Ep.51: My Kid Cures Cancer with Ryan and Teddy Sternagel
Meet my friends, Ryan and Teddy Sternagel, who tell their story of how their child healed from cancer while avoiding conventional medicine. Their son, Ryder, was diagnosed when he was a baby with Stage IV cancer. He had a tumor larger than his kidney growing inside and out of his spinal canal and two secondary tumors, all of which had metastasized into his bones.
Their story reminds me of my story about my Grandmother who healed herself from cancer through diet and lifestyle. Listen, learn and be inspired by Ryan and Teddy’s miraculous story.
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Learn more about their mission: www.mykidcurescancer.com
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Robyn: Ryan and Teddy Sternagle, I’m so excited to have you on the “Your High Vibration Life” podcast. Welcome to our show.
Teddy: Thank you so much for having us. We’re so excited to be here.
Ryan: Hey, Robin.
Robyn: Hey, Ryan. I’m really glad to have you here, because you’ve just been through a whirlwind few years, and you have an amazing story, and we really should just start with how, as young parents, the absolute worst nightmare of every parent happened to you. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about your story?
Ryan: Yeah. I’ll encourage Teddy to cut me off at will, because I always end up forgetting something important, but it was little over three years ago now, and Teddy was nursing Ryder, and she felt a lump in his back. It wasn’t huge, sticking out of his back or anything, but it was definitely there. He had to bent over at the right place, but I could feel it too. She took him in to his pediatrician, and in the meantime, we started just kind of talking about other things that had started to worry us. He had completely fallen off the growth chart. He was born in, I don’t know, the 90th percentile, and I think he was down to what, 25th at that point?
Ryan: What else? It was maybe a month before his first birthday. He wasn’t crawling or really even barely pulling himself up, so there were a few things that started adding up to us. We took him in to the pediatrician, and she was not concerned about the lump for some reason, told us to go home, and we actually got a referral to an orthopedic, what was it? Occupational therapist, to teach him how to crawl. What, do you want to say something, babe?
Teddy: And a physical therapist as well. They weren’t really addressing the lump, but just trying to fix the fact that he was not walking and wasn’t eating. I mean, our concern was with the lump, so we went home, and we were not really happy with the answers that we got, so we did get the referral for the orthopedic physician’s assistant. We went in, and this was at our main hospital, and they weren’t worried, either. They did X-rays and blood work, and other than him being super constipated on the X-rays, which was also really concerning for us, because he had been such a regular pooper before that-
Ryan: Very regular.
Teddy: Then all of a sudden, he just stopped pooping for two weeks. They sent us home and said, “Just come back in six weeks.” Ryan and I went home and, I think, just made it through the weekend. I had been Googling the whole time. We made it to about Monday and called the hospital and said, “We need to get back in and see a doctor.” I had Googled and landed upon the term neuroblastoma, which is a pretty rare type of cancer, but-
Ryan: Well, it’s one of the more common childhood cancers.
Teddy: Right, right.
Ryan: Yeah, so Teddy had it diagnosed well before the doctors did. We finally got back in there and got to a somewhat real doctor. I think it was an orthopedic doctor we finally … I don’t know why they kept just trying to put us with orthopedic people, but we finally got an ultrasound, and sure enough, there was a mass that was concerning that now we need to get an MRI for, and-
Teddy: Well, and when I said that I thought that it was neuroblastoma, the funny thing was that both the doctor and the nurse kind of laughed it off and said, “Oh, there’s no way that it’s neuroblastoma. He looks great.” Typically, those kids have super distended stomachs, which he didn’t really, even though he was so constipated. Like Ryan said, the ultrasound showed the mass, and then that immediately led to an MRI. The MRI, we were told, was only going to last about 45 minutes, and Ryan and I were in there for … What was it? Almost two hours?
Ryan: Two hours, yeah.
Ryan: Yeah. The nurse and the doctor finally came back in, and they had tears in their eyes. They said the lump that we felt was just the tip of the iceberg and that he had a tumor larger than his kidneys inside of and growing out of his spine and a couple secondary tumors, and they had all metastasized into his bones. Yeah, that was not good. We knew something was bad, just from the amount of time everything was taking and the buildup to it, but nothing can quite prepare you for those words coming out of their mouths, and … I don’t know. That’s where everything obviously changed pretty rapidly. The tone, the level of concern of the doctors clearly changed very rapidly. It went from, “Come back in six weeks,” to “You guys need to be admitted inpatient to the hospital immediately.”
Teddy: Start chemotherapy immediately.
Ryan: Yeah, start chemotherapy immediately. At that point, obviously we’ve been researching natural health stuff for three years now, and have heard about quite a lot. Obviously didn’t know as much then as we know now, but I don’t know, we just had a general interest, seen the Burzynski documentary and a couple Gerson movies and just … were into general health and natural health in general, so we knew there were other things that we wanted to at least look into before diving right into chemotherapy. We did get a proper diagnosis. We got a biopsy. We actually did consent to getting a line put in, a central line. It’s what they use for chemo with kids that can’t just get poked all the time. We had been hearing about intravenous vitamin C and DMSO and IPT and all this stuff that we thought would be good to have a line for, so we got that.
