Updated: Nov 6, 2019
"I can feed you, but I can't make you chew it"- PG. When it comes to educating and inspiring people to change their lifetime built eating habits, there's only so much I can do until their own will power and desire for change drive you to make real, life changing, differences.
This story, this post, these words, all have such deep meaning from a place in my heart that is probably truly indescribable with a Chef's education. However, if left unsaid and even left unread, the cancer related statistics in America and world wide, may never change. The information I'm about to share with you would be completely wasted if I never shared it. This is probably the sole reason I started Organic Ink, not for me, but for you.
The American Heart Association reports that an estimated 1,762,450 NEW cancer cases will be diagnosed in 2019. Even worse, an estimated 606,880 Americans will die from cancer.
This chapter of my life story starts in 2009. I was recently married at the time and working for a private country club in Las Vegas. For many reasons, the owners of the club wanted to the menu to be driven by organic ingredients. From organic to low-glycemic, to appeasing private members that loved their cheeseburgers, I had a lot to learn about how to influence people to eat healthy-er.
The meat of this story begins when a member of that country club contacted me in November of 2009. He previously was diagnosed with lung cancer. Not once or twice, but three freaking times. First in 2007, he had the tumors surgically removed and then went through six months of chemotherapy. In 2008 cancer grew on his other lung and he again had surgery but refused the "therapy" form of chemo, nothing about it sounds therapeutic. Once again, in 2009 the cancer came back on his original lung so he again had more surgery and lost more lung.
Two weeks after that last surgery, he made a call that not only changed his life, but mine. At the time I had just had my daughter Gabriella and I had left the country club and opened my own restaurant with help from oldest sister Nancy, but funds were less than limited. The night after the first phone call with this man, the power was out at my house because I wasn't making enough money to pay my power bill. My daughter was only a month old and my ex-wife had been laid off while she was pregnant. I met with Richard the next day at his house. We talked about our own situations, he gave me a book called "The Anti-Cancer" written by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, an oncologist who lived with cancer for nearly 20 years. His book had many ingredients known to help fight cancer, but not a single recipe or preparation method.
Because Richard's cancer had spread from one lung to another and back to the original, the Dr's gave him a 5 year survival chance of a whopping 2%. That means by 2012 he had a 98% chance of not seeing his granddaughter graduate high school or even college. he wouldn't see his daughter and her two boys race and set records. The reality of this story though, is he has seen every single minute until this very moment. He made a promise to himself, to his family and to his Doctors that he would NOT die from cancer.
He committed to me that he would adhere to "the diet" and I in turn cooked for him twice a day for three years and still as of today, his cancer has never returned, all because I cooked like his life depended on it and nature provided everything we needed. Nature did. Not a scientist or a chemist. Not the FDA or Big Pharma. A farmer followed the rules of nature and that's what made the difference in life.
In the beginning of 2010, my mom, Carol Ghione, a lifelong RN and pediatric nurse at the time, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She and my dad lived in Connecticut which is across the country from where I was in Las Vegas. I knew I had to somehow get her the information that I creating while cooking daily for Richard. my original web project was Cancer Cuisine. A full on website, recipe book, blog, shopping list generator, you name it. It no longer exists, it literally broke me and by the time it launched two years later, my mother gave up on treatment and lost her battle. This is my second attempt to connect with the world and share with you wisdom of my ways with using food to fight disease.
In the following series of posts, I will share how to use food to do the following:
We all have free loading cancer cells in our bodies. You can change your body's environment to resist the cells if and when they try to settle and reproduce
Certain ingredients can find those cancer cells and kill them before they can even invade your space
Lastly, as I'm sure I'm supposed to say I don't diagnose, treat or cure cancer, if you are going through medical treatment, you body will accept treatment better and recover faster. Plus, healthy, clean and anti-inflammatory ingredients will be less distracting to your immune system and allow it fight off disease.
Stay Tuned for Part II as this story continues