When Rachel Dye heard she only had a 13 percent chance of living for another five years, those numbers seemed low to her.
Dye was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer in 2018, but after undergoing cancer treatment that included surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, she has no evidence of disease left. The 28-year-old Woodland mother of three said some of the first doctors she consulted after her diagnosis weren’t helpful. They acted like her diagnosis was a death sentence.
“The statistics — a 13 percent chance — that wasn’t good enough,” Dye said.
So Dye and her husband, Jamison Dye, 29, searched for oncologists and naturopathic doctors that better fit their attitude. Dye wanted a holistic approach to cancer treatment. She didn’t just want to know about chemotherapy or radiation. She wanted to know about what to eat and how to treat her mind and body during the cancer fight.
That’s why she and her husband are trying to create The Cancer Box, a monthly subscription box that is curated with items that range from snacks, desserts, side-effect aids, vitamins and supplements, notebooks, healthy eating guides and more, according to their website.
“We thought we could save some of the stress and emotional trauma” for people making cancer decisions, Dye said.
Vancouver naturopathic physician Kate Wiggin, and Dr. Nick Chen of the Seattle Integrative Cancer Center, consulted with the Dyes on the Cancer Box, and also helped guide Dye through her cancer treatment. This week the Dyes started crowdfunding their idea on Indiegogo, which allows people to raise funds for a charity or business startup. Jamison Dye said the boxes are available to pre-order on Indiegogo now and will ship in April.
They said a subscription to The Cancer Box will cost about $90 a month. They have an option for people to sponsor boxes for cancer patients who can’t afford the service.
The Dyes don’t consider their box a magic pill to ease cancer treatment, and encourage people to do their research before contributing to the Indiegogo, or buying a box in the future.
“People should not take our word for it,” Jamison Dye said. “You should be skeptical and question the things we are saying.”
But given Dye’s story, from a slim chance to live to no evidence of disease, they believe their holistic approach was helpful, and could do the same for others. Rachel Dye is currently raising her three children at home, working toward becoming a certified nutrition coach — an area she became interested in after her cancer diagnosis. She said that no matter what route you take during cancer treatment, you have to be positive and hopeful, and believe in yourself.
“You have to be convinced in your own mind that what you are doing is helpful,” she said.