Robyn: Just to break in here, IPT is Insulin Potentiated Therapy, which is a low dose chemo that helps it go where it’s supposed to go and not be so systemically devastating. Bryan’s talking about, probably jumping ahead, that he’s studied some alternative therapies for cancer that need a central line because they’re delivered by IV. Am I right?
Teddy: I mean, when we went home, we were calling around, I mean literally the whole country. We called-
Ryan: Not the whole country, the whole world.
Teddy: The whole world. Mexico, Spain. We called Burzynski’s office and he actually has a practice in Spain, too. Unfortunately, just due to the FDA, there was really no one else that could treat Ryder, but I mean, at that point, Ryan and I knew just from our general at least knowledge and just what we had already learned about with natural health that we didn’t need to wait. We could start right away. Even though he didn’t have a feeding tube, we started ordering supplements, a juicer, and just started revving up on anything that we could do that we had heard about before the diagnosis.
Ryan: Yeah, I think we must have spent, I don’t know, five, maybe 1000 bucks, just in overnight shipping charges alone, just trying to get everything we could as quickly as we could.
Teddy: Right. I mean, we immediately ordered a sauna. We ordered some pretty big equipment. We just, anything that we had heard of with good studies, so during the course of us calling around, Ryder actually developed a staph infection that was because there was a staph living on his line that was placed during surgery.
Ryan: Oh yeah, we didn’t even know what it was at first.
Teddy: Right. We didn’t know, but it turns out later that it was staph, and so we had to bring him back to the hospital in a state of emergency. He spiked a huge fever and really, I mean, just his overall appearance was just really scary. Once we came back in, that’s when we did consent to chemotherapy. We had-
Ryan: Yeah, I mean, just … I guess the part we didn’t necessarily make clear was the tumor inside of his spine was literally threatening to paralyze him at any second. Every oncologist or doctor that sees that thing now is amazed that he’s still walking around.
Teddy: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Or started walking.
Ryan: Yeah, that he’s walking now. That answered the question of why wasn’t he crawling at a year old. It’s because he had this huge tumor in his spine.
Teddy: Right. I mean, it really is a miracle that I discovered it because it was sticking out, because they also said, I mean, it could have just been something as sudden as literally just a sudden death from severing his spine, and it was the fact that it was sticking out and we discovered it that, I mean, we were able to diagnose it and treat him.
Ryan: Yeah, so don’t let health professionals blow your health concerns off.
Teddy: Yeah, intuition is a pretty big part of our story.
Ryan: Yeah, yeah, it’s definitely a recurring theme.
Robyn: Well, and maybe the fact that you were nursing him as long as you did, I mean, as strange as it is, was a big part of that discovery that you might not have, and a difference of days or weeks before you went into motion may have been a life or death difference for Ryder.
You know, I haven’t told you this yet, and I haven’t come on your show yet. You have a podcast called My Kid Cures Cancer, and I’ve been listening to your podcast. I know, Ryan, you’ve been listening to mine. You don’t know this yet, but first of all, two things. First of all, I did a three and a half year research tour all over the world. I’ve interviewed Burzynski and others on several different continents, 19 different clinics, just on my own dime, researching, and not because I had a child with cancer, not because I had cancer, but because cancer is a research interest of mine, and I had a project in mind that I really wanted people to know more about the alternatives that they have.
Other people, including our mutual friend, Chris Wark, Chris Beat Cancer, have stepped up and been heroes and brought information that they’ve studied and learned through their own cancer journey. You are now stepping into some amazing, heroic shoes, like Chris Wark has, to bring important information to people that standard of care is a mega-billion dollar industry, really limited to what insurance companies will pay for, and what makes pharma billions of dollars is limited. It’s limited, and in your case it was the right thing to do. I can’t what I would do if my child were diagnosed at such a young age. I would think, well, green juice isn’t going to cure this, because just so young and rapidly growing and compromising his life.
Another thing you don’t know about me is that I had a 15-month old very close to death and below the fifth percentile, and in and out of hospitals and in a completely terrifying situation that led to Green Smoothie Girl. GreenSmoothieGirl.com is a result of my going online and telling my family’s story, and who knew that it would lead to 15 books and it becoming my full-time job? I think you actually sort of have a vision for that. I certainly didn’t when I started. What you did was heroic, and you’ve walked that narrow path of choosing what’s best for Ryder.
I mentioned to you that, and I will tell this story on your show, it’s not the topic here, but that I went to bat for a family named the Jensens here in Utah, where their son was told, they were told that their, I want to say it was 12-year old son, had probable Ewing sarcoma, and the state, the attorney general’s office, Guardian ad Litem, Primary Children’s Hospital, all came down on this family and demanded that they get this kid into chemo and radiation and they refused. They wanted some time to think. They weren’t just like, “We hate chemo.” They were like, “We’re not sure this is right for our son. We’re not even sure our son has Ewing sarcoma.”
