Meet Sonia Davis

I’m Sonia Davis. I’m 48, married to an incredible guy and have 2 beautiful children. In May of 2018 I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) after having a clear 3D mammogram just 2 months prior. My Mom had died of ovarian cancer and because of this, I did a blood test (CA125) and pelvic ultrasound yearly. My blood test came back elevated and with my Mom’s history, it was determined that a full hysterectomy would hopefully prevent me from getting ovarian cancer. As it turned out, the pathology report stated that breast cancer cells were found in both ovaries, not ovarian. A PET/CT revealed that it had gone to both breasts, my pelvis, spine, ribs and adrenal glands. Talk about a shocker!!! I had stage IV cancer and felt fine.
A dear friend encouraged me to reach out to Believe Big! Ivelisse and her staff have been so supportive and informative. I really don’t think I would be alive today had it not been for their advice! I was awarded a grant that allowed me to go to Boulder, CO and meet with an integrative oncologist, Dr. Kirsten West. I received IV mistletoe, as well as subcutaneous mistletoe, and IV Vitamin C. The supplements and diet changes have allowed me to be a Mom and feel good despite 2.5 years of battling this disease. People can’t even believe I have cancer!!
I have a very restrictive diet (no gluten, no refined sugar, no dairy), but I feel better than I’ve felt in years!  I continue to do subcutaneous mistletoe and IV Vitamin C. This year I went to California after my cancer had progressed again.  I received hyperthermia treatment 6 days a week for 6 weeks to my liver and areas on my spine.  HCI (Hyperthermia Cancer Institute) was incredible.  I had caring nurses and doctors who would heat up those areas to 109 degrees.  I received chemotherapy while I was out there as well as hyperbaric oxygen.  I have had 2 great scans since!  Hallelujah! If you have been diagnosed, recently or otherwise, I would encourage you to reach out to Believe Big.  They will give you the tools you need to thrive in the face of cancer.  When I first heard of Believe Big, I thought it was a unique name and I really didn’t “get it” until I spoke with Ivelisse.  God created our body and mind to heal.  This can be through many means.  Believe that God CAN overcome any obstacle…even stage IV cancer…in the face of fear and death.  I have read the “I will have no fear” insert countless times over the years that was given to me the first day that I reached out to Believe Big.  Fear is the biggest weapon that is used against us.  This journey is very mental.  God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind. Everyone knows someone with cancer.  I encourage you to get involved with Believe Big today!  Your support will help so many thrive in the face of cancer!
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Simple Fitness and Nutrition

Thank you to everyone who was able to come out and join us for our Simple Fitness and Nutrition event presented by Jo Miller!

Jo has been a longtime supporter of Believe Big as an advisory board member and volunteer. She also is a personal trainer and fitness and nutrition coach. Those who joined us experienced a hilarious and informative presentation and learned practical ways to live a healthy and fit lifestyle no matter what your fitness level is or how hectic your schedule can be. Guests were able to leave with dozens of at home and on the go workouts, recipes, tips, and tricks, too.

We hope you can join us next time!

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Sunscreen – Is it Safe?

With summer in full swing, it is important to remember each sunscreen is different. There are many brands, types and ingredients; and with something that we put on much of our skin, we should all be aware of the best ones to use and ones to avoid.

Sunscreen’s active ingredients may be minerals, chemical filters or even both. So, which one is the best?

While they each have their own pros and cons, mineral based sunscreens use titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These active ingredients go onto the skin but do not absorb completely into your blood stream. Mineral sunscreens provide the best protection as they do not break down in the sun and is a great protection from UVA rays.

The second group of sunscreens use a chemical filter as the active ingredient and contain 2 or more of oxybenzone, avobenzone, octocrylene, and so on. These ingredients are absorbed into the skin with measured amounts found in your blood stream, breast milk and urine.  CDC data suggests that the ingredients in the chemical filters can also affect hormones. Oxybenzone exposure has been found to lower testosterone levels in adolescent boys. It is also known to shorten pregnancies of male fetuses and lower birth weights for girls.

The third group say they are mineral-based but they are coated in the chemical ingredients listed above, so make sure you read the label!

One additional ingredient that is sometimes added to sunscreen that can be harmful is Vitamin A. While this ingredient has it great benefits in other forms, when it is added to a sunscreen, it can form into small molecules call free radicals which damage DNA. Make sure your sunscreen, moisturizers with SPF and lip products do not include Vitamin A as an ingredient.

Is a sunscreen higher in SPF better for you? Not necessarily. SPF 100 sunscreen indicates you should be able to be out in the sun for twice as long, before you start to burn. For example, if you burn in 30 minutes, you should be able to stay out for 50 minutes. However, using SPF to pick the best sunscreen is misleading. SPF does not protect you from all the rays. It does help protect you from ultraviolet B (UVB) rays but not from ultraviolet A (UVA) rays. UVA can penetrate your skin much deeper and cause more damage than the UVB. By using a higher SPF, people tend to think they can stay out in the sun much longer, but this causes much deeper skin health concerns.

One last thing to remember before you buy that sunscreen! The FDA regulations have been grandfathered in from the 1970s. That was almost 50 years ago and we have learned many new facts about what we put on our body so it is very important to research which sunscreen you purchase this summer.

For a look at which sunscreens are best, please go to EWG’ 2018 sunscreen report by clicking HERE.


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