Sheer “Determination”, a book and a chance meeting that changed my life!
Ron E West, now 76 years ‘young’, is on a mission to tell his story to others and share his experience and knowledge, in coping with and even reversing many of the chronic, debilitating autoimmune conditions that are becoming increasingly common worldwide.
Back in the day, in the 1980s and 1990s, when Ron was flying high in his career, with a 400-year-old cottage in England, His and Hers luxury Mercedes cars and a seagoing motor cruiser as a getaway retreat, he thought he was invincible and life couldn’t get any better!
Ron enjoyed everything about his life and had a passion for his work in IT. He had a hunger for knowledge and a thirst for understanding how things worked. His constant reading and research kept him one step ahead of his competitors all the time. Life was full of challenges and Ron thrived on challenges! His job in IT was to find solutions to difficult problems and for this he possessed a remarkable talent. He had a well-deserved reputation for developing novel strategies to achieve key objectives.
His passion for his work was all-consuming and perhaps he didn’t do things he should have done to take proper care of his health. He was just too busy being busy! Such dedication to work comes at a cost and not taking care of physical well-being eventually takes its toll on your body. How often do we hear of people burning themselves out early in their professions? They fall victim to high stress levels and high expectations, working 24/7 to achieve ever-demanding goals.
Health problems started for Ron in 1996, although at that time he didn’t acknowledge there was a problem. In hindsight he can see it. At Christmas 1997 Ron’s daughter queried what was wrong with him. He had lost his spark. She could see he wasn’t happy. Having reached his goals of a successful business and a fulfilling lifestyle early, Ron wasn’t ready to stop and retire from his career, but he couldn’t see where to go next. It was then, at 55 years of age, with the support and encouragement of his wife Michele, who had always believed in his capabilities more than Ron himself, they took a leap of faith and moved to Gibraltar. There, Ron worked on a project with IBM, which led him to even more success and renewed satisfaction in his work.
At that point Ron’s health was beginning to falter. His legs would sometimes give way. He had developed a strange gait, which didn’t go unnoticed, but he had become accustomed to it.
In 2005, he was working on the IT systems in the Private Health Clinic in Gibraltar, when the Principal at the clinic called Ron into her office and confronted him with questions about his health. She referred him to the Wessex Neurological Unit in Southampton to undergo diagnostic tests.
In 2006 Ron was diagnosed with a rare condition called ‘Inclusion Body Myositis’ (IBM) a slowly progressive, autoimmune, muscle wasting condition. He was told he would be in a wheelchair within two years. This was particularly ironic, as he had learnt his profession, with IBM the global computer giant. He had become a Business Partner with them and was able to build a hugely successful computer consultancy business, thereby providing his family with an enviable lifestyle. Ron loved helping others meet their IT challenges, “To me it was never work, especially as I enjoyed every moment teaching and learning something new every day, plus of course the luxurious lifestyle it provided our family.”
“Oh, how little did I know what was around the corner!”
Even his consultant didn’t understand what had caused his condition. There was no known cure, nor could he prescribe any medication to treat it. Ron would just have to learn to live with it as best he could. He was also told, there is one good thing about IBM, there is rarely any accompanying pain, just a slow progressive muscle deterioration.
Two years later, in 2008 Ron was confined to a wheelchair, needing help and support from his wife Michele and daily carers. All of the wealth and assets which they had built up together over the years went into Ron’s care and rehabilitation needs.
Armed with a philosophy taught by his Grandfather, in Ron’s formative years, “You can do anything you want in your life, my boy, always make sure you enjoy it, and that it will do no harm to anyone else, especially you! Remember too that everything happens for a reason, always look for a positive reason and you will find it!”
Ron began to seek out a solution to this new challenge, one of the biggest he ever had to face!
After five years of barely coping and trying to do everything possible to get well, sadly in August 2013, he ended up in an A & E unit, being fed a mixture of morphine and other drugs every 2 hours, and still in excruciating pain. The severe pain he endured was nothing to do with the diagnosis of IBM, as an MRI scan, suggested by his Naturopath, was to reveal. It was from an arthritic growth around vertebrae C6 and C7 on his spine!
His Naturopath recommended a spice, used for 6,000 years, called ‘turmeric’, mixed with black pepper and ginger, to be taken daily. Within 12 days of taking this, along with water, plus a more nutritious vegetarian diet, his pain soon disappeared, and has never returned.
