Red Tart Cherries Work Wonders for One Mesothelioma Patient

Stories from Survivors

Wayne N. knows exactly what caused the mesothelioma cancer that pushed him into an earlier-than-planned retirement as a union electrician in Cincinnati, Ohio. He also feels strongly that he’s found a natural approach to treating it — the red tart cherries grown in Michigan. He always has them his freezer at home and has eaten them every single night of his life for the last 20 years.

“There is something almost magical in those cherries,” he asserted. “I don’t know what the science is, but I’m a real believer. I’m proof that they work. I don’t exactly know how or why, but they do. I know they can stop cancer, and a lot of other things, too.”

While studies suggest tart cherries may help with inflammation, some elements of sleep issues and are sources of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, scientific data of their efficacy in fighting cancer is lacking. Because of their overall health benefits, they can be integrated into most healthy mesothelioma diets.

20-Year Mesothelioma Survivor

Wayne, 83,  is convinced the cherries have kept him healthy and prevented the cancer from spreading like it usually does. He believes they’ve allowed him to grow old and outlive other mesothelioma patients.

He was first diagnosed in 1991. Three doctors confirmed the diagnosis. Two of them cancer were specialists who told him to get his affairs in order and start treatment quickly. It was the last time he saw those specialists.

“I generally stay away from doctors. Just don’t like them,” he said. “They aren’t going to tell you about cherries because there is no money in it for them or for the drug companies. I’ve seen too many other people listening to doctors, who give them treatments that just don’t work. The cherries work.”

Wayne started eating his cherries while helping his wife battle lung cancer in a more traditional way. She was a lifelong smoker who died at age 60. He would drive her to the hospital for day-long treatment sessions of chemotherapy and radiation and he felt there were no positive results.

“With all those treatments, she never improved one little bit,” he said. “The problem is that so many of these medicines being prescribed don’t work. Maybe chemotherapy works for breast cancer, but it didn’t help my wife at all. I just stay away from doctors now.”

Fighting Disease Naturally

Wayne personally believes that the best way to fight disease is the natural way, strengthening his immune system through nutrition and exercise. He takes vitamins. He eats plenty of fruits, vegetables and nuts. He works in his yard every day. And he pulls exactly 9 red tart cherries out of his freezer to eat every night.

He used to eat more, but he started getting nosebleeds from the way they thinned his blood so much. His shortness of breath, which was one of the symptoms that led to his original doctor visit two decades ago, has not been a problem for years.

Red Tart Cherry

Wayne’s cherries, like many fruits and vegetables, have been known as a tasty, healthy snack for a long time. More recent studies have shown just how rich they are in antioxidants like melatonin, which has been proven to help sleep patterns.

Melatonin also has been linked to reducing inflammation. Some people believe increasing melatonin can help relieve their arthritis and gout.

“It was always anecdotal, but it’s been reported so frequently, by so many different people, that you have to think there may be something to it,” said Dr. Russell Reiter, professor of neuroendocrinology at the University of Texas Health Science Center, who has published several papers on melatonin. “The combination of antioxidants in cherries can be very beneficial.”

Spreading the Word about Cherries

Despite the skepticism over his belief that the tart cherries helped fight his mesothelioma, Wayne is eager to spread the word. He believes it helped his sister fight off cancer not long after his wife died. He said he also thinks his cherries were the key to a good friend’s victory over colon cancer. He suggests cherries also relieved the gout symptoms os another friend. He credits his cherries with helping the woman who had been cutting his hair.

“She and her husband had spent many years, and thousands of dollars, going to all sorts of fertility clinics, trying everything, to have a baby,” he said. “Nothing had worked, and she was so disappointed. Then I gave her a bag a cherries. And within a few months, she was pregnant, and so thankful.”

Wayne’s asbestos exposure occurred over a 35-year career as an electrician, much of it involving insulation material. The latency period after exposure can be anywhere from 20-60 years. A good friend and fellow union member he worked close with died from mesothelioma a few years ago.

Both of them were part of a lawsuit filed against a variety of asbestos manufacturers that still are paying out damages. Wayne gets a check periodically, while his friend’s check are going to his widow.

“My father is a big believer that nutrition is everything,” said daughter Cindy, who lives near her father. “I don’t think the doctors believe this kind of thing, but he doesn’t believe in doctors. He just wants to help other people. He doesn’t see well anymore, but he never, ever gets sick. Anytime I get sick, he’ll say, ‘Have you been eating your cherries?'”

(His last name is being withheld over privacy concerns.)

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