When Kim Tinkham was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in February of 2007, she decided to take an alternative approach to treat her illness. But choosing the correct alternative was a very important, if not lifesaving, decision.
After researching the alternatives, she ran across research by microbiologist Robert Young, PhD, based near San Diego, Calif.
Young has focused much of his career on disease research and has determined that a common link exists in people living with disease - acid. Over the last 25 years, Dr. Young said, he has researched the effects of the food we eat on the body, particularly the effect on the pH balance and the relationship between that balance and disease.
"After 25 years of research, it comes down to two premises - the body is alkaline by design and the body is acidic by function," Young said in a phone interview. "Breathing, thinking, eating, moving - all the things that we do in our life requires energy and that energy consumption is an acidic waste product that ends up somewhere in the fatty tissue. What I've been gauging is different lifestyle and diet and how that impacts the blood and the pH of the blood, urine and saliva."
Young's research cites excess acid as the cause for illness of all sorts, including cancer. The ideal pH, or balance between acidity and alkalinity, is 7.2. But when people add acidic foods and stress to their symptoms, the pH dips below the ideal and the body cannot eliminate excess acid from the body, transfering it to fatty tissues and contributing to weight gain and disease.
"After a while, your body can't do anything with the acid except deposit it because it's not getting out anywhere. We are not doing what God has designed our bodies to do. It will heal itself just like it will drag itself to the ground if you continue to do what we're doing," Tinkham said. "What acid does is build things like tumors. Your body seeks out the weakest part, and for me that was my right breast. My body was too acidic and that's where my body started to deposit acid."
In today's fast-paced world, acidic food and drink are everywhere - cheeseburgers at the fast-food restaurant, pizza, coffee and tea, Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper in vending machines, beer and wine, anything containing artificial sweeteners, even bottled water. But it's also at home, in any meal which contains chicken, beef or pork, many fruits, dairy products, potatoes and sugar.
Any kind of alcohol, most meats, aside from some fish, most dairy foods, many common condiments and most fruit are highly acidic foods, and if the acid isn't properly eliminated, it contributes to a highly acidic pH level. In order to make her body alkaline, Tinkham had to radically change her diet.
"You give up everything you love - my whole social life revolved around food," Tinkham said.
One of the easiest steps was trading in bottled water or tap water for alkaline water - distilled water with a couple of tablespoons of baking soda to increase alkalinity. Tinkham also restricted her diet to alkaline foods, including lots of green vegetables, tomatoes, avocados, lemons, limes and grapefruit and good grains. In the process, she eliminated the intake of meats, dairy, sugars and artificial sweeteners, food containing yeast, caffeine and coffee and fruit.
She also added several supplements to her diet, such as omega fats, chromium, tryosine and clay.
While eating the right foods was integral, decreasing stress was equally as important on this protocol.
"One of the first things I had to do was learn how to handle stress. I take on stress internally - I don't express myself stress-wise. I was the ultimate multi-tasker, and that's not good. There's a lot of stress involved in multi-tasking," Tinkham said.
While working to produce monthly magazines Wise Youth Today, Parker County Kids and Ice Times Magazine, along with volunteering for multiple civic organizations, Tinkham slept little and thrived in her hectic environment, so she thought.
"One of the toughest things to learn was how to sleep. I wasn't a sleeper. I would wake up in the middle of the night and start working. I had to learn how to sleep again and take time out for me," Tinkham said. "I was going to start voicing my opinions more. I was very involved with the community, as are a lot of stressed people, and I had to go to these organizations and say, 'I can't do this.' One of the things my family did was keep me away from stress."
Young describes the effect of the protocol as the reverse of cancer - by reducing the intake of acid, the body is able to flush out excess acid in the body with proper exercise and hydration.
"We're putting hyper-alkalanization into the tissue. It throws the excess alkalinity in the tissue and this helps neutralize the acidity that is causing the cancer. By using the hyper-alkalanization protocol, we've seen excellent results in various cancer states, particularly in prostate, lung and colon cancers and breast cancers," Young said. "What happens is the body goes into a release or detox where the body starts releasing acid into the blood and through proper hydration and exercise, it is eliminated. I always say you have to pee or sweat your way to health. If you want to get yourself out of a cancerous state, the getaway is through urination and perspiration. We have to maintain the integrity of the fluids of the body.
"For Kim, if she has a mass on her breast, that encapsulation is a mass that has been formed to protect her tissue from cells that have been spoiled. That is how the body protects itself," Young said. "The most important thing is that if you are diagnosed with cancer, it's not a death sentence. If you know how to reestablish the alkalinity of the body, whether by using alternative or traditional treatments, you can beat this."
