Organic Consumers Association

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Boy With Cancer Inspires Family to Start Organic Farm

Eleven years ago, the Tyson family seemed to have it all. Nicole and Scott Tyson had just bought land in Sharpsburg, Georgia, to build their dream home. They envisioned starting a small farm, with a place for their kids to play. 

Less than a month later, their world changed as they rushed their son Mason to the emergency room on his 4th birthday.

"We had felt the lump in his abdomen, which we later found out was a tumor," Nicole said. 

It was stage IV neuroblastoma, a rare childhood cancer that forms in nerve tissue. 

"I think when any parent hears the word 'cancer' associated with their child, it's gut-wrenching," Scott said. "You don't have any control. You feel no control."
Doctors removed Mason's tumor, but the cancer remained in his lymph nodes. 

Next came weighing the options: The parents decided against chemotherapy, worried about side effects. They monitored the cancer with monthly scans and took a hard look at their lifestyle. 

"We realized, first off, we're living horribly as far as what we're putting in our body, food-wise," Scott said. 

They switched to an organic diet that consisted mostly of food they grew themselves, despite a lack of farming experience. 

"The biggest part was a side of meat, and the entrée would be the veggie," Scott said. "Trying to eat a lot of raw stuff, juicing a lot." 

For a family used to eating "meat with a side of meat," it was a drastic change. 

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