The father lost his job. They lost their net worth fighting. They actually ended up not so much winning as much as just time spun out, and the doctor who had been pursuing it really lost interest in the case and went to another state, and so then it was just the actual government, attorney general’s office and Guardian ad Litem and Primary Children’s, the institution fighting with this family. Things strung out and strung out and strung out. Meantime this kid isn’t sick. The kid isn’t sick, and the kid never had chemo or radiation, and it’s now well over … It’s about 12 years later, and he’s a healthy father of two. Never had cancer, and there was a rush to judgment, and once we think a kid has cancer, that we need to hook him up to a IV line and start administering chemicals immediately, and the family was like, “We’re not sure he really has Ewing sarcoma. We’re not completely convinced that. We want a second opinion.”
With that as background, I mean, I went to their court case. I went and met with the attorney general, advocating for them and other families. I started to discover there’s lots of families who, they don’t have rights. They have less rights than an accused murderer would. If a doctor says your kid has cancer, standard of care is so widely accepted, even with its pretty low success rate across cancers … I’m not talking about neuroblastoma, for children. I’m talking about across cancers. That you, as a parent, if you want to opt out of it, you’re going to be in a lot of trouble. There cases I’ve studied or worked with, Katie [Orniche 00:14:08], [Abraham Star Child Churix 00:14:08] and others across the country that were national news story, like the Parker Jensen story was, and so, that’s a nutshell, sort of my background on it.
I had a child who was failure to thrive, and I opted out of standard of care and fixed the problem myself, and the results for my son, as he’s now just turned 24, are spectacular. We needed to do those things, and I believe that what you’ve done for Ryder is going to have a ripple effect. I just want to be the wind under your wings. What you did for Ryder, and I want to get into some of the things that your family now gets to benefit from, you will slowly start to think, this was my journey too, that you did this for Ryder, but it has incredible benefits for your family. You learned, at quantum speed, all these things about health and wellness that your family needs to know. We all need to be opting out of all these toxic parts of our environment, and maybe for your second child, your daughter, maybe there are things that would have happened that won’t happen because of the changes that you’ve made.
I also want to put to you that the impact that you’re going to have on the world is something you cannot currently conceive of. It’s going to be that big.
Ryan: Yeah, we’ve been hearing that more and more lately. Still trying to wrap our minds around it, but … I didn’t know that about you, Robin. I’ll be excited to hear exactly what you did when you come on our show.
Robyn: Yeah, that will be exciting. I want to really get back to, what did you do then? You had doctors wanting to put him in chemo. You did do some chemo, and you did work with the doctor, but tell me more about that. What did you … Were you able to choose in and out of some of what they wanted for him? Obviously you’re doing lots of alternative stuff too.
Teddy: Yeah, so, we were able to kind of … It was more of a don’t ask, don’t tell policy. We took a juicer into our hospital room, and we were juicing for him. We asked for a feeding tube before he started chemotherapy, because he was one at the time. It was the only way to get meaningful amounts of anything into his system.
Ryan: Yeah, and that was actually a crazy thing, because usually they wait till the kid is all emaciated and looking terrible, and we said, “No, we want the feeding tube now,” and they were like, “Well, why? He looks great.” We were like, “Exactly. We want to keep it that way.”
Teddy: That was actually a fight, but we won.
Ryan: A really big fight- [crosstalk 00:16:37]
Robyn: Well, hold on for one … I want you to say something about juicing, because you and I are, the three of us, are extremely well-versed in the Gerson Therapy. My grandmother beat a metastatic melanoma in her breasts and her lymphatic system with the Gerson protocol. When you say juicing, you want to clarify what you’re talking about and why you would need a juicer, because some people are like, “What, you fed him orange juice?”
Teddy: Right, so, I’m glad that you said that. We were taking loads and loads of all organic, but mostly carrots and green apples, and while we were at home researching and calling around, I had landed upon an article of a woman who had her son, Leanne Woodland is the woman, her son, 25 years ago, was sent home from the Mayo Clinic with neuroblastoma, and after a year and a half of treatment, he was sent home to die. She basically, within six months, reversed his health. He’s 25 and doing amazing today. Juicing carrot juice was a huge part of her protocol, so we immediately knew, we need a juicer, and we need to be juicing a ton of carrots for him.
