"How Cancer Saved My Life"
The AlternaCare story began when founder and CEO, Kari E. Gray at age 25 went for a complete physical and found life suddenly spinning out of control. A domino of events no one could have foreseen from blood work that initially resulted in an MS diagnosis, followed more labs and a referral to a specialist. As a young mother of three young children Kari describes that fateful day.....
"Coming in the exam room the Dr. broke the news.... "We have good news and bad news. Let me start with the good news ....First, you don't have MS..... However, test results reveal you have liver cancer and its terminal." Gasping for air I asked, "What are my options?" He said, "Because of its late stage, there are no options. Your cancer is too far advanced for chemo and radiation to be of any use. At this point, there's nothing else we can do. .....I think it's best you go home, rest, and make any arrangements. Please know I'm so sorry, I wished there was more we could do."....
Left sitting alone, the shock was surreal
Trying to compose herself, Kari sat devastated. Having to drive the 30 miles home, she found doing so impossible as the torrent of tears streamed down her face.
And as a terminal diagnosis turned in a moments time, a vibrant woman into a broken shell left without hope or options. In despair, Kari found herself plunging into depression as devastation and debilitation followed.
She relates, "Cancer feels like a voracious beast whose insatiable appetite paralyzes all in its path. The day I was diagnosed is forever etched in my mind. It's something you never forget. When you see the movie that would be your and your children's lives play out before you, breaks the strongest of people."
Looking back, Kari attributes the strength to survive formidable odds to the power of prayer. With a faith stronger than adversity, prayers and love for her children gave her the willpower to not give up. As Kari recalls, "At first I was in bed for days,.... all I could do was hold my babies cry and pray as this haunting movie replayed in my mind of their future..... its themes was every part of their lives would be forever scarred if I wasn't there..... I beseeched Jehovah God for the wisdom to know what to do. I was overwhelmed, paralyzed with fear and confusion.... It was one of the darkest points of my life. But it was in the darkness the blessings came as epiphanies that brought hope. In what felt like a flickering candle in dense darkness, depression gave way to hope and hope gave me the strength to not give up."
As this young mothers life hung in the balance, and as a family soon to be shattered to another ‘too-young’ cancer fatality, in retrospect Kari says, "The power of prayer changed my thinking as epiphanies brought the light of hope to not give up and exhaust all options. That gave me back the will to live."
"What the mind believes the body achieves"
As a terminal liver cancer-conqueror, Kari says, "What cancer taught me is hearing you're dying is the first step in doing so. That's what's wrong with diagnosing people because a diagnosis alters your psyche, especially if it comes from a person of authority... aka...medical doctor.
A terminal diagnosis is a death sentence and once its in your head...you believe it. That alters your will to live. I came to see this is how dying starts because what the mind believes the body achieves."
Refusing to Give Up
Realizing she was dying in her mind, made Kari realize she needed to find hope. What began as “What if there’s something Dr.’s don’t know?” led her on the path to find out."
And it was thoughts of hope that changed Kari to leave no stone unturned in a search for 'what if'. A determined woman with no time to waste went from bedridden and broken to an empowered and determined.
Kari's Life Shifted
Networking with family, friends and strangers before the internet made finding answers easy is how a determined mother vowed to find an option. Referred to a naturopath who practiced in a office in her home in Bentonville, AR it was here that Kari for the first-time found skepticism and fear dissipate and the voice of hope replace such.
Without knowledge of the medical diagnosis, lab tests, or results, the practitioner diagnosed Kari terminal with liver cancer through kinesiology.
Struggling to break the news stumbling over words, Kari relates, "I could see she was having a hard time telling me she found CANCER. Once I assured her I knew what followed changed my life. since hers was the first voice of hope.
She asked,"Do you believe it?" My response "I don't want to, that's why I am here." Those words redefined my life at a pivotal moment when she offered a protocol that would be....
"aggressive, expensive, denied by health insurance, and effective, if I was "100% committed." And if I was she would help me because you're young, you can beat this if you commit".
