Millions of new cancer cases are diagnosed every year in the U.S. alone. As shocking as the statistics stand, finding a universal cure still proves troublesome for doctors. While certain methods, such as chemotherapy and radiation, are proven to help many, some people have gone their own way. And for Mari Lopez, her alternative methods involved a special diet and plenty of prayer.
Lopez died in December 2017 from stage 4 cancer — and that was after claiming her lifestyle cured her of the disease. Here’s what happened.
1. Mari Lopez claimed her plant-based diet healed her of cancer in 4 months
Lopez and her niece Liz Johnson started their niche YouTube channel in 2015 — and now, it’s getting more attention than ever. Lopez and Johnson frequently discussed the power of an all-natural vegan diet. And Newsweek noted Lopez’s most memorable claim was that her faith in God and her 100% plant-based diet were the two key components to ridding her body of cancer in just four months.
Neither of these claims are based in medicine, of course. After Lopez’s death, Johnson noted in a video that neither of the two were against modern medicine, but they truly believed this was the path that would work.
Next: Lopez said this is who told her to follow this deadly path.
2. She claimed God told her this was the path she needed to follow
Why go against modern medicine for beating cancer, even though it’s proven to work? According to Johnson’s video, Lopez was simply following the path that God wanted for her. Johnson claims God spoke to Lopez and said an all-natural diet and unwavering faith were the keys to longevity.
Interestingly enough, Lopez also claimed she “used to live a gay lifestyle” and was also “healed” by God to become straight, according to Babe.
Next: Lopez said this was one of the most effective components of her diet.
3. Lopez went through chemotherapy and radiation in the past
Lopez chose alternative medicine over doctor recommendations this time, but this wasn’t her first go with battling cancer. In her video titled “Cancer Transformation FAQ,” she explained in 2004 she was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. At the time, Lopez treated the illness with chemotherapy and radiation, and she had a mastectomy.
Thirteen years later, the cancer came back — and this time, it spread to her lungs and bones. She said during her second cancer battle, going through chemo and dealing with the side effects was “not an option.”
Next: This was what happened when Lopez realized her vegan tactics weren’t working.
4. She eventually underwent medical treatment to battle cancer the second time
Leading up to her final days, Lopez realized she didn’t cure her cancer on her own after all. While she said she’d never go back to chemotherapy or radiation, Babe explained Lopez was hospitalized in December 2017 after she was reportedly not feeling well since the summer. This was after she and Johnson had posted many videos explaining the best juices for curing cancer.
Johnson said it was her mother, Lopez’s sister, who pushed her to start radiation and chemotherapy again. Lopez also started eating meat after awhile, too, until her eventual death.
Next: Here’s what Johnson blames her aunt’s death on.
5. Johnson thinks her aunt would still be alive today if she stuck with her diet
Even with the best medical care, the odds of beating stage 4 cancer are slim. But Johnson maintains that her aunt would have beaten her disease if she had strictly stuck with the juice cleanses and stayed away from the chemo, according to Babe.
Johnson spoke to the publication, saying Lopez was pushed into disrupting her regimen. And if she had simply stuck with what appeared to be working, then Johnson believes her aunt would have had a better chance at living. “I can’t fully say 100%, but I think that may have been what happened,” Johnson said.
Next: Here’s what the experts have to say on the matter.
6. Experts explain there’s no diet that can cure cancer
If there were a diet that could really cure cancer, we’d certainly know about it by now. Breastcancer.org explains there’s no evidence to suggest that eating a specific diet can cure cancer, and some of these extreme diets can do more harm than good. Lopez was a big fan of juicing, and she even went on a 90-day juice cleanse. But the publication explains taking excess supplements, injections, or fasting for an extended period of time in the name of “health” can make matters worse.
Still, there are plenty of foods that can help fight cancer before you get it. And eating a healthy diet is always encouraged.
Next: Should Lopez’s YouTube be shut down from the false claims?
7. These videos can be seriously misleading and harmful to viewers
Registered dietician Aisling Pigott tells Newsweek misleading content, such as the videos by Lopez and Johnson, need to be cracked down upon. Pigott says YouTubers aren’t bound by any code of conduct, but she still believes “they have a personal responsibility not to cause harm.”
For now, Johnson plans on continuing the channel with videos on health and financial advice. But to quell the storm, she’s turned off the comments.
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