This is the incredible story of how Brice Royer healed himself of cancer through giving to others unconditionally.
Most of this article is in Brice’s own words – through research and firsthand experience, he has become an expert in unconditional giving and paying it forward since being diagnosed with cancer in 2012.
First, a bit of background for those of you not familiar with Brice’s story: Four years ago, Brice was diagnosed with stomach cancer, and told it would likely kill him. He fell into denial and depression, became bed-ridden, and contemplated suicide. While doing some research, however, he came across a fascinating theory which maintained that giving and receiving freely with love and kindness could help people heal and recover from depression, and was a wonderful way to build community.
In 2013 Brice started a campaign of random acts of kindness. His Craigslist ad offering unconditional love for $0 went viral last year and as a result, he received global media attention, which helped spread the philosophy. In adopting the practice of giving unconditionally, he completely changed his life, giving almost $5,000 of his own limited savings to help a chronically ill single mother pay her rent for a year. He was gifted a car from a complete stranger, he spearheaded an online fundraiser raising $25,000 to build a tiny home for a homeless single mom and her four year old daughter, and began inviting people in need to his home for meals, amongst many other things, all so he could connect with others and form a community. Some of these complete strangers became his close friends.
Brice recently shared an amazing experience where he and his caregiver offered to pay for the meal of a complete stranger while they were out at a restaurant. This kindness sparked a chain reaction of generosity, as that individual then went to the cash register and paid for everyone’s else’s lunch — much to the surprise, shock, and delight of all involved. Read about it here.
“I think the reason I am alive today is because of the love and kindness I have received from so many people.”
This is his story, and the culmination of his experience thus far, taken from his Facebook page.
YAY! I AM NOW CANCER FREE! My doctor said my tumour SHRUNK and my MRI results are “unexplainable by western science.” No surgery, chemo or medication! You can watch the video on the Vancouver Sun! I read studies that love and kindness is the world’s best medicine. Unfortunately, I can’t buy love or kindness at the pharmacy. So my treatment was doing random acts of kindness for a year without expecting anything in return. I thought it could heal my depression and loneliness. I wrote a Craigslist’s ad offering “Unconditional Love for $0” that surprisingly went viral and reached millions of people in days. I offered my time and energy, which was very limited, at the service of anyone who reached out. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. There was no guarantee of survival.
After years of suffering, being in and out of a wheelchair, and contemplating suicide…I am now free!
MY “RARE” GIST STOMACH TUMOUR IS SHRINKING!
Giving is good medicine!
I am beyond grateful for my family, friends, and each person who helped me and most importantly, who allowed me to give!
Thank you for your love! We are all one. We are all healing! I LOVE YOU!
I’m NOT saying giving kindness cures cancer for everyone … BUT doing it every day helped me, and the science below convinced me to try it!
Here are some studies:
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LOVE AND KINDNESS AS MEDICINE: “After twenty years of research and practice as a cardiologist, Dr. Dean Ornish wrote that no other factor in medicine, ‘not diet, not smoking, not exercise, not stress, not genetics, not drugs, not surgery’, affects our health, quality and length of life more than feeling loved and cared for. ” –Dean Shrock
GIVING REDUCES MORTALITY BY 44%: “In this new study from Doug Oman of the University of California at Berkeley, 2,000 individuals over age 55 were studied for five years. Those who volunteered for two or more organizations had an impressive 44% lower likelihood of dying. “
GIVING HELPS YOU LIVE LONGER, MORE THAN RECEIVING, STUDY FINDS: “Giving to others increases your longevity, although receiving the same kind of help did not. Psychologist Stephanie Brown of the University of Michigan spent five years studying 423 older couples. After adjusting for age, gender, and physical and emotional health, Brown found that those who provided significant support to others were more than twice as likely to remain alive in that five year period. These surprising findings ruled out other factors like personality, health, mental health and marital relationship variables.”
“INTERVENTIONS NEED TO BE REDESIGNED TO WHAT PEOPLE CAN DO FOR OTHERS.”
“If giving, rather than receiving, promotes longevity, then interventions that are designed to help people feel supported may need to be redesigned so the emphasis is on what people can do to help others,” Brown says. “In other words, these findings suggest that it isn’t what we get from relationships that makes contact with others so beneficial; it’s what we give.”
Why Diets And Exercise Aren’t Enough: “I assert we not only are spending too much, but we’re aiming at the wrong target, because none of these measures works in the long term. Instead of placing the impetus to get healthy on the individual, you need to address the system.” Dan Buettner at TEDMED a researcher, explorer and author has worked for years identifying Blue Zones, areas where people live markedly longer than average, and what’s behind these pockets of longevity. His research gave me hope!
“The power of the heart far surpasses the intelligence of the mind.” – Baptist de Pape
YOU ARE NOT USELESS JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE MENTALLY OR PHYSICALLY ILL. EVERYONE HAS SOMETHING TO GIVE. EVEN IF IT’S A SMILE.
One way to help people with chronic illness is to give them the opportunity to give!
When I had cancer, I thought I had nothing to give because I couldn’t get out of bed. I felt useless because I was no longer able to continue to society and people I love. That was the wrong belief. I could give something, even if it was a smile. If we can give those who are suffering the opportunity to give in small or big ways, whether it’s to give them a gift card that they could pass it to someone else, it could make a significant difference in their recovery.