The decision was easy to make but what followed was not easy.
With no time to waste, Kari relates, "Change is the problem most of us face because change is hard when we have so much to change. Being creatures of habit, old habits like deep grooves in our brain, make changing habits a matter of willpower. Having children kept me focused because I had a big 'why'. I focused on them every day and it gave me the discipline I needed."
The Cancer Protocol
As for the protocol I had to start with becoming health educated. My practitioner had me read "The Yeast Connection". I had to read it 3 times because I was overwhelmed with all I had to change in diet and in my families diet too.
When I read "Dead Doctors Don't Lie" I was in the game as they say. I began with cleanses - Liver, kidneys, colon, gallbladder, lung, heart. Detoxifying vital organs with supplements - Standard Process and Neo Life, by the hundreds a week.
There were practitioner visits - from bodywork - massage, and chiro to reduce stress and increase circulation for healing, to meeting with my naturopath who used muscle testing to keep me on track.
The hard part was diet and lifestyle change. Doing the Yeast Cleanse for months, I had to purchase health equipment, change how I ran my then company, invest in high-quality cookware (no more plastic, aluminum or Teflon) and the big one, Emotional Clearing - when this happened remission happened by releasing toxic emotions that were at the root of my liver cancer.
Denied benefits set the stage
" Adding up what I was spending was significant as my practitioner warned. So submitting receipts to my then health insurance company because while for an individual it was a lot of money, for an insurance company who spends far, far more on chemo and radiation, seemed to me it would be an easy decision because 'corpses don't pay premiums, they know my test results because they have the records and paid for them.... So I gave it a shot. What I received was a prompt denial letter and it was then I realized how wrong the system is. Denying a legitimate option that's a fraction of the cost of conventional medicine made no sense...... Then when I thought how many people cannot afford to self-fund, are dying outraged me. I wanted to fight the denial but I knew my first battle was with cancer. "
The strength to survive
became the foundation to thrive
Looking back Kari sees all that happened as her "reluctant leader training" when remission opened a new chapter in her life.
Determined to purchase 'the obvious' she assessed was alternative medicine health insurance. Here again, Kari found herself at odds with insurance when for two-decades, she never gave up the search for a policy.
Life changed in 2012 and Kari relocated to Hawaii. There for the first time in thirty years, Kari took a job and went from CEO-entrepreneur to an insurance professional. Now the stage was set for a talented entrepreneur problem-solver to leverage new skills and unlock the secret she searched for since remission decades earlier.
Discovering why health insurance denies natural medicine despite costing less and being more efficacious, resulted in Kari putting her skills to use. With a burning desire to 'pay it forward' combined with the knowledge to make a vision a reality........
Kari began the wheels turning in July 2013 when launching Green-Surance.com. The message of pre-enrollment in natural medicine health insurance had a response that made clear the message and the messenger are what people search for.
Excited response to the website gave Kari to momentum to create change as visitors told of how insurance did them wrong. While insurance fraud is real, public fraud is too and it's what no one talks about but happens every day. When insurance companies deny claims premiums are built on, this inside ‘dirty secret’ is how year-end bonuses are earned by exec’s, adjusters, and stockholders asfrom denied claims premiums are built on and not paid out, fueled Kari's commitment to be an advocate for people.
With a list of ready buyers Kari tried to negotiate a policy. Soon she found no matter the company, the request to purchase a policy went unanswered. Frustrated, Kari began to research Obamacare before it went into effect and found the answer she needed all along.
Buried deep in 3000 pages of legislation were exemptions from penalty, in medical cost-sharing. Creating an alliance between organizations who agreed to include alternative medicine sharing, Kari and her team launched mygreensurance.com as a beta project in 2015 with the ‘better than health insurance’ solution.
In 2017, Kari realized including alternative medicine wasn't the complete answer. Closing the doors to GreenSurance in April that year, she and her team spent the next year developing AlternaCare a member-tribe and AlternaShare 'The Healthy Insurance Alternative'.
Today, Kari is writing her autobiography,