Alison with basket of vegetables
June 11, 2021

Fearless in the Face of Cancer

Life Stories, Holistic Wellness

Note from Sunlighten: We’re grateful to Alison Gannett for sharing her amazing story and hope to bring light and hope to others battling cancer of all kinds. An extreme ski pro, Alison Gannett spent much of her life speeding down steep mountainsides on two skis with alertness and skill to adjust to every surprise nature put in her path as she blazed her own trail down the snow-covered slopes. She went where others had not gone; she did things no one else had done. When an unexpected diagnosis forced an abrupt stop to save her life, of course she harnessed that same spirit to surmount a health obstacle, and turn it into a way to help others overcome theirs, too. We are so thankful for her story and honored to be part of her journey to feel better, do more, and live fully. 

Alison skiing

In 2013 I was diagnosed with terminal malignant brain cancer with an average survival time of 6.8 months. I was devastated. I was a world champion skier, organic farmer, happily married, with a dream job of traveling the world teaching women extreme skiing. I couldn’t believe I was hearing the C word. In a nanosecond, my entire life changed.  

In reality, my “check engine light” had been on for years. I had blamed it on getting older. Little did I know that my knee arthritis, my bladder, yeast and bronchial infections, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, shingles, HPV/EBV/CMV viruses, sleep problems, carb cravings, mind fog, hypoglycemia, fibroids, PMS - these were all signs that I had dis-ease in my body and had created a perfect storm for cancer.  

Luckily, I found Dr. Nasha Winters and attended her four-day retreat just after a partially successful surgery in July of 2013. She taught me to “look under the hood” at the root causes of my illness. It was daunting to change my entire life--food and body/mind/spirit. But my terminal diagnosis scared me into channeling all my fearless nature from sports into saving myself. I quit my job and devoted my life to this new “project.” It made sense to me that there was a reason I got sick, and if I could dig deeper with testing, I could reveal and reverse what was causing my dis-ease.  

I began training with Dr. Nasha to be a customized nutrition coach in 2014, and then graduated from the American Nutrition Association’s Certified Ketogenic Nutrition Specialist in 2020. I love being a detective to help other people to support preventing and conquering cancer thru diet and lifestyle changes. This can undermine cancer and make the body more resilient. More about that at

My new acronym to make it simple for people is to look at S.I.T.: 
S=stress, I=insulin, T=toxins
. Almost all of dis-ease can be divided into these categories.  

In 2018 I had a recurrence and was just floored. I cried for a few days, then dusted myself off, and dug further into my root causes. I had failed to buy a sauna to detox, failed to do toxin and heavy metal testing, failed to do a radon test, failed to get an old tooth pulled, and had basically just skimmed meditation.  

Sunlighten mPulse Believe cabin sauna

The first thing I did was research and buy a sauna. Sunlighten had the near and far infrared options I needed - far infrared for my detoxing, near to repair my mitochondria/DNA, and a combo to work on my insulin resistance. Plus, I loved the size and color to match my renovations! 

I have been sauna-ing daily for 2.5 years and my heavy metals, toxins, pesticides and herbicides have dropped in half. Dr. Nasha says it is key to use a binder to pull the toxins out of our body so I use either charcoal/clay combo, GI Detox, or Cytodetox a half hour before my sauna on an empty stomach.  

The unsung blessing is my 2018 commitment to daily meditation. I use the sauna as my quiet place and shrine, with my prayer beads, statue of goddess of compassionate lovingkindness Quan (Kwan) Yin and books from my meditation teacher.  

Every day, I get into my very preheated sauna, take my big pile of anti-cancer customized supplements (for my lab results, tumor pathology and DNA), then meditate for 30-45 minutes, and finish with a liter of filtered water with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of Redmond’s Real Salt. I then read  Alan Cohen’s book “Daily Dose of Sanity” to see what the gratitude lesson is for the day.  

I will confess…all these diet and lifestyle changes have been very hard at times. Things like my sauna/supplement routine seemed like a curse but have now turned into my sanctuary.  

I never would have believed that I could turn my life around the way that I have. I am happier and healthier than I have ever been in my whole life. I want you to join me on this journey because this is possible for you, too.