When Bubbly Kaur was diagnosed with cancer and given a year to live in the summer of 2016, she “cried for about two months”.
But she credits a trip to India, and some choice advice from a doctor over there, with having the potential key for why she is still here for autumn 2018.
Since then she has dramatically changed her diet, and yesterday hosted a Macmillan coffee morning with a difference at Rico’s restaurant in Oakwood to share her knowledge.
Her event, one of many held during the charity’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning, had an emphasis on healthy food instead of the usual cakes and sweet treats – indulgences which have been linked with increased cancer risks.
Ms Kaur, 53, said: “Obviously I didn’t want to die. I had put on a lot of weight because I was eating a lot of the wrong things.”
Without changing her habits and taking the doctor’s advice, by cutting out various types of food, “I wouldn’t be here today,” she said.
Among the changes she had made were to cut out dairy, chilli, wheat, and she now eats less yeast. Other than eating fish for the health benefits, she follows many of the principles of vegan eating.
Although the cancer has spread to her lymph nodes and she is feeling weaker recently, Ms Kaur still wants to share the message that a change in lifestyle can help with overall health.
“If I can do something for others, I will be really happy,” she said.
Ms Kaur, friends and family yesterday raised an estimated £1,000 by selling vegan ice cream, smoothies, and healthier versions of Indian food such as paneer rolls and samosas.
Haldi shots – a spice known to many as turmeric – were also served.
People dropped in from shops and businesses in Oakwood.
Ms Kaur’s daughters Meenakshi, 34, and Bharthi, 31, and friends Clare Thommason and Maggie Baker helped run the event.
In addition to staff at Rico’s, Ms Kaur wished to thank those who had made donations, including BARFi, Ocado, DrinkStuff, Jack Rabbits, RMUK, Oakwood Fisheries, Hessian, Grön Kafe, Good Night Sleeptight and Tesco in Roundhay Road.
“Without this man power I can’t do any of it,” she said.
“I’m very grateful and I’m very lucky.”