From a discussion with a friend in Italy, Ron learnt that fresh ‘alkaline ionized water’ was much better for recovering one’s health than mineral water from a plastic bottle. Just one year later, Ron changed the water he drank to ‘alkaline ionized water’ from the Enagic© company in Japan.
Pain from the arthritic growth, the migraines, the acid-reflux and the stomach problems, all gradually disappeared. There were no more sleepless nights or chronic fatigue. The best thing is that now, 3 years later, he is able to walk again, something no one could have predicted!
Every day Ron is getting a little stronger, more independent and able to help others once again. He firmly advocates another philosophy he learnt in the 1980’s, from Zig Ziglar, “You can have anything you want in life, if you will just help enough other people get what they want!”
Ron has succinctly described the lessons he has learnt from his experience and has a clear sense of mission about what he can do to help and encourage others.
“I am eternally grateful to have shared my life with my beautiful wife Michele for the last 33 years. Michele’s belief and encouragement in my career and then later in my rehabilitation and fight back to health has been phenomenal. I am extremely lucky to have had her by my side throughout my life.
“In my opinion, Health is the key to a happy life, not Wealth. It’s never too late to make the changes you need to make, to re-balance your body and rectify the neglect. It had taken me more than seven years to find out what caused the problem, make changes and search for solutions. Something I have enjoyed all my life is finding solutions!
“I now drink Energy Rich Water, which is Alkaline Ionised Water, take the best turmeric in the world and follow a great nutritious diet that suits me and more importantly, my needs.
“I can honestly say that without this in my life, I wouldn’t be able to function as I do today. My life has been turned around by these three changes I have made. I started my recovery with the turmeric, a totally green diet of just vegetables, fruit and nuts, no meat or grain, no dairy products either, just plenty of water, the best water I could find!
“I am very conscious about returning to nature and eating a diet that nature provides for us. Understanding that our bodies need to be balanced at all times, is absolutely vital to our health and wellbeing.
“Living a healthy lifestyle plays a very important part too, keeping active as much as we can, with regular time off for relaxing, the ‘non-negotiable’ time we should all take for ourselves and our loved ones.
“Now I feel it is my duty to share my story with others who are suffering chronic and debilitating autoimmune conditions. I believe there is always something that can help you, simply going back to nature is a great way to start. It is natural, and it is safe.
“Yes, I made mistakes in my youth and took my body for granted, as many of us do. I should have taken more care. Knowing what I know now, I feel able to advise and help others going forward.
“Advances in medical science and the pharmaceutical industry cannot take away our basic daily needs for water and natural nutritious foods.
“By going back to basics and understanding the nutritional values and benefits from the food we eat, we can begin to make a difference.
“Drinking plenty of Alkaline Ionized Water everyday has improved my digestion, flushed out the toxins thereby preventing headache and fatigue, and as I also discovered, can even aid in weight loss and maintenance.
“Our bodies are composed of up to 75% water and staying well-hydrated is critical to our optimum health and survival. I feel I have become a ‘hydration specialist’ with all the research I have carried out and the knowledge I have gained during my illness and subsequent recovery.
“I now want to share the knowledge and experience I have gained with others, and in turn help them find their path back to a healthy and enjoyable lifestyle. Life is here for us all to enjoy, with peace of mind, great bodily health plus the wealth to sustain it.
That is exactly what I believe I have managed to achieve once more, and I want to share it.”
Michele added: “Ron is a passionate caring man with so much kindness. He really is positive about his mission to share his story with others and hopefully enable them to avoid sickness in the future by making small changes in their lifestyle today.
“We have been through some very rough times, when his illness was at its worst. Every day there are small positive changes to Ron’s health which we are both eternally grateful for.
“Through hard work and determination Ron will not give up hope. He believes in the benefits of getting back to nature. How nature intended us to live.
“It’s about finding what works best for your body. No two people are the same, but an increasing number of people are suffering from such debilitating chronic illnesses for which they are told, there is no cure or treatment.
“It’s time we took responsibility for our own health and well being and help others along the way to get back to health and fitness by making changes to diet and lifestyle.”
Ron concludes; “I have had an incredible life so far, met and worked with some amazing people. I have a great network of friends and colleagues and look forward to making many more in the future. My ultimate goal now is to help others achieve what they want from life, to show them how they can get what they really want and reach their lifetime goals, so that they too can live those dreams that so many aspire to.”