A cancer victim given months to live rejected chemotherapy and is still alive years later – after taking up a special DIET.
Brave Pablo Kelly, 27, was told he didn’t have long left after doctors found a terminal tumour in his brain.
But after rejecting traditional treatment two years ago in favour of a specialist fat-heavy carb-free diet – he has outlived all expectations.
He now believes he is the only person alive diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma multiforme – a terminal brain tumour – who is not having therapy or surgery.
And he says it is working as since January 2015, he has had five stable CT scans with no growth in his tumour.
Pablo said this has been achieved as a result of the ketogenic diet which relies on measuring ketones – an acid remaining when the body burns its own fat.
The theory is that by reducing the intake of carbohydrates it is possible to starve a tumour of fuel and therefore stabilise it.
Pablo, of South Brent, Devon, said: “It’s all quackery in the eyes of modern medicine but it’s clearly helping because I’m still alive.
“To my knowledge, I’m the only person with this type of brain tumour that isn’t having therapy or surgery and is still alive today.
“Doctors told me the ketogenic wouldn’t help me in any way, I’ve had five stable scans since January 2015 on this diet.”
Pablo says he restricts his calories and fasts regularly while his only source of carbohydrates comes from green vegetables.
He cannot eat processed foods, refined sugars, root veg, starch, breads, or grains.
He also has to measure his blood sugar twice every day and takes supplements and anti-inflammatories to ensure his body gets everything it needs.
Pablo, whose symptoms begun with migraines put down to the summer heat, was eventually diagnosed with cancer in August 2014 at the age of 25.
Due to the tumour’s position in Pablo’s brain it was also inoperable.
He said: “I was devastated. But I decided it wasn’t going to break me, that we would figure something out.”
When doctors offered Pablo radiotherapy and chemotherapy, he decided he didn’t like the idea of a diminished quality of life and opted for the ketogenic diet – that is not recommended by the NHS.
Pablo added: “The doctors said the only option they could give me was chemotherapy.
“The survival statistics for people my age were about three per cent and that’s for a maximum of 15 months with chemotherapy, without it, based on my health and age, they gave me six to nine months.”
Before his diagnosis Pablo was working in a plant store but now isn’t able to take a job as his seizures prevent him from working.
His supplements and therapies cost an estimated £11,000 a year, which are paid for with his disability benefits.
Pablo, who lives with his long-term partner Rebecca Gruritt, 22, said: “My aim was always to get my own property, have a family etc.
“The fact it will be two years in August since I was diagnosed with a cancer I was told I would not survive for months with is ridiculous really.
“I did all research and I knew there were other options for me that could help.
“I was awake til 4am every night trying to find something that could cure it.
“It just makes total sense to cut the source of fuel to every tumour in the brain. It works for epilepsy and diabetes so why should it not work with cancer.”
He added: “This brain tumour is trying to kill me right now. This diet involves a lot of work, but it’s a matter of life and death for me. The next step is to try and shrink it. Hopefully I can be an advocate for people to use this diet.
“The tumour is still there, but I can live and love my family and hopefully start my own family one day.”