Keeping positive to tackle cancer

37-YEAR-OLD Jo Draper was shocked when she was diagnosed with a stage three melanoma.

“I had a massive tumour in my armpit and it was aggressive,” says the Fremantle local.

“The tumour was the size of a fist and it was millimetres from a main artery.”

Instead of having surgery she considered going on a diet of 100 per cent raw foods and making lifestyle changes, but after reading a raft of articles about traditional and natural therapies, she eventually decided to go under the knife.

“The surgery took over two hour and they removed all 36 lymph nodes surrounding the tumour,” Ms Draper says.

Immediately after the operation, Ms Draper went on a 100 per cent raw foods diet and “all of [her] scans have been clear since”.

Positive thinking

In addition to her diet, she credits positive thinking with overcoming the aggressive cancer.

“…It was never a ‘poor me’ scenario,” Ms Draper says.

On the day she was diagnosed her best friend, Ashlee Rose, flew over from New Zealand to support her.

“[Ashlee} shared this journey with me very closely,” Ms Draper says.

“While in Bali in June of this year we came up with the business idea of a yoga and wellness retreat.”

They decided to call it Kaimana Wellness, offering yoga and wellness retreats in picturesque, seaside locations like Fremantle.

In Hawaiian, “Kaimana” means the “power of the ocean”, and it highlights how our connections to the natural rhythms of the ocean can help us heal, says Ms Draper.

She’s holding a seven-day New Year Bali Bliss retreat in January.

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