When her father was diagnosed with small-cell lung cancer in 1994, Helayne Waldman knew it was lethal. She researched ways to support his health and did the best she could considering she was a layperson, not a practicing nutritionist. A single mom at the time, Waldman worked as a trainer in field-readiness and marketing for a database firm. Her father died in four months, planting a seed that Waldman later nurtured into a healing profession for people living with and dying from cancer.
It was quite traumatic,” Waldman says. “It was devastating to me to lose my father and to watch what mainstream treatment did to him.”
A few years later a beloved aunt was diagnosed with cancer. Waldman researched again, looking for ways to support her aunt’s health using nutritional means rather than rely solely on traditional medicine, knowing the devastation chemotherapy and radiation create in the name of cancer treatment (the side effects often debilitating in themselves). Shortly thereafter, Waldman felt her focus transition from training to teaching, from marketing databases to promoting health and wellbeing. She had already entered a holistic nutrition program when she learned that a dear friend was diagnosed with a glioblastoma—an aggressive, fatal, brain tumor. Waldman knew at that point that nutrition was not just a passion but a career, and that she needed to specialize in helping those with cancer. She did a ton more research and helped to extend her friend’s life for another year with nutrients and supplements. Together, these experiences enabled Waldman to come forward with a deep, profound passion for helping people through their cancer, before and after treatment. She knows nutrition, and she has an intimate caregiver insight— she’s seen what happens in people’s lives, she knows the nightmares and, in some cases, can make them less so.
The first step for Waldman is knowing where clients are in their stage of treatment—what has the client chosen to do?
To read more of Helayne’s interview, click here.