Ryan: Yeah, it’s funny. You look at Leanne’s protocol, because she has it written right out on a lot of her stories, and compared to all the stuff we were doing, it’s actually not a lot there. Just a whole ton of juice and some basic supplements, but nothing too exotic, and that did what a year and a half of treatment wouldn’t do. Now I, like we were talking earlier, Robin, I try to … Just knowing that it works isn’t good enough for me. I still have to geek out and try to figure out why it works. You can go on the [inaudible 00:18:27] and search neuroblastoma in combination with beta-carotene, which is a high, what is it, flavonoid in carrots, and sure enough, there’s a ton of studies on beta-carotene killing neuroblastoma stem cells, which are the worst kind of cancer cells, so-
Teddy: Right, yeah, and it is actually something that’s prescribed for neuroblastoma kids in a high-risk group. Accutane is a synthetic form of vitamin A, so they say it’s not really the same thing, but I mean, we’ve seen testimonials of natural forms of vitamin A doing pretty miraculous things.
Robyn: Yeah, you’re right. It’s flavonoids, and specifically, it’s carotene. The carotinoid antioxidants are probably what it is in carrot juice, and Ryan, as you and I have been chit-chatting today, as we have both been listening to a lot of each other’s content on our podcasts, I told you that my grandmother, diagnosed in 1981, refused chemo and radiation, and she drank so much carrot juice that she turned orange. I remember just walking out of school with her once. She came to pick me up from school when I was 15. She was in town, and I remember not wanting to walk next to her, because people were staring, because I was walking next to my orange grandmother.
Teddy: We got multiple comments about Ryder being bright orange.
Ryan: Yeah, people would, every once in a while, “Does he really like carrots, or what’s going on? Why is he orange?”
Teddy: Well, especially his fingers and his toes and his cheeks. He just had such a wonderful, nice, bronze tan all the time.
Ryan: Nice healthy glow. Yeah.
Teddy: Not what you typically see with kids going through chemotherapy.
Robyn: Yeah, that’s a … By the way, anyone listening, it’s kind of a nice side benefit. I’m a extremely fair-skinned person, but I have a permanent tan, and if you look at the palms of my hands, they’re orange because I do a lot of juicing and I also have my pink smoothie every morning, which has beets and carrots in it, and it’s … I consider it … There’s like thousands of people who make my hot pink breakfast smoothie. It’s delicious. It’s not juicing, but there’s a beet and a carrot in it, and I’ve had that pretty much every day for about 20 years, mostly because it’s delicious as well as good for you, but … Yeah, when we’re talking about juicing, we’re talking about juicing greens, vegetables and fruits.
The Gerson Therapy by Max Gerson, for a hundred years, has been sending people … Often, they come with stage four cancer, and they go home well. It’s not a miracle cure, and currently cancers are far more deadly than they were when Max Gerson was pioneering this whole method. It’s not just about juicing. That’s not the only part of the Gerson Therapy.
I feel like you guys just dove in. I feel like you both are really educated and sophisticated for your years, and you just dove in and learned everything you could and put as much of it into play as possible, right? Tell me some of the things you think made a difference.
Ryan: Yeah, yeah. I just had Patrick Vickers on a podcast, who runs the Northern Baja Gerson Institute, and that’s the point he made, was that the cancer is a lot more just deadly these days, and that’s why he employs a lot of stuff over and above what the original Gerson protocol is. That was certainly our attitude, was if it sounds like it might be good, or it might do some good, we were going to give it a shot.
Teddy: Yeah, and especially since, I mean, to this day, we don’t know what the silver bullet is, and I mean, whether you want to call it luck or not, which is, I mean, a pretty common term in conventional oncology, it really doesn’t matter at the end of the day, since Ryder is doing so well and he did so well through all of this. I mean, we were doing IV vitamin C two to three times a week between treatments, and vitamin C is something that, ironically, is frowned upon, but we found so many studies that IVC can actually make chemotherapy work better.
Ryan: Yeah, and again, studies on specifically neuroblastoma stem cells, once again, with ascorbic acid, so that was a big part early on. We-
Teddy: The sauna.
Ryan: Yeah, we got an infrared sauna, which we’re always looking for just the easiest thing to do for a kid, which isn’t everything you come upon, so we had to be more selective than, really try to figure out if this was going to work or not, but the sauna was really easy to just sit in there with him for … We’ve built up over time. You don’t want to just go crazy day one, but Ryder is up to, I don’t know, pretty … We maxed the thing out temperature-wise, 140, 150 degrees. We’ll sit in there for up to an hour sometimes, and now it’s just where he gets a lot of learning done. He can count to ten in, what, five different languages, just because we have nothing better to do than learn in the sauna.
The purpose of the sauna, well, there’s a lot of purposes to the sauna. I just learned about the whole fourth phase of water thing on your show, Robin, which I won’t even try to repeat, but that was something new that I didn’t even know the sauna did. Yeah, typically, when you hear about the sauna, it’s one detox, which detox across the board is going to be important, no matter what, and especially Ryder was born with cancer, and you start learning about all these kids getting born with hundreds of carcinogenic chemicals, day one, when they’re born. That was a really big thing for us, was just figuring out how we can kind of get him back to square one, back to zero. The sauna was a really easy way to do that, and it’s also … Hyperthermia is the other thing, just raising the core body temperature. The healthy cells can handle it; the cancer cells can’t. That’s the theory behind that one.