DAILY RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS I DID THAT ANYBODY CAN DO:
-Volunteer and ask someone: “What do you need right now? How can I help you?”
Most people have needs but don’t have the opportunity to express them. Your time is the most priceless thing you can give. Not everyone can afford to volunteer full-time, but we can give an hour. If you contribute your skills to anyone in need at no charge, and most importantly, without expecting anything in return … then you are doing yourself a favour!
-Buy someone a meal.
I love buying items for total strangers at any store or restaurant. For example, I’ve been to a grocery store called Pomme Market in Coquitlam. I told the cashier I’m doing random acts of kindness and I’d like to pay the next customer’s items. Then I give them a receipt that reads “Unconditional Love for $0”. You can download it by searching for it and print it. It always makes people smile and it makes me feel good. If you eat at restaurants, do what my friend Andre Angel does and download TangoTab. Proceeds go to charity! When you eat, they eat!
-Do an “Ellen DeGeneres ”!
Surprises are fun! I love Ellen and the fun surprises she gives to people. It uplifts everybody! You can do that too. Find out what someone needs, whether it’s a small or big thing and surprise them with it.
-Spread good news on Facebook.
Use your Facebook to spread good news! Studies show it will increase your happiness and your friends. “Happiness is contagious and affects the happiness of others with whom you are connected. According to recent research by the University of Pennsylvania, making yourself and those around you happy is not only possible, but really quite easy. All you have to do, quite literally, is spread the word.” My favorite happy news site is Good News Network from Geri Weis-Corbley
HOW TO FIND YOUR PURPOSE IN LIFE BY GIVING:
What is your purpose in life? It’s funny how nobody asks that question when there’s an earthquake or a crisis! Their purpose during an urgency is suddenly crystal clear: To save their life, their family or their neighbour. While it’s important to know your innate talents and to transform them into strengths, sometimes pondering that question for too long may blind you from the suffering around you. A better question might be to ask someone near you: How’re you? What do you need right now? My soul brother and caregiver Rousseau Kumara Llanera is a great example of this selfless service.
LOVE AND KINDNESS WITHOUT WISDOM IS FOOLISHNESS.
Good intentions can cause harm sometimes. There’s a saying that goes “the road to hell is paved on good intentions.” For example, if you spoil a child because “you love them” and never discipline them, you are not allowing them to grow. When you donate clothes to a third world country, you may cause textile workers to lose their jobs. There’s even a book about that called Toxic Charity. The best way to give is to combine good intention with wisdom. It’s not always easy to know what is the righteous action.
IF YOUR COMPASSION DOES NOT INCLUDE YOURSELF, IT’S INCOMPLETE.
Caregivers are often the hidden victims behind those who are ill. Sometimes giving at the expense of yourself can cause an imbalance. It’s also important to know when to receive.
BREAKING THE WALL TO ALLOW YOURSELF TO LOVE.
I found an interesting irony; it’s harder to feel loved if you’re wealthy, physically attractive, and successful. Why? This is because you’ll attract people who like you for what you can do for them. Once that’s gone, they’re gone too.
The more others want from you, the thicker walls you will create. You may struggle to receive and give love; if you question: Why is this person nice to me? What do they want?
Here are some challenges people who read my ad have told me:
“Biggest challenges is allowing myself to love…breaking the wall I have created around myself because throughout my life I have told myself others just hurt you and I’m better on my own. Allowing myself to be completely open to others.”
Giving is a habit, the more we do it, the more it becomes part of who we are.
SAY “YES” TO RECEIVING:
Why deny someone else the joy of giving? One of the greatest gift we can give is to fully receive the gift of another. Many of us are afraid to receive. But to deny a gift is to rob others the joy of giving and to feel useful, and to receive it, is a form of generosity. Thanks to Charles Eisenstein for the lesson.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP TODAY?
SHARE this message. It could save someone’s life!
An act of kindness a day, may keep the doctor away.
Please don’t underestimate the power of your kindness!
Here is an idea from a recent Facebook post Brice made:
“There’s a study showing chronically ill patients holding hands with a family member or a friend that they felt understood by. And pain actually went down in both the emotional and the physical part of the brain. That’s why you guys are lucky that you’ve got family here. I’ve had patients whose family members don’t want to come because they don’t want to know that this is real.” – Dr Ric Arseneau on complex chronic illnesses, St.Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver, B.C.
Share this. It’s important information to anyone who knows someone ill. Visit the sick. Ask if you can hold their hand and be present. It will make a big difference.
“Please don’t underestimate the power of your kindness!” – Brice Royer
Watch the following video to find out more about Brice’s story and to also see his heartfelt reaction to finding out his latest diagnosis:
Together, we can change the world, one act of unconditional love at a time. Have you had an experience giving or receiving random acts of kindness or paying it forward? Please share and comment below — each act of giving creates a ripple that expands outwards and spreads. It’s simply contagious! Check out the concept of the Gift Economy, watch the powerful short film.
Start BEing the Change and giving freely and watch your world change. It all begins with YOU.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0981975100/84-20/ – Why Love Heals (book)
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