Photo by Ambro

In 2003, Kris Carr, now the best-selling author of Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips, Crazy Sexy Cancer Survivor and Crazy Sexy Diet, was diagnosed with a rare stage 4 cancer, which she was able to beat by embarking on her own vegan journey and adopting a plant-based diet. In doing so, she managed to draw attention to a wellness revolution that has, in actuality, been around for millions of years—”Let food be thy medicine” (Hippocrates). While Kris was not the first (nor will she be the last) cancer survivor to use veganism to pave the path to wellness, Kris’ success did help shine a spotlight on a strong community of people—a community that appears to be growing.

Jerry Brunetti, founder of Agri-Dynamics and co-founder of Earthworks Natural Organic Products, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and given an estimated six months to live without aggressive chemotherapy. Instead, Jerry chose to go about it the natural way—through diet. Read about his journey in his book about using food as medicine, Cancer, Nutrition and Healing; A Personal Odyssey.

Of course, there are millions of survival stories out that are similar to Kris and Jerry’s—and many of these survivors are creating blogs to document their journeys and act as resource centers for a community of people who, like them, are taking their lives into their own healthy hands and fighting cancer through food.

One of these stories is that of Chris Wark, founder of http://www.chrisbeatcancer.com/, who at age 26 was diagnosed with Stage 3 Colon Cancer. Chris turned to a raw vegan diet, and along with other alternative therapy methods, beat cancer and is alive, well, and cancer-free 8 years later.

A similar story is that of Cortney Campbell who, also at 26, was diagnosed with Stage II Nodular Lymphocyte Predominant Hodgkin’s Lymphoma—the same cancer as Jerry Brunetti. By adopting a raw vegan diet—particularly one heavily laden with green smoothies—and similar alternative therapy methods as Chris Wark, Cortney managed to knock the cancer out of her body. Find her story at  http://www.greendrinkdiaries.com/.

Beastie Boy Adam Yauch also credited his vegan diet with assisting his struggle with cancer of the preaortic gland and lymph node.

What’s just as cool as individuals turning to veganism to beat cancer? A group of omnivores going vegan to raise money to beat cancer. BeetCancer is an organization raising money to find a cure for cancer. All donations are donated directly to the American Cancer Society*. Learn more, and watch inspiration videos and testimonials, at their website.

While curing cancer is not the type of vegan journey people think of when they hear the words “vegan adventure,” it is an adventure by the very definition of the word: unusual, often exciting, bold, risky and uncertain. While any and all cancer survivors deserve recognition and support, those who chose to go against the grain and opt for the natural way are building a strong community. Hopefully one day we will see both the fighting against and prevention of cancer through a plant-based diet as a new societal norm.

*Note: while we love to hear about stories of people helping each other through veganism, Vegan Mainstream would like to note that The American Cancer Society DOES test on animals, which we, obviously, do not support.