With the help of a strict vegan, alkaline-based diet, one man in his late 60s survived stage 4 cancer.
Here is the incredible story of Moe Beaulieu
Moe Beaulieu, born in Big River, Saskatchewan, Canada was 66 when he was diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer and told he had just two months to live. Moe never smoked, was fit and had a pretty good diet. He didn’t fit the usual profile of throat cancer sufferers at all but sometimes, as his doctors told him, people slip through the cracks. Moe is an ultra-marathoner. For those of you who don’t know what that means, it means that Moe runs races that are anywhere from 50 km to 100 miles in length. Incredible! And, he’s still doing this in his 70s!!!
Moe survived his cancer against all the odds. Within two years of undergoing radiation treatment and chemotherapy, Moe was cancer-free. During his last check-up, at age 69, doctors performed a laryngoscopy to make sure the cancer hadn’t returned. (This is a process where a small, long tube is inserted into your nose until it reaches your throat. The tube is attached to a camera and video screen, which allows doctors to see the area in great detail.) The results shocked Moe’s oncologist and his throat specialist… they couldn’t even see where he’d had the cancer! There was no scar tissue. “It’s all pinky flesh”, they told him, “Whatever you’re doing, whether it’s diet, exercise or attitude, don’t change anything.”
When first presented with the news that he had only two months to live, Moe remembers saying to himself: “This is just not acceptable. I am going to die someday, but not now and not from this!” The day Moe learned of his throat cancer, he made a decision. Even though his diet was already quite healthy (mostly vegetarian, with some organic meats), he was going to make a conscious effort to improve it.
The doctors wanted to start radiation treatment two weeks from the day of his diagnosis, but Moe persuaded them to wait three weeks… he was registered for a 50 km race in Washington, and didn’t want to miss it!
He was determined to stay positive and remembered a special medallion that his mother had given him. The medallion was of St. Jude, the patron saint, who reminds us that “nothing is impossible”. He started to wear this medallion. “I believed it was my good luck charm,” says Moe. “I also remembered my grandmother, who had always said she would be my guardian angel.”
“The big thing is to have a high belief system. It doesn’t mater if it’s spiritual or religious, mother earth, or the strength of the people in your family and friends” says Moe. “Some people don’t have any kind of belief system and it’s easy to give up hope. And once you give up hope, there is not much left.” Once a week during Moe’s radiation treatments, he visited a noon-hour Buddhist meditation gathering.
Before being given two months to live, Moe’s diet was mostly vegetarian – he was only eating very specific meats (such as organic bison and chicken), organic eggs and a little dairy. (This had been true for 5-6 years before his diagnosis.)
Even though his diet was already quite healthy, Moe made a few tweaks. He started to eat the most nutrient dense foods he could find. He got rid of acidic foods altogether… the first thing to go was sugar. After that, he said goodbye to the little bit of meat and dairy that he’d been eating. Eggs took a little longer and were harder to wean out, but eventually Moe succeeded. His diet was now 100% alkaline and vegan.
Moe feels that we all have the possibility of cancer in us, and that there can be certain circumstances that happen in life to activate it.
“I believe that stress has a lot to do with illness,” says Moe. “You’ve got to exercise, you’ve got to limit your stress and eat a healthy diet. To a certain extent, luck is involved. Cancer is a life-long battle. There is no guarantee that if you eat well, exercise and don’t smoke that you won’t get cancer. Having said that, why stack the odds against yourself? Why not make it more difficult to have issues like that?”
The importance of mental attitude
Moe believes that a person’s mental attitude is extremely important. “It seems like there’s a percentage of people who survive cancer through medical/scientific treatments, while there’s another percentage of people who survive it through alternative treatments,” he says. “It seems like neither one nor the other is correct. Which really helps? What is the person’s attitude? Do they have a good family and group of friends who uplift them?” These are the types of things that Moe though about a lot through his experience.
“There is a lot more strength in asking for help,” believes Moe. “Some people decide to go it alone, and that’s a lot tougher. The thing is that no one really knows the truth about cancer. Sometimes a person with cancer doesn’t seem to get support from their families, but it’s simply because they don’t know what to do to help.”
