LIFESTYLE

Did Powerlifting And A Healthy Diet Help This Woman Beat Brain And Bone Cancer?

30/09/2014 09:17 BST | Updated 30/09/2014 11:59 BST

Beating cancer is no mean feat, as proven by Pat Reeves who turned to healthy eating and powerlifting to help her battle brain and bone cancer.

The 69-year-old, who has picked up trophies and titles for the last 26 years and has become World Champion and British Champion in her category for the last five years, claims that she beat cancer by saying no to NHS drugs, changing her diet and competing as a power lifter.

Her story is pretty incredible...

pat reeves powerlifting

In 1983 Pat was first diagnosed with cancer of the brain, and doctors said the disease would kill - but that she could extend her life with the help of drugs.

Unable to accept her bleak prognosis, she decided against treatment and set about self-treating through a drastic change in nutrition and exercise.

After miraculously fighting herself fit she was left devastated when she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma – in the shape of 14 bone cancer tumours – in 1994.

After her diagnosis she has endured four heart attacks and three TIA’s connected with this cancer but still she refused to undergo treatment.

In a bid for survival she continued to self-treat under the guidance of private doctors in Germany, this time changing her diet to raw foods, living on a permanent detox and power lifting.

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Pat revealed: “I have kept myself alive by being fit, people are in too much of a rush to take medicine and drugs when we can mend ourselves.

“Powerlifting helped me I guess because it was another focus for me. One of the biggest changes I did was to take up exercise because that’s something that I never did.

“I took up bodybuilding because I realised running was only working me from the waist down.

"It was very tough to discover I had the cancer again after those 10 years but I was tougher."

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Now in remission for more than two years, Pat works for over two hours a week in both Germany and UK - as well as competing and judging power lifting competitions across the world.

"I don’t think I ever come across anyone who thinks I’m mad," joked Pat.

"People are bemused by it and some of them will come around and watch me compete.

"And I’ve never met anyone who said you’re too old for this - except a doctor many years ago. He said ‘You’re too old to lift, give it up.’ That was probably 18 years ago - its great proving people wrong."

pat reeves powerlifter

Standing in at just 4ft 9ins and lifting with the competitive bodyweight of 50 kilograms, Pat specialises in ‘deadlifts’ which involve lifting around 90 to 100 kilos.

Now preparing for her 70th birthday, Pat is hoping to break further world records by being the oldest woman in the world to compete in her category next year.

“I suppose you could say I’m not a conventional grandma, I’m not about to start knitting - I have dumbbells," Pat said.

“There is no age limit and that’s wonderful, that’s one of the wonderful things about powerlifting, you can keep going for as long as you’re alive basically.

“Keeping in shape is more important to me than getting old. Age is just a number. I have no intention of feeling 70 while I don’t have to.

“I now compete in the 50.5 weight category and have done for the last 4 or 5 years.”

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Powerlifting consists of three disciplines - squat lifts, bench press and dead lifts.

First breaking the world ‘deadlift’ record back in March, 2010, when she was 64-years-old, Pat has remained determined to hang on to her title – competing every year and upping her record by 0.5 kilos every time.

Today she carries the deadlifting World Champion title and British Champion title for her weight and age category, as well as being the oldest female competitor in Europe.