"I took one for the team," says Candice-Marie Fox
Updated: Aug 10
Note: I'm interviewing success stories from my cancer support group. Here's number 2. If you'd like to attend the Saturday, 8 am Pacific Time (California) Zoom support group, please contact me.
Host of the first World Health Summit online event (April 2023), Candice-Marie Fox loves helping others as a health coach, yoga teacher, and budding naturopath with over 11 years of cancer research experience. Several years ago, at age 28, she got a rude shock when a lump appeared on her neck and she was diagnosed with stage III (metastasized) cancer of the thyroid. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland at the front of your neck and under your skin with the important role of controlling your metabolism, the system in your body that produces energy from the food you eat.
Then a model and self-admitted party lover who drank and smoked, Fox initially wanted to use the most natural and least invasive treatments. However, the bubbly British native was increasingly pressured by her family and her medical team to choose the conventional path of surgery and radiation. Adding to her intense fear of cancer and a reluctance to opt for less invasive treatments were the recent illness and death of both a cousin and a close friend to cancer. She was told to "do the conventional treatment and she’d come out alright."
Candice-Marie’s Cancer at a glance
Cancer: Thyroid cancer, stage III/IV (metastasized)
Age at diagnosis: 28
Conventional treatment: Surgery and radiation
Other treatment: low-methionine vegan diet, nutraceuticals
Quotes: “I got rid of everything toxic in my life and became so grateful for life.”
She eventually agreed to surgery and radiation despite her doubts. Her thyroid was removed and she underwent radiation. In one frightening incident after surgery, she found out that her surgeon inadvertently removed 3 of her 4 parathyroid glands (next to the thyroid), which made her entire body lock up because of lack of calcium, which is normally regulated by the parathyroid glands.
She says, "I could literally just hear my heart beating fast, feel tears roll down my face and my body going completely stiff all over. It was truly terrifying." Despite going through the agonizing surgery and the isolating radiation treatments, Candice-Marie’s cancer spread aggressively to her right lung and the lymph nodes, the small bean-shaped immune system glands throughout the body. Her medical team said she might have only 5 years to live. She was devastated.
Her oncologists recommended more radiation and then chemotherapy, if radiation failed. However, they couldn’t do the radiation right away and that gave Fox a year to research less invasive therapies. Fox considers her invasive treatments (surgery and radiation) as “taking one for the team.” But she “got smart” and “researched natural ways: how to not damage the body but get rid of these [cancer] cells.” She says her “body [wanted] to heal so I wanted to give it the right tools.”
By this time, Fox’s diet had improved slightly from bacon sandwiches and cheese toasties to salmon, bok choy, and omelets. Through a web search, Fox discovered Mark Simon, director of the Nutritional Oncology Research Institute (NORI), and they talked over the phone. Simon told her that “your diet is not optimal.” She went on a methionine-restricted diet designed by Simon, and she says she “adopted a whole new way of living.”
Methionine is an essential amino acid. Amino acids are building blocks (molecules) that make up proteins, which we need for many reasons, for example, to build our bones, muscles, and skin as well as build and repair tissue. Essential means the amino acid must come from an external source: food because the body cannot make it on its own. Fox’s new diet was whole foods plant-based. She ate mostly fruits such as mangos, pineapples, papaya and dragonfruit.
Despite being urged to continue radiation, Fox persisted with the methionine-restricted diet and new lifestyle because she felt healthier and stronger. In addition to the diet, Fox supplemented with vitamin K3 and pro-oxidants such as methyl selenide as recommended by Simon to push the cancer cells to oxidative stress and cell death.
Four years after her initial diagnosis, Fox’s scans were clear of any signs of cancer. Though her medical team was surprised that her cancer was gone, none of them asked her how she was able to get these results. Fox says, “one might think discerning medical professionals would be interested in how I obtained cancer-free scans.” Instead they insisted on doing more radiation. Candice-Marie refused more radiation; with her strict low-methionine diet and nutraceuticals, she was able to get her blood tests into normal (non-cancer) range.
Victorious over cancer and determined to help others learn from her experiences, Fox touted her non-invasive treatment in interviews and on the web. She received a lot of attention because of her modeling fame and personal popularity. Unfortunately, some media outlets misquoted her words and internet trolls attacked her viciously. Headlines like “Model beats cancer by eating pineapple” popped up on British tabloids mocking Fox’s anti-cancer diet. Trolls threatened to take her down her website and Facebook page, making rude and nasty comments on her social media feeds and demanding proof of her cure.
Stressed and anxious from the attacks, she withdrew from social media for a few months because she feared for her own safety. But encouraged by Mark Simon and others, Fox still actively promotes the methionine-restricted diet and is currently writing a low-methionine cookbook. She also conceived of and hosted the first online World Health Summit on April 7, 2023 with speakers including John Gray, T Colin Campbell, and Mark Simon.