A mum hopes clean eating will help her beat breast cancer so she will be around to see her four young children grow up.
Mum-of-four, Sarah Valentine, is following a strict vegan-style diet to give her body a chance to beat two tumours in her left breast.
Since being diagnosed with breast cancer just days after Christmas, the make-up artist and nail technician, has ditched meat, dairy products, sugar and processed food from her diet.
Instead of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, 36-year-old Sarah from Bethersden, favours an armoury of high-dose intravenous vitamin C therapy, mineral supplements and an alkaline-based diet, packed with fruit, vegetables, tofu, nuts and seeds.
She is being supported by her husband, Richard, 35, who is also following her diet.
Sarah has received a flood of support from across the world after starting a Go Fund Me ‘shake your tits’ page with a £10,000 fundraising target, with donations shooting up to £5,000, within a matter of days.
The mum’s ‘shake your tits’ to breast cancer campaign was named after the way she discovered the lumps in her left breast on December 3.
“I was standing in front of the mirror in my mum’s bathroom and I thought I’d lost a bit of weight so I lifted my hands up and did a little dance naked,” said Sarah
“My tits were shaking, but I didn’t do it on purpose, they just shake and I noticed an indentation."
It was to be the beginning of a nightmare for Sarah, a mum to Jesse, 15, Poppy, five, Teddy, four and one-year-old Billy, who after seeing the irregularity, went on a whirlwind of medical appointments, before having cancer finally diagnosed on December 29.
But Sarah has clashed with doctors at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, who have been sceptical of her clean-living approach. “My consultant didn’t even mention diet as a way of tackling the cancer,” she said.
“He was very dismissive and reminded me I was the mother of four young children. But it’s because I’m a mum I want to do this to help me get better.
“I don’t feel that I’ve been handed a death sentence as my tumour is grade 1 (the earliest stage of disease) and I want the chance to beat this naturally. I don’t want to put my health in anyone else’s hands.
“Doctors must think I have just Googled ‘breast cancer’ and come up with the idea about diet, but I have read and read on the subject and been in contact with NORI in Los Angeles (Nutritional Oncology Research Institute).”
NORI says it offers cancer patients “scientifically sound, nontoxic and effective alternatives to conventional therapies”.
The gutsy mum, who has a family history of unrelated cancer, describes chemotherapy as “poison” and is resisting the advice of her consultant at the William Harvey Hospital, Ashford, to have a mastectomy.
Sarah says she’s staying positive and will continue to work with doctors at the William Harvey Hospital, but wishes they would embrace her approach to the illness.
The ex-Londoner, who moved to Bethersden two years ago said: “I’d really love to get ‘Shake your tits’ trending as we should all be shaking, massaging, feeling our way around to spot any changes in our breasts as soon as possible.”
The Go Fund Me page is to help Sarah get non-invasive tests and treatments such as hormone profiling and blood marker tests that indicate cancer activity, plus to assists with costs as she has been forced to scale back her work.
“I have been overwhelmed by people’s generosity and can’t thank them enough,” said Sarah.
“I’ve had donations from around the world and I don’t know around half of the people who have given money. It has restored my faith in human nature.”
To support Sarah visit https://www.gofundme.com/shake-your-tits-to-cancer