People often ask Moe how he can run ultra-marathons at such an advanced age. And Moe’s reply is, “I have a high opinion about myself.” But this isn’t an egotistical remark, he explains. “I have a high belief system. If you have a high belief in something else outside of yourself – something that is bigger than yourself – that’s what helps you get through.” Moe often says “I like to think that I was just born lucky.”
Moe is also a big believer in visualization. For example, in the months leading up to one of his ultra-marathon races, he visualizes himself running past the finish line. Or, if one of his kids is ill, he will visualize helping them over the airwaves.
Moe’s health breakdown
50-60% – Diet
30% – Staying fit and active
The balance – Rest, attitude and shedding stress
How Moe got into running…
In the early 1980s, Moe remembers running down a laneway after his kids… and getting out of breath. At the time, he weighed about 211 pounds. (Now he weighs 180 lbs. and has for decades.)
Moe has always loved the woods. Wanting to get into better shape, he was attracted to the idea of trail running – it gave him a sense of freedom in a world where there aren’t many freedoms. “We were so active thousands of years ago. These days, we seem to think that inactivity is a normal way of being,” comments Moe. “I think a normal state of being is an intense agitation of the body.”
“Glutes and quads are the biggest muscle groups in the human body – people have hip replacements because they aren’t active enough in their lives. Exercise and movement are extremely important,” he explains.
Moe also places a lot of value on taking the time to simply relax. “It doesn’t have to be complicated. You can just lie on an exercise mat and relax. Talk to your body! Take time to let the body do what it has to do,” he says.
Moe’s advice for younger generations who are glued to computers…
Get away from your computer every ten minutes. Do some arm circles, or walk around. Kick your legs up and shake things out. Put on a CD and start dancing up a storm! If you were sports car, wouldn’t you want your owner to put top-quality fuel into you? Food is fuel for the human body! Putting things like sugar, junk food and pop into your body is certainly not going to make you more efficient. And eventually, it’s going to catch up with you.
A snap shot of what Moe eats each day…
Morning which, for Moe, that means waking up at 5 am!
‣ Some sort of tea (such as lemon ginger) or a shot of green drink (such as organic wheat grass or barley grass)
‣ A fruit/veg smoothie made with kale, broccoli, macca powder, cinnamon, turmeric, almond milk, olive oil (since he doesn’t eat any fat)
‣ Steel cut oats with a rotation of sliced bananas, pumpkin seeds, raisins, almond or coconut milk, flax meal, chia seeds, hemp heart, etc.
‣ Curry chick pea soup
‣ The rest of his smoothie, left over from the morning (kept sealed in the fridge – and, if he goes out, he can put some in a container to take along)
‣ According to Moe, it’s best to cook with coconut oil… olive oil has a low burn point so when it’s heated up past a certain point, it turns to trans fat. Coconut oil, on the other hand, turns into saturated fat, which won’t cause any cholesterol problems.
‣ Stir-fry, including things like mushrooms, bean sprouts, Spanish or red onions, garlic, sometimes tofu (the fermented type), carrots, bok choy (or suiy choi), green onions, turmeric, cumin (sometimes curry), yams or sweet potatoes, green snap peas, etc. The sky is the limit with stir fries… Moe loves to top it off sometimes with fermented sauerkraut.
‣ Important: Moe doesn’t recommend drinking a high-density smoothie after about 4pm. His smoothies are so nutrient dense that it’s comparable to having a coffee right before bed – it can cause a huge high and can actually leave you with a buzz.
Some of Moe’s favourite quotes…
◘ “Some people buy a Mercedes. I am a Mercedes.” – Logan Beaulieu, Moe’s son
◘ “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?”
◘ “A body in motion tends to stay in motion. A body at rest tends to stay at rest.”
◘ “Use it, or lose it!”
◘ Moe’s grandmother, Marie Bridgette Fournier, always talked to him in a very positive and unique way. She would say things like, “If you think good thoughts about someone, they can react to those thoughts, even though they are 1000 miles away.” Or, “Be careful how you live, you may be the only bible some people will ever read.”
To find out more about Moe and his passion for running, check out his website at www.eagleruns.ca. Moe now resides in Victoria, British Columbia.