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‘help me to heal’ Cancer Programme success

‘help me to heal’ Cancer Programme success for Brent !



A cancer diagnosis comes like a kick in the guts, says Aucklander Brent Watt, who was hit with the news at age 14.

As Brent has found, diagnosis with the “C” word is often just the lead-up to long periods of aggressive medical interventions that leave you exhausted both physically and emotionally.

But he says New Zealanders can take heart from a programme that teaches how to nurture your mental and physical resources and be best placed to stand a fighting chance against cancer.

Called help me to heal, it is next offered during a retreat near Hamilton from May 11 to 16. Brent says he had a “fantastic” experience at the inaugural retreat last September.

Brent found with support from fellow patients and a wealth of hands-on knowledge from a range of experts, the retreat gave him a wake-up call on self-care. Many ideas were new to him and many he had read about but had not “taken on board”.

The help me to heal Programme draws on the best available expertise in nutrient-rich diets, stress reduction, graduated exercising and health counselling, alongside long-established complementary practices such as meditation, reflexology and reiki.

The charitable organisation Health Journeys Foundation, founded last year by breast-cancer survivor Jane Currie, offers “help me to heal” at an affordable rate and wants to extend its benefits to as many people as possible.

Brent says he has had a surge of energy and hope since going on the retreat.

His oncologist has also been delighted to report that the brain tumour that troubled Brent for decades has stopped growing.

Although no one knows exactly why this is, Brent is happy to continue incorporating into his daily life the many powerful lessons he learned on “help me to heal”.

Friends joke that Brent is living the life of Riley but he says it is hard work – and almost a full-time job – to be in recovery, on a continuing programme of medications both conventional and complementary, and to look after himself in terms of diet, exercise, meditation and psychological healing exercises.

He thinks it’s a “no-brainer” to provide the body with quality inputs to help it fight disease, and he is careful to avoid coffee and alcohol and to limit sugar.

He squeezes fresh vegetable and fruit juices daily, and scours his shops for quality organic produce.

Now regularly doing cardio and weights at the gym, he also sets aside time to meditate and work through techniques learned at healing seminars based on Australian Brandon Bays’ “The Journey” (introduced during the retreat). This helps get rid of negative thoughts from the past.

Jane Currie, a Waikato company director, says she was inspired to found Health Journeys when reflecting on her own experience with cancer.

She says she had help to deal with the emotions such as anger and self-pity that were hindering her recovery and also gained strength from organic foods and an exercise regime.

Jane has found people are crying out for information and want to make wise choices, but generally receive little comprehensive lifestyle advice during their encounters with the health services.

She is always available to talk to professional and voluntary organisations in the sector and has been encouraged that Waikato District Health Board, among others, is interested in how it can offer more to patients using Health Journeys’ insights.

Health Journeys welcomes enquiries on freephone 0800 42 00 42, or email:



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