Our Story ABOUT US
How Cancer Saved My Life
And How It Now Saves Yours Too!
Humble Beginnings - The Ripple Effect
lternaCare's story begins when our founder and CEO, Kari E. Gray at age 25 went for a routine physical. From that event, did a spiral unfold no one could have foreseen. What began with Oprah Winfrey's weight loss on national TV, took a young mother post-pregnancy her third child to her MD seeking to lose the remaining baby weight.
With a physical and blood labs, opened Pandora's box. It began with devastating news; an MS diagnosis. Then followed by more lab test and blood work with a referral to a specialist came news far more devastating.
Without symptom and three small children ages 1-8, Kari relates what happened that fateful day, "Coming in the exam room the Dr. gently broke the news, "It appears from the follow-up labs you don't have MS....that's the good news. However, I'm so sorry to tell you that you have terminal liver cancer........I'm so very sorry."
Gasping for air at the news I asked, "What are my options?" His reply, "Because of its late stage, there are none. Your cancer is too advanced for chemo and radiation, I'm sorry there's nothing else we can do at this point. I think it's best you go home, rest, and make final arrangements. Please know how sorry I am."
Shocked, the drive home was nearly impossible as the torrent of tears streamed down the face of a vibrant woman who was broken as her vivacious nature gave way to despair, depression, devastation, and debilitation.
Kari relates, "I found cancer diagnosis like a voracious beast whose insatiable appetite paralyzes all in its path. The day I was diagnosed is forever etched in my mind. You just can't forget seeing your life and all it would have been pass in front of you".
Looking back, Kari attributes strength to press on despite her circumstances to the power of prayer. A faith stronger than the adversity and her immense love for her children, Kari explains, "In bed for days crying is all I could do. I would hold my babies and rock them and pray as the movie would play out in my mind of the future they would have and how every part of their lives would be forever scarred if I wasn't there. There I beseeched Jehovah God for the wisdom to know what to do. I was completely overwhelmed and paralyzed with fear. It was one of the darkest points of my life."
She relates, "But it was at this dark time and many times since have I've been blessed with epiphanies that every time give light to my heart, even in the darkest hours. Like a candle in the dense darkness, hope is that light that strength grows in, and the determination to never give up is."
Thus as this young woman's life hung in the balance, was a family soon to be shattered by another ‘too-young’ cancer fatality. In retrospect, Kari says the strength to press on despite the news began with changed thinking. "What I realized is what the mind believes the body achieves. Believing you are dying is the first step to doing so. It's devastating when an expert relates the pending death sentence. "The day I was diagnosed is forever etched in my mind".
That's when Kari first realized what she needed to stop hearing bad news and find the voice of hope. With the thought resonating, “What if there’s something Dr.’s don’t know?” gave me the courage to search for answers and to not give up."
Determined to exhaust all options, changed thinking transformed Kari bedridden to determined to search for hope years before the internet made finding such easy. It was Kari's determination should she lose this battle, to leave a legacy for her children of a mom who never gave up for their sake.
Changed mindset put Kari on a new path to a new life purpose despite ridicule from well-meaning family and medical doctors, was the stage was set for a long journey ahead.
Kari's life began to shift when for the first time she consulted a naturopath. "That's where skepticism turned to advocacy and the defining moment when without knowledge of the medical diagnosis or the labs, my naturopath diagnosed me terminal with liver cancer through kinesiology".
Struggling to break the news of what was followed by the first voice of hope. Offered a protocol "aggressive, life-changing, denied by health insurance and expensive if I was 100% committed" Kari relates is what my "Dr. offered hope as a decision easy for me to make."
Kari's protocol included;
Total Dietary Change
Lost Income & Increased Business Expenses
The results of a rigorous regimen costing thousands and thousands of dollars in a short time were clear when as warned, Kari submitted receipts to her then health insurance company who responded with a prompt denial of benefits letter stating "Reimbursement for unproven and out of coverage treatments are denied”.
It was at this moment when what is now AlternaCare was born in 1989.
Within months of insurance denial, Kari found a miraculous second chance at life proving the money spent, an investment in a long future conventional medicine couldn’t offer.
That's when the strength to survive in time become the strength to thrive, and today Kari calls it her "reluctant leader training" who now takes on the for-profit cancer industry, health insurance industry providing it, and the non-profit industry perpetuating it.
In remission came a new chapter in Kari's life when she set out to purchase what she thought was the obvious; alternative medicine health insurance. That led to a two-decade in-vain search without answers until the next door in her life opened.
In 2012, Kari relocated from the CEO of her Midwest company to Hawaii. There for the first time almost thirty years would Kari be in need of a
new career. There she was offered one in insurance. Now the stage was set for this talented entrepreneur-visionary licensed insurance professional to discover the ‘key’ to unlock what she searched for since remission.
Kari soon discovered why health insurance denies natural medicine despite costing far less and being far more cost-effective. And now she had the skills to do something about her 25-year burning desire to 'pay it forward.'