Plant-based diet helps Clevedon man fight cancer

Keith leaving hospital after major liver operation

Keith leaving hospital after intensive care treatment - post live operation. - Credit: Deborah Welch

A Clevedon man believes his plant-based diet and regular exercise has helped him beat cancer for the fourth time.  

Keith and Deborah Welch are convinced that regular exercise and a healthier diet has helped Keith to overcome the disease. 

Keith and Deborah at Tough Mudder, before his liver op, October 2016

One week before Keith's liver surgery and after recovering from chemotherapy, Keith and Deborah took part in Tough Mudder, Oct 2016 . - Credit: Keith Welch

Keith, aged 52, has survived four cancer diagnoses in the past five years; after tumours spread from his bowels, into his liver and then to his lungs. 

Keith was first diagnosed with bowel cancer in March 2015 and had a major operation the following month. 

It was after the initial cancer diagnosis that his wife Deborah, aged 51, a fitness instructor and personal trainer (PT), decided to expand on her nutritional knowledge. Deborah’s interest in natural remedies led her to look for ways she could help her husband in his health battle. 

Keith in hospitals for his first Chemo session in 2016

Keith in hospitals for his first chemotherapy session , 2016. - Credit: Deborah Welch

Keith said: “Deborah studied and looked at what causes this disease; and what we could do ourselves to help me get better. " 

The couple continued exercising and began eliminating certain foods from their diet, when in September 2016, Keith was told the cancer had spread to his liver; and had 40 per cent of it cut away to remove a huge mass. 

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Keith said: “When they removed the cancer from my liver, it was a big operation; I was told my liver would grow back, but not the same shape."

This second diagnosis encouraged Deborah to do in-depth research for natural cancer cures; when she came across the idea of following a plant-based diet. 

Deborah said: “I did a lot of research and found positive stories about people who had cured themselves of cancer.  

“I spoke with people who had been on a plant-based diet and it worked for them; so, I told Keith I was going to change his diet.” 

Keith went on to have more chemotherapy, which was stopped abruptly after he collapsed, suffering a life-threatening allergic reaction to the treatment. 

In June 2017, Keith was dealt another blow, when he was told a small trace of cancer had been found in one of his lungs. 

Keith said: “I am a positive person - this news knocked me for six. Stress is a killer, I found exercising and eating clean was helping my wellbeing.” 

Keith in Norway with wife Deborah and daughter Hope

Keith on holiday in Norway, with wife Deborah and daughter Hope, before his fall Feb 2018. - Credit: Keith Welch

While on holiday in Norway in February 2018, Keith slipped on ice and broke his hip.

It was such a severe break - only normally seen in people taking part in extreme sports - that it led to an osteoporosis diagnosis.

By August 2018, the cancer had spread to Keith’s other lung. 

Deborah said: “When the cancer came back, it was much smaller - I was sure it was shrinking because of the change in the food we were eating. On the fourth diagnosis, the consultant suggested leaving it there – I think they were expecting it to return anyway, but Keith refused and told them he wanted it removed, so they did. He was told it might be back in six months.” 

Keith has gone on to have two clear scans, his last being six months ago. Recent blood tests also indicate the likelihood of the cancer being back is minimum.  

Keith said: “I am taking my recovery slowly, by doing static weights with my wife. We also walk an average of 12,000 steps along the beach three to four times a week to get fresh air.” 

Deborah added: “The weights help Keith’s mental health; and weight-bearing exercises also strengthen his bones. We’ll never eat meat again - we’ve just started having small amounts of fish. For now we’ve beaten cancer – It's a miracle.” 

 Keith Welch and wife Deborah

Keith Welch and wife Deborah - Credit: Keith Welch


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