in trucks and warehouses for days or weeks before we buy it. After spending hours in the car going to farmers markets, farms, and natural food stores, I decided there had to be a more convenient way to feed my family healthy foods. I wanted to make local nutritious foods more convenient to everyone, especially in the west valley of Phoenix metropolitan area. So we started Real Food Central to connect farms to families and make it more convenient to eat healthier. My family has greatly benefited from eating more organic vegetables and fruits.
Carrie is now cancer-free and has no evidence of autoimmune diseases. The athletes foot that I have been struggling with for 20 years has been gone ever since we started eating this way. We both lost some weight we didn’t think we had to lose (you know those little (or big) love handles you never thought were going away) and are back to our high school weights. We have more energy and mental clarity than we have had since we can remember – and we certainly need it with our 5 busy children. We believe that the most important approach to health is our food. Hippocrates said it best, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” Food is medicine. We would like to share it with everyone. Please support your quest for health and sustainability by signing up for your Blue Sky Organic Farms Farm Share today if you live in Arizona. We are also available to teach health and nutrition classes in your home or business – contact us for more information. We give free cancer support nutrition counseling for those who would like to try an alternative and more natural approach. E-mail us if you have questions or comments, firstname.lastname@example.org.