Robyn: How do you do hyperthermia with a little one?
Ryan: Well, like I said, it’s just sitting in the sauna, just letting your core body temperature raise.
Robyn: I got you. Talk about how you feed, now, two little children, super healthy, because people … We changed our diet so much, and when my son, Cade, was dying at 15 months old, and below the fifth percentile for weight and diagnosed failure to thrive, and he just laid there in a car seat. He was so sick, and he was on Bronchodilators and liquid steroids. When I realized … I was told by a doctor that there was nothing more they could do for him. They weren’t saying go home and die. They were saying, “We’ve used all the silver bullets.”
I went home and just hit my knees and sobbing, was like, “What else is there? What am I going to do here?” I was like, “Well, I have to do it.” I just heard the doctor say, “We don’t have anything more for you. All there is is more hospitalizations and more liquid steroids that will absolutely stunt his growth.” P.S., he’s a six foot three 24-year old now.
I had to change our diet, and I didn’t change our diet a little. When you’re motivated, same as you, pull out all the stops. There was never any white flour in our house ever again. There was never any sugar in our house again. There was … I just went in the closet, in the cupboard, when I started learning, oh my gosh, our diet could be part of it. There was never any more dairy. I mean, we had gallons of cow milk, right? Cow milk full of pus and blood and hormones and steroids and antibiotics. I didn’t know that. The more I studied, I was like, “Oh my gosh. I’ve just got to get rid of all this stuff.” It was intense, and it was expensive, and it was the best thing I’ve ever done. How do you feel about that, and how’s your lifestyle now, and how’s Channing benefiting from that, little girl?
Teddy: Yeah, I mean, I agree. It’s kind of amazing when you open your eyes to all of the toxins, including the ones in our refrigerator, but-
Ryan: We had garbage bags filled with stuff that just got thrown away, day one.
Teddy: Right. We were already eating mostly organic, but we stopped going out to eat 100 percent. We were in complete control of our food, even while we were inpatient for over a month. We had a little steamer, and we were steaming vegetables and cooking rice, and that was our diet in the hospital instead of … I mean, we never touched any of the hospital food or the water for that matter. I mean, I used to always think, with Ryder, that … I started believing people, like, “Oh, you’re so lucky that he just eats this way,” and I just thought, “Okay, maybe we are lucky,” but now Channing is almost 16 months, and she loves eating salads and she has the same tastes that he does, so maybe it’s genetic, but I really do feel like it’s what you put in front of your kids and make a part of your lifestyle that they’re going to ultimately choose and like.
Ryan: Yeah, I mean, they only know the reality that you present to them.
Teddy: Yeah, exactly.
Ryan: That’s why we make a big deal. It has to be a whole family change. It can’t just be you telling your kid to eat better, even if you’re not eating the bad stuff in front of them. If you don’t really believe it, they’re going to know that you’re just trying to sell them something that you don’t do yourself.
Robyn: Yeah, smart, smart, smart. It doesn’t just apply to food. As a mom, kind of on the other end of it, my youngest just turned 17. The other three are adults now. I’m telling you, everything you model to them is going to be far more powerful than any words you ever say, and you’ve heard that before, but it’s absolutely 100 percent true. I mean, if you read books a lot in front of your kids and to them, they will be readers. If you eat healthy foods, that’s far more powerful than you giving them some lecture about eating their vegetables.
Ryan: Yeah, no. That being said, so we are fortunate in the fact that this is all they know, and it’s all they know, but that being said, we work one on one with parents that get this diagnosis, just getting them pointed in the right direction and whatnot, definitely not trying to take the place of a naturopathic doctor or anything like that, but maybe pointing them to a good naturopathic doctor and all that, and a big part of that is lifestyle change. We’ve seen plenty of families now that the kid was however old, older than … They were living a regular standard American diet, and we’ve seen plenty of kids turn it around, just with dedicated families. You definitely can turn it around, even if that’s not how you’re starting.
Robyn: Yeah, I love what you’re doing with your kids. It’s going to have far more benefits than just getting past this cancer diagnosis, and it’s hard not to stay in a place of fear, where … I’m sure there was a lot of fear fueling your early efforts, but you do get past that. You get past the fear, and then it becomes pure empowerment and flow, and you get to share a lot of these principles with, gosh, you’re just going to share it with thousands if not millions of people over the course of your career.
What I like to tell people is that, and I don’t know why, I always go into this mode of sharing information like I’m giving you advice as an older mom to younger parents, not that you asked for my advice, but just things I wish I’d known, is that when you build Channing’s and Ryder’s cells out of high vibration materials, they are literally attracted to high vibration foods. Does that resonate for you?
