Nothing is worse for a family than hearing the word “cancer,” especially when it involves a child.
The Tyson family was ready to start their perfect life eleven years ago. Parents Scott and Nicole were building their dream house in Georgia, complete with a little farm and a play area for their children.
Then, their entire world changed once they heard that dreaded word about their son, Mason, on his 4th birthday. Mason had a suspicious lump in his abdomen that was later determined to be a tumor.
Specifically, Mason had stage IV neuroblastoma, which is a rare form of childhood cancer. Neuroblastoma forms from immature nerve cells in the patient’s nerve tissue, caused by a genetic mutation. To learn more about this condition, please click here.
Doctors were able to remove Mason’s tumor, however, the cancer still persisted in his young lymph nodes. Scott and Nicole were anti-chemotherapy because they were concerned about potential side effects. They decided to re-evaluate their lifestyle to give Mason’s body the fuel it needed in its battle.
Scott describes Mason’s diagnosis as “gut-wrenching […] You don’t have any control. You feel no control.” But, making lifestyle changes gives the family some more control over their health, even cancer.
The Tyson family switched to a veggie-heavy, organic diet, which mostly used food that they grew on that small farm, even though the family had limited farming experience and a meat-heavy diet.
Today, Mason is actually cancer-free. His family believes that clean eating truly helped in aiding his recovery.
In 2009, they started 180 Degree Farm to donate their food to others, with a special nonprofit farmer’s market for the Cancer Treatment Centers of America selling seasonal, donation-based food.
In fact, the family gives about 300 pounds of food or more a week just to cancer patients, and a large percentage of that food has been donated for free. Mason is a “beacon of hope” for the patients.
To learn more about the Tyson family and their approach to fighting cancer, click here.