Stacy and Gary Couch have been part of the Snap On family for over 30 years.
Stacy began working in the Minneapolis branch in 1988, she met Gary Couch here and they were married in 1991. Stacy and Gary have been married for 29 years. Gary has been with Snap-On for almost 40 years in various capacities, from Warehouse manager to current Franchise dealer in his present route for almost 20 years.
Stacy and Gary had the rug ripped out from under them when Stacy was diagnosed with a stage 4 cancer in 2016. Follicular lymphoma. Wow! And life was going so well. Since Stacy was asymptomatic, she had the option at that time to refuse treatment and go into what was called watch and wait.
Lots and lots of research led Stacy to completely change her lifestyle, really clean up her act so to speak. All organic, basically a vegan diet, supplements, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, meditation, forgiveness, the list goes on and on.
And wow! Stacy was able to put herself into remission after a year. Life was good.
In February of 2020, things began to change. Stacy assumed she was a bit under the weather. She got tired quickly.
Then March came and the world shut down. In March, she began to lose weight that she attributed to not being able to go to the gym anymore. So, she just thought she was losing muscle mass. Then, she was unable to breath, three steps and she was wheezing and had to rest. She began to be unable to walk and care for her dogs and her chickens. She stopped doing everything because she couldn’t do anything.
That was when she knew, the blood cancer was back. She experienced weight loss of 25lbs in two months and bloating in the abdomen became huge. If it wasn’t so serious it would have been funny. Her body was shutting down and she was dying due to rapid disease progression.
She was unable to follow through with conventional medicine. She did not believe in it. She was more scared of the treatment than the disease, and she would rather die than go through what her Mom endured. Her mom eventually passed after six years of chemo. Her breast cancer just kept coming back. She died a horrible death and that was the trauma that changed Stacy forever. Studies show how ineffective full chemo can be, the science for Stacy just didn’t make sense.
In July Stacy and Gary went to Mexico to a place called Hope for Cancer, three weeks and $40,000 later they returned home. Some things had changed but not fast enough. The disease was killing her.
Then they learned of Insulin Potentiation Therapy (IPT) with Low Does Chemo. The theory is they bring your blood sugar down, crazy low, then administer a grouping of chemo agents appropriate for your specific condition. Since cancer eats sugar in huge amounts, when you eat, cancer cells eat first. So, starving cancer cells waving their receptors around looking for food and boom, they shoot you with glucose and the chemo agents and as the cancer cells eat the sugar, they also have a massive intake of chemo as well.
Very little side effects because healthy cells are not harmed and the chemo is much more effective. This treatment because so gentle, is able to be administered more frequently, twice a week. Therefore, not giving cancer cells a chance to recover.
Unfortunately, this treatment, though crazy successful, it is crazy expensive, not covered by insurance and only a few states allow it. The only way she would have been able to do this under insurance is if she would submit to two rounds of conventional chemotherapy, destroy her already compromised immune system, damage so many things in her body etc.
Stacy decided to try the IPT and temporarily moved to Arizona in August to have the treatment at the Euromed Foundation. Initial treatments would cost an average of $10,000 per week for the first three to four months. Follow up treatments would then be bi-monthly for however long it takes, then dropping down to monthly and eventually twice a year for “maintenance” for the remainder of her life.
Since starting the low dose chemo combined with IPT, Stacy is doing remarkably well. When she first arrived, she was so close to death. Within three short weeks, a mere four treatments, with three of those being at only 5% due to her kidneys beginning to shut down, she began to feel better. She could hold her head up and walk more than three steps without having to sit.
It has been a long journey, especially with the five liters of fluid being drained from her lungs due to disease progression but she feels she has come out on the other side.
Treatment will continue at twice a week for another 6-8 weeks, then, if her numbers are good, she will be put on maintenance. Beginning at twice a month treatment, and depending on numbers again, if positive, it would be reduced to once a month flying to Phoenix for treatment.
In a perfect world, she will go for treatments twice a year for the rest of her life. At least she will have a life.
- Karen Lee
- Lori Hochberger
- Traci Chandler
- Keely Osberg
Organizer and beneficiary
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