Teddy: That does. That’s interesting, but it does seem like it already, just the kinds of things that they like and it’s funny that you say that, because Ryder’s treat … We always make sure that he gets a treat if we go somewhere where we know not our kind of food is going to be served, he gets-
Ryan: Birthday parties and stuff.
Teddy: Yeah, right.
Teddy: He always gets to pick out a raw snack bar. We go to Whole Foods, and they have a raw foods section, and that’s his treat. It’s raw food. And we make raw snacks too, and I know that those are some of the highest vibrating foods.
Robyn: Yeah. I want to know, because I don’t know that I still have a full picture yet … You did some chemo. How much did you do? Did you end it before they wanted you to? Did you do the whole amount? How’d that go for you? You had a physician who wasn’t going to report you to Guardian ad Litem and call in the attorney general’s office, right? You were able to just kind of lie low on some of your alternative stuff, or did you just negotiate to do a little less than standard of care wanted you to? Tell us about that.
Ryan: Yeah, I mean, so as far as talking about the alternative stuff, like Teddy said, it was just kind of don’t ask, don’t tell. We started trying to ask them about what they thought about certain things at first, but then the answers weren’t really jiving with any of the research that we did.
Teddy: Well, I mean, to further that point, when you’re on chemotherapy, you’re told, “Don’t eat fruits and vegetables, because there’s bacteria on them.” You’re told not to-
Robyn: Oh, dear.
Teddy: You’re told not to take any probiotics-
Ryan: No probiotics, heaven forbid.
Teddy: Right. We asked about alkaline water, and a nurse just said, “Oh, that could be bad for his kidneys.” You’re right, we were at a place of fear and when you’re starting to hear that, it doesn’t make sense with all of the research that you’ve done, but you start questioning, “Well, what if? What if they know something that I don’t know?” I mean, that was kind of a harder part of the journey, was getting over that fear and just having complete faith in what we were doing that was actually helping Ryder.
Ryan: Yeah, and I guess to that point, it’s … We came to the realization that, if we’re doing all of this stuff that’s clearly good for him … It’s nutrition and just all sorts of good stuff. If we’re doing, say, 50 things, and maybe two of them weren’t the best decision, I think those 48 things are going to override the two things that might be a negative, or something like that, so I don’t know. I guess that’s really the peace that we came to with it.
Teddy: Right. Going back to your question about how much chemotherapy Ryder did, ultimately he did half the standard of care protocol. We did four rounds with him, but it wasn’t easy, and we moved states, and that’s another part of our story.
Ryan: Yeah. I mean, so, it was after we went home, and initially went home without doing anything, and then we came back and got the first round. It was made pretty clear to us that stopping at our discretion wasn’t really something on the menu, no matter how well he was doing, and that’s … There was a lot of back and forth, lot of trying to negotiate, and, “If we can get this far after so many rounds, what do you think?” Just, the answer kept changing a lot, and we never really were clear on exactly how much was going to be enough and when the stopping point was, and there was just some other things that just were making the whole experience not … We just felt we could better for Ryder. That’s when we ended up moving states was … Now we’re here with you in Utah, Robin.
Teddy: We had actually talked to an oncologist out here in Utah while we were calling around, getting second opinions, and it was the staff that kept us inpatient where we were in Seattle, and we couldn’t go anywhere at that point, but once we had determined the cause of the staph that was living on the line, which was funny that I had said to them, “Hey, what if it could be living on his line?” and that was already with us for a while, and then a few days later, they came back and said, “Well, maybe it’s living on the line.” They removed his first line and ended up putting a port on the other side of his chest, so like Ryan said, there were actually a few things too.
We knew Utah was on the map because we had talked to a oncologist here that seemed a little bit more open to how Ryder was doing and if we could get to a certain point of shrinking the tumors, then maybe there was some room for discussion. Between his third and fourth round, we moved to Utah. When we got here, we did the fourth and final round about a week and a half after we got here. At that point, we knew that we wanted to stop, but of course, our oncologist was really trying to discourage it, and they’d negotiate, “Well, what if we can settle on six rounds, okay? Or we could do an MRI after five rounds and see.” We knew, just based on how well Ryder was doing and how much shrinkage there already was. At this point, he was down to one primary tumor, the same one in his spinal cord, which will probably never go away and is probably just scar tissue at this point, but the metastasis to his hip bones was gone. The secondary tumors were gone. He was crawling. He was standing up. He had feeling back in his feet. I was able to tickle him and get reactions from him. We knew he was doing really well.
Ryan: Yeah, yeah. Like Teddy said, he was … That’s the difference though, is this oncology team was literally … They still … The standard of care is all they know, but they also are just a little more cognizant of the damage that it can do and are just more earnestly seeking to minimize it, so they were open to … Especially with Ryder’s type of cancer that … This was actually explained to us by the current oncology team, that if you picture a car going over, trying to get over the hump on top of a hill, and it just has to make it to the top of the hill, and then it can coast down the other side, there’s a lot of data on Ryder’s type of neuroblastoma that says if you can get to that hump, and obviously there’s no 100 percent way of knowing where that hump is in each individual cancer, but they do know that you don’t have to blast away every last cell, even just by conventional means, that if you get it far enough, that it will go the rest of the way.