By eliminating acid intake as well as decreasing stress, Tinkham traded her original pH level of "5 point something" to 8 in a matter of nine months.
"My body was highly acidic. Most medical professionals will tell you 7.2 is where you want to be," Tinkham said. "To get from 5 point something to 7.2 is a huge, huge step."
But her journey was not without doubt. During the months preceding her November blood test, she did have moments of struggle.
"There were a couple of times where I thought, 'Am I doing the right thing? Am I killing myself?' There were a couple of times that I felt, worse case scenario, I die. When you start thinking along those lines, you get to the point where you're like, 'this is it.' You're never 100 percent sure that you're doing the right thing," Tinkham said. "But obviously, it paid off."
During her moments of doubt, Tinkham had several cures. Her office, situated across the yard from her home, offered a place to work or think. The room is equipped with soothing surroundings, as well as a karaoke machine.
"The thing that was really shocking was how depressed I could get. When I feel like I need to relax, I do karaoke. When I think I'm being too serious, I put on my nose and do karaoke," Tinkham said, as she put on a red clown nose. "Anything to get me through it. When you're dealing with cancer, you have to do something to lighten up. I think with something like this, the biggest battle is in your mind."
Tinkham's change over the last year was not simply a change of diet or sleeping habits, but a complete change in her outlook on life. She analyzes items and events in her life, takes more time for herself and searches for the positives in her life.
"We're here for the experience. Your life is about what you make of this experience. I don't want to have any regrets. Even if I died tomorrow, I wouldn't have any regrets. There are things I wish I could've done more, but I don't have regrets," Tinkham said. "We think, 'This is the worst thing that has happened to me.' But it turns out to be the best thing, because it starts off a series of events.
"For me to think cancer was the worst thing to happen to me - well, we'll see," Tinkham said, with a smile on her face. "I had my mammogram Feb. 5, 2007, and I found out I was cancer free Nov. 6, 2007. It was nine months and one day. Think about how much I could accomplish in nine months. You can create another human being in nine months, why can't you recreate yourself. I didn't create another human being, I took the person I was and changed it and recreated it."
After successfully jumping the cancer hurdle, Tinkham's new lifestyle has not changed - she continues to eat the right foods and handle stress.
"For Kim, it was a matter of education. We don't need more medication, we need education. We need to empower people to understand their bodies. The key to cancer is not in its treatment, but in its prevention. This is what is going to eradicate cancer from the planet," Young said. "I think managing the pH balance of the body is a lifestyle choice. Everything that goes into the body has to be considered. Is this going to help the body, or is it going to acidify the body and create an imbalance of fluids? Eating alkaline foods and drinks is beneficial to preventing illness."
"The more this information gets out, we're going to see better results in the treatments that are being administered. We're also going to see lasting results. Not only can people reverse their cancer but look at the quality of life," Young said. "These people are living their life. They're not in fear or in pain. The quality of life is so much better with this type of approach to health and wellness."
Young said that as research regarding the impact of acid in the body becomes more popular, treatments and theories of cancer will change.
"We've grown up with loved ones who have experienced cancer and the treatments they've gone through. The main science is based on the fact that this is some sort of infection. The current medical theory on cancer is something that is a result of the cell, through its imperfect replication, that it's something genetic. The focus has been directed toward the cell," Young said. "We need to start considering the environment. I think the tide is changing. More scientists are looking at the pH factors as a possible solution. We're seeing some universities express interest in more research. We have to reconsider not just the treatments, but even right down to the food that is being served to the patient at the hospitals. How are those foods impacting the healing of the patient, cancer and otherwise?"
While Tinkham believes in Young's research and protocol from her own personal experience, she realizes this choice is not for everyone. She simply hopes that people who are diagnosed with cancer realize they have a choice in their treatment.
"The one thing I would share is that you cannot make a decision based on fear. If you do, you may make the right decision, but you'll never feel good about it. If you make a decision based on fear, you will second-guess yourself when you're no longer fearful," Tinkham said. "I'm ecstatic. If one person, male or female, can grasp this idea, then it's worth it."
"We're born with the gift of healing," she said.
Robert Young, Ph.D., is the author and co-author of several books, including "The pH Miracle," "The pH Miracle for Weight Loss," "Back to the House of Health," "Back to the House of Health 2," "The pH Miracle for Diabetes," "One Sickness, One Disease, One Treatment" and "Herbal Nutritional Medications." He has multiple degrees, including a bachelor of science in biology from the University of Utah, a masters of science and doctorate in nutrition from the American College in Birmingham, Ala., a doctorate in science from the Clayton School of Natural Healing and he studied under Dr. Maria Bleker in Essen, Germany.