This is the story of us, Ken Harding and Heather Stewart, owners of Be Naturally Prepared.
We are so happy you're here and can't wait to get to know you better. Here is a bit about us:
Our journey to health began when at the ripe age of twenty two, I, Heather, was diagnosed with late stage Hodgkin's lymphoma. Ken and I were not yet married and James was only three. It was a long 9 months as I battled the physical and emotional effects of chemotherapy and radiation and the realization that I wasn't invincible. There I was, a mom, a college student, a soon to be wife and I could lose it all because my body was failing me. Ken and James were my biggest support and cheerleaders. Western medicine and medical advancements saved my life but those two, they gave me the will and the reason to stay alive. Ken's support was tireless and his days were spent researching natural and alternative methods that would compliment my treatments, all the while supporting my body through the toxic mess it was enduring. A month into my treatments, after meeting with a Nutritionist/Molecular Biologist and discussing health, diet and my treatment plan, we left armed with supplements to boost my immune system and went home to gut our cupboards, throw out our microwave, bid sugar and the chemicals we were ingesting through our food farewell, and tried our best to nourish my body through nutrition. Be it luck, a good oncology team, good choices on our part or just a combination of many factors, four months into my treatment we found out the bi-weekly infusions were working. The baseball sized tumor in my chest was shrinking, the cancerous lymph nodes near my heart and lungs were clearing, my liver and spleen which were riddled with cancerous lesions were responding to treatment, some were already less than a centimeter in size and I was beyond relieved. After another two months of chemotherapy, I began five weeks of daily radiation treatments and in late September 2007, I said goodbye to cancer.
Fast forward to November 18, 2009, we were surprised to find out I was pregnant, a surprise because as much as we longed to grow our family, we were told before I started chemotherapy that I would not be able to become pregnant again, based on the severity of my cancer and the treatments involved. Eight months later, to the day, Liam was born. From day one he was this light and spark that changed us. He challenged us and changed our thinking. He showed Ken and I that we weren't always right and although we already had James, we didn't have all the answers when it came to parenting. He opened our eyes to the beauty of life and ease that can come from parenting from our hearts instead of the way we think we are supposed to parent.
Liam is the light that has led us on our journey back to health, our journey through change and most importantly our journey to love, to really love one another and understand that when you find something you can't live without, you fight for it and love it to the bitter end.
Part two details our further shift, as a family towards a traditional foods diet and lifestyle and will follow shortly.
Thank you for following along for this part of our journey, we are so excited to be growing Be Naturally Prepared and can't wait to see what awaits us in the days and months to come.