The, what’s the word I’m looking for? The response was greater than anyone had expected at that point, after those four rounds, and I like to think it had something to do with everything that we were doing. Yeah, so they were open to … Eventually they were open to stopping. It’s funny, we moved to get out of treatment, but then once we actually had that decision, it wasn’t an easy decision at all. It was still-
Teddy: There was a ton of weight behind that decision, because it basically takes the responsibility off of the oncology team, and as parents, it really puts everything on us, and there was no stopping. I mean, we were doing so many of these natural protocols at home, and he was still under the care of an oncology team. We were getting MRIs every three months to basically monitor that tumor in his spinal cord, which, there was no room for that thing to start growing again.
Ryan: Yeah, and I think that’s where a lot of the resistance, especially in childhood cancer, comes to exploring natural therapies, even if they’re just purely complementary, there’s no intention of getting out of chemotherapy or anything like that, but I mean, the minute you start doing your own research, it does put some burden of responsibility on you. Now you’re involved in healing your child. I think that’s a hard thing for some parents to wrap their mind around, is that, in a sense, that our child will … Not in a sense, I mean, Ryder’s life was in our hands. That is exactly where I would want it to be for us, is knowing that I’m going to be doing everything I can to save my son.
I don’t know, I guess that’s the message we’re trying to spread, is even if you don’t go to the lengths we did to minimize the chemotherapy, I mean, there’s just so much you can be doing that’s going to help your kid. I mean, even when Ryder was on chemotherapy on a regular basis for those first few rounds, he was the best-looking kid in the hospital. I mean, I’m not saying it to brag or anything, but it’s just how it was. I would at least like to see every kid look as good as Ryder did and feel as good as Ryder did. I’m obviously not saying it was perfect. We definitely had our share of nausea and throwing up and stuff like that, but overall it was all right.
Robyn: Well, I’m deeply honored to have gotten to share you story here, and I want you to tell us one more thing before you go. What have you learned about not just treating a very small person with cancer, and helping him detoxify … because probably he came into this world with some kind of toxicity that, in combination with his genetics and his weaknesses, caused a serious problem. I absolutely believe that you’ll stay on top of it, and I believe that people are managing cancer more than curing cancer these days. You can even have a tumor in your spinal column that you de-bulked it with the chemo. I’m quite sure that was the right thing to do. You really had to. He was in jeopardy just from the size of the thing and the location of the thing. That was the right thing to do. What other things? We’ve talked about the food and how well you’re feeding your two little ones now. What are some of the other things that you can just tick off a list that my listeners, whether they are affected by childhood cancer or not, they’re probably not, are cancer preventative, are part of a high vibration lifestyle that is disease-preventative?
Teddy: Yeah, so I think just making your home a healing home, whether you’re trying to prevent disease or reverse disease, and I mean, that starts with everything inside of your home, from the cleaning products that you use to the EMFs that could be around your home. For anyone who doesn’t know what EMFs are, the radiation that comes from cell towers and your wireless router, just making sure that you’re reducing that. What else, Ryan?
Ryan: Yeah, no, just, I mean, I don’t know. As far as just … We kind of look at it as removing barriers to healing or to wellness, stuff like that, so it’s, I don’t know, making sure your mattresses aren’t off-gassing, and you don’t have … Dirty electricity is another form of bad energy, I guess you could say, that could be coming through the lines, again, just all the potential chemicals, the air quality in your house, all that stuff.
Teddy: And the water. The water is huge.
Ryan: Yeah, yeah. That’s a big thing for us, just in general, and we actually made a little, what do you call it? A little document that’s just kind of a checklist type thing that we’ve been giving to people that want it, and what’s the link for that, babe?
Teddy: Just mykidcurescancer.com/healing-home.
Ryan: Healing home. Yeah. Aside from removing the barriers to healing, a lot of stuff that people would probably think is pretty weird that we … They’re some of our most popular videos on YouTube is … I don’t know, so we’ve been getting into cold thermogenesis lately, which is lowering core body temperature and then contrast showers, so I don’t know. Maybe you’ve had somebody come on, talk about the just how good cold is for you, and so Ryder has gotten pretty accustomed … I take a cold shower every morning, or a contrast shower going back and forth from hot to cold, and now Ryder is a pro contrast shower taker as well. He actually demands cold water. What else? We have just a lot of energy medicine-
Teddy: A rife machine and Tesla lights.
Ryan: Yeah. I don’t claim to know which one is the best as far as the best potential energy medicine device out there, but definitely, you talk about raising your vibrations, the Tesla lights, that’s what they do.
Teddy: Oh yeah, and we didn’t even touch on this, but we all live in Utah now, which happens to be the mecca for essential oils, so definitely that’s a part of our lifestyle.
