Angling For Better Health

Rob Dunn aims to find joy in everything he does, every day. He tells us about his health crisis and the help he received from Pure North.

For the past few years, this has been Rob Dunn’s mantra. Whenever he can, the 58-year-old Invermere resident spends a few hours fishing.

“There are a lot of lakes out here, full of beautiful trout,” he says. “I get out as often as I can.”

Dunn’s infectious optimism has been a staple of life out in this beautiful part of B.C. for a few years now. As publisher and writer of The Valley Peak, a colourful weekly newspaper, he regularly shares his humourous perspective with his fellow citizens.

Find joy in everything you do, every single day.

“My basset hound Watson even has his own column,” says Dunn with a chuckle. “It’s called Watson’s Waddle.”

His positive outlook is refreshing — and hard-won. Four years ago, he was diagnosed with diabetes. He cut out sugar, got his dog and lost 40 pounds. “I totally came off the diabetes scale,” he says proudly.

Nightmarish health crisis

That victory, however, was only a prelude to an even bigger health crisis that began in 2017. “I started feeling tired a lot and I was itchy,” he explains. “I found out that the itching was caused from toxins due to kidney failure.”

In time, he also learned he had multiple myeloma, a form of bone marrow cancer. Treatment would be long and painful, involving everything from chemotherapy to dialysis.

Dunn, who believes his cancer could be related to toxic exposure from years spent working in an aluminum can factory in Calgary — as well as multiple mercury fillings — became increasingly frustrated with what he saw as the close-mindedness of his conventional health care providers.

He shared his nightmarish health crisis with readers of The Valley Peak in his no-holds-barred style. “I was calling it the ‘Can’t-sir’ ward,” he says of his many stays in hospital, “because everywhere I went, people just said ‘No you can’t, sir.’

“My experience really resonated with a lot of people.”

The Pure North people … freakin’ cared about me, which hasn’t always been my experience these past few years.”

Help from Pure North

At Pure North’s Calgary clinic, Dunn underwent a comprehensive health assessment, including blood testing and body composition, plus one-on-one consultations with a naturopathic doctor and a dentist.

The team came up with an individualized health program for him.

“A lot of it made sense to me,” says Dunn, who had eight dental amalgam (mercury) fillings removed on Pure North’s recommendation.

Amalgam fillings are the most common exposure to mercury — a potent neurotoxin that causes anxiety, depression, irritability, fatigue, stomach issues and chronic disease as it builds up in the body.

He also began a tailored supplementation program that includes vitamin D, omega 3 fatty acids and alpha lipoic acid, among others. While Dunn is still fighting cancer — and does kidney dialysis at home every other day — the results of his last blood work showed a marked improvement.

For the past few months, he’s been feeling well enough to enjoy his favourite things in life.

“I believe that everything I’m doing is helping me,” he says, adding that Pure North plays a big role in helping to achieve better health and quality of life.

“The Pure North people also made me feel like they freakin’ cared about me, which hasn’t always been my experience these past few years.”

Last year, he was getting ready “to live out my last days,” he says. “Now I have no problem leaving a sink full of dishes so I can get out the door for a day of fishing.”

Dunn has embraced mindfulness and is focused on living his life one day at a time.