Dee's Story

My War Against Cancer


Dee SimmonsMy cancer taught me two valuable lessons: illness is an opportunity for growth, and hope is the greatest medicine of all.


In 1987, tragedy struck my life. I was diagnosed with breast cancer. As you can imagine, I was devastated and shocked. How could this have happened to me? After an eight-hour operation resulting in a modified radical mastectomy, I knew my life would never be the same.


I also had a decision to make: Did I want to live, or did I want to die? My decision was obvious. With help from my family and my determination to survive, I began to take responsibility for my health. My journey began immediately, as I traveled around the world studying with leading doctors, scientists and nutritionists. I became an avid student of nutrition and learned how to apply the best of science and the best of nature to my personal life.


Two years later, doctors began to call me from around the country requesting that I talk with patients who were experiencing a health crisis of their own. I would share my story, along with what I had learned in my studies. This soon became a fulltime job for me.  From early morning until late at night, I counseled, advised and offered to others what I had discovered from my own experiences.


Five years later, personal tragedy struck again. This time, my best friend – my mother – was diagnosed with cancer. Unlike me and the many others I had helped, my mother didn’t have a second chance. She lived only four weeks. I was devastated, and the loss stunned me. Once again, I had to make a decision: Would I give up my message and commitment to saving lives, or would I allow her death to inspire me to learn even more about cancer?


I continued, knowing I had knowledge about health and nutrition that I must share. Armed with this knowledge, I acted! I began to teach the importance of proper nutrition to cancer patients, which led to seminars and speaking engagements all over the country. Having tried almost every nutritional product on the market, I was dissatisfied with the quality and effectiveness of most products.


I soon began a journey from laboratory to laboratory working with biochemists to create a complete line of high-quality, all-natural nutritional formulas that would meet my standards. My company, Ultimate Living International, was established in August 1996.


Hope is Powerful Medicine


Cancer was once referred to as a condition too awful to talk about. But discussion often leads to knowledge, which is a powerful weapon in the battle against cancer. I’ve learned that cancer requires the ultimate battle – it forces a fight for life. But survivors know that cancer can be conquered, and, like me, they speak a language of warfare. We have to fight an enemy within – not simply the intruding cells, but our bodies’ defenses, denial, anger and sometimes despair.


Many cancer survivors consider the disease to actually be a gift that’s wrapped in a horrible package. They learn that life, which is indeed fleeting and precious, is a miracle. They also learn that hope is the most powerful medicine of all. Illness is an opportunity for growth. The real healing comes from the ability to deal with whatever illness is troubling you. It’s all about finding peace of mind.


In my family, many things changed after I had cancer—our family relationship, our priorities and our goals. Once my mother was lost to cancer, we declared war. We were overwhelmed with change, and even though there were times that we felt we were sinking, we survived. We developed deeper, more intimate relationships with family, friends and loved ones.


I’ve discovered firsthand that most people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. One of the greatest gifts of all is the gift of someone who cares. My commitment is and will always be to save lives. Ultimate Living is my mission, as well as my passion.