Ryan: Yeah. What else? I mean, baths. Bath time for us now is a chance to implement some healing measure, whether it’s Epsom salts or bentonite clay or the essential oils. We even do-
Teddy: Or our local salts. I mean, living in Utah we have the-
Ryan: Yeah, yeah, the Redmond detox salt, or whatever it is-
Teddy: From the Great Salt Lake.
Ryan: Yeah. What else? Rebounding, so that’s good for the lymphatic system, so if you’re an adult, you have to get an expensive little personal trampoline so it won’t break, but if you’re dealing with kids, then you just go get one of those Little Tikes trampolines, and-
Teddy: Forty dollars on Amazon, and Ryder loves it. He rebounds himself. I mean, we don’t have to force Ryder to do any of this. This is his lifestyle, and he loves it, and he loves going in the sauna with Ryan. That is the highlight of his night.
Ryan: Yeah. Then we also just have a general little exercise routine, you know-
Teddy: And music. Music is good.
Ryan: Yeah, yeah. Music, we’ll do … I know you had Michael Tyrrell on, which I have been too cheap to buy those CDs, even though they’re not too much, 100 bucks, something like that, but just YouTube. Pretty much at any time during the day at our house, we’ll have some sort of 432 Hertz, 528 Hertz, I forget all the different Hertz you can get, but just some sort of healing music going throughout the day.
Teddy: Well, and right now, Ryder’s obsessed with Bob Marley.
Ryan: Oh yeah, yeah. He’s on a real big Bob Marley … and only specific Bob Marley songs, actually. “Three Little Birds,” “Stir it Up,” and a couple others, and then it’s just like you have to repeat them again.
Ryan: I’ve got to figure out how to convert the frequency myself so I can get it down to 432 Hertz or something, because, yeah.
Robyn: Somehow Bob Marley has made its way into discussion of how to live at the higher frequencies. I love it. I heard on one of your podcast episodes I was listening to this morning that you get him out in the sun. You let him go out on the deck and play in the sun. You were talking about an introduction to one of your episodes what sunscreen, people asking you what sunscreen to get, and I’m really glad you mentioned that one of the most correlated things to cancer risk is high vitamin D levels. I make sure my vitamin D levels are optimal. It could not be more important. People live closer to the equator, people with higher vitamin D levels year round just generally don’t get cancer, and the best place you can get it is from the sun. Glad to hear you’re getting him in the sun. It’s important.
Ryan: Yeah, and we actually, that’s one thing we encourage parents to do, is whenever they’re … A lot of times, when you’re dealing with cancer, you’re getting blood work all the time, is just request that you at least get the vitamin D levels checked. I mean, optimally, you go for as much as you can as far as getting covered by insurance, but we’ve never had any argument just getting the vitamin D levels checked, so that’s how we’ve actually stayed on top of that, is every few months, Ryder’s been getting his vitamin D levels checked.
Yeah, just getting outside in general. We’re also really big on getting in the forest itself, just overall it feels great, and what do you know, there’s the Japanese have been doing a bunch of studies on, they call it, forest bathing, but it’s basically just spending time in the woods. Talk about an immune boosting … That’s like a free immune boosting supplement. All the studies they do, it’s just … The natural killer cells, the number of them and the activity levels of them, just off the charts, just from spending time in the woods. Who knows why, but I think you kind of get it. Yeah, yeah, so we’re big on the outdoors.
Robyn: Okay, well, I am super inspired. I hope my readers are too. I say readers because I was a blogger a long time before I was a podcaster, and then I have to correct myself and say listeners. I’ve learned a lot here today. I hope everyone has. Make sure you look up mykidcurescancer.com and you’ve heard a really great little resource about detoxifying your home. What was it again, mykidcurescancer.com/?
Robyn: Okay. I love that. Thank you for that gift. Make sure you support their mission. They have a … What do you call those fundraiser things?
Ryan: Our Patreon account is what you might be referring to.
Ryan: Yeah, yeah. For a long time, we just had a straight-up fundraiser raising money for everything we’re doing for Ryder, but that … You just can’t keep a fundraiser going forever. Now, I mean, we’re transitioning into … We’re putting out a lot of information for people, and if they derive enough value in it that they would like to contribute to everything we’re doing, then that’s an option for them too. It’s a pay what you want, if you want, and the link for that is mykidcurescancer.com/crowdsponsor, and crowd sponsor is all one word.
Robyn: Crowd sponsor. I am going to have my own assistant go and sign us up for monthly support. This is a young family who has been through the war. They’ve done something very brave. They’ve done something that now has a little boy thriving and is inspiring many people. They’ve already had, I think, 10,000 downloads of their brand-new podcast. Ryan and Teddy Sternagle, thank you so much for being with us and keep on living a high vibration life, my friends.
Teddy: Thank you so much for having us, Robyn. This was great.
Ryan: Thanks, Robyn.