Saturday, March 14, 2015
A Cancer Patient Who Followed Belle Speaks Out
I got this email from a woman with cancer who followed Belle. She gave me permission to share it.
Thank you so much for your blog. As a cancer survivor, it has meant the world to me to have this perspective brought to light. I started following @healing_belle in 2013, just as her star was rising.
I always kinda knew Jess Ainscough was a quack (though she did make me feel extremely guilty & self conscious that my healing journey wasn't as 'beautiful' as hers seemed to be) however I fell for Belle Gibson's story hard.
She didn't seem to be too 'out there', didn't talk about coffee enemas or too hippy shit beyond crystals (I don't believe they have powers, but hey, they're pretty so I don't mind the pictures in my feed).
Her recipes were clever & delicious, she straight up made me eat more vegetables than I was and juice way more often and her story gave me a great push forward to healing in my own way (going through conventional treatment) supported by a kick ass diet.
However, I most resonated with her because of her posts on cancer. I was going through something I didn't know how to talk about, what language to use, I didn't even tell anyone I worked with I had cancer - I just took a leave.
And here was this girl, so much braver than I, telling the world her story & inspiring people like me across the world. I even remember scrolling through her feed in my hospital bed the day after my surgery, looking for inspiration & hope from someone who'd been there and knew how much it sucked.
I wished I could be as strong as her, to heal myself with food and a natural approach but I was scared, everything moved so quickly and I had a fundamental faith in science & medicine that propelled me to jump into treatment within 24 hrs of diagnosis. Nonetheless, it was a tremendously tumultuous year where I doubted myself and my choices, especially compared to the sexy, modern & all natural cancer-fighting style of Jess Ainscough and Belle Gibson. It was rare to see cancer icons that were my own age and were full of life despite their diagnoses (it seemed).
So you can imagine how sad I was when the news started to unravel. I had had my own doubts for a while but was still holding out for an updated statement from her camp, but then I followed this 'rabbit trail' and just can't believe her anymore about anything.
So regardless of the stuff to come, I've 100% given up on this turning out as some kind of misunderstanding.
That's something big for me: I downloaded her app at first chance, I told my mom/friends/shopkeeper to get it too, I purchased all her Holiday Pack upgrades, posted solidarity instagrams dedicated to her when her health took a turn, made her recipes & actively participated in #thewholepantry community. I even paid double to have her book shipped overseas from Australia because I couldn't wait for the wider release.