Before coming out as a health warrior who beat stage 3C endometrial cancer, Robin Quivers was most known for her role as the beloved sidekick to radio personality Howard Stern. Robin had been faithfully by Howard’s side for 31 years but in May of 2012 she had a health-scare that forced her to refocus her priorities. She became focused on healing in private, working from home until, in September of 2013, a caller to the The Howard Stern show asked when Robin would be back in the studio. This lead to her going public with her cancer battle when Howard asked her:
“Do you want to fill the audience in on what happened since then so that they understand why you haven’t been in the studio?Robin responded: “Sure. I’m ready to talk about it now, I guess. Yeah, so I went to a doctor that afternoon and for about a week the story was that nobody really understood what was going on. They knew that there was a mass in my pelvis but nobody knew what it was, and eventually it was determined that I just had to have surgery and they’d figure it out after going in.”
“I was already making funeral arrangements. Not to make light of this situation, but I was freaking out. It was just this f***ing crazy thing that came out of left field and it was going down real quick.”
“(The doctor) just looks at everything and she goes, ‘You’re cured. You’re done. You can just leave here. You know, the protocol is to scan you every three months and do all this stuff, but we don’t really have to, because you’re cured.””
“I can’t tell you when you see a friend, a life-long friend, going through this, what it’s like. I’ll be honest. I thought she was a goner. You bet against anybody else except Robin.”
Robin credits her vegan diet with helping her beat and recover from cancer so quickly. Robin became vegan in 2007 after spending time researching and educating herself on diet, health, and nutrition. She had been 80 pounds overweight and was facing a probable future of diabetes and heart disease if she didn’t make a change. For all her life she had consumed a standard American diet high in cholesterol, fat, and processed foods. But when she switched to a plant-based diet she says she could feel her body start to heal. She says,
“I couldn’t believe the difference I saw. I’d never had such a dramatic shift in my health….I no longer had to rearrange my entire life around being sick.”
In her book Robin reveals that before her cancer scare she had struggled much of her life with addiction to food and being overweight. She says she was addicted to ice-cream before going vegan but to beat the cravings she started doing juice cleanses. She says,
“They get rid of cravings. When you’re really cleaning out your body and nourishing it, you discover you stop needing the things you thought you need. I never had coffee again, and I used to drink gallons of coffee! The world of nutrition and dieting are two different things. Dieting is restricting yourself from what you love; nutrition is giving your body what it needs.”
Before adopting a vegan diet she says she could “barely walk two city blocks.” But, after going vegan, in 2010 ate age 58 she ran the New York Marathon. In an interview with People Magazine she says,
“My life totally changed and now I have this amazing amount of energy.”
She also thinks her diet is what made her recover from cancer treatment without the fatigue and other “horrible things,” that many cancer patients experience. Robin said:
“My oncologist told me, ‘I am going to dub you the best patient ever.’ He said he spent all his time on the phone with patients saying they couldn’t take it anymore, they couldn’t take the nausea, or other effects. I never called. None of that was happening to me.”
Besides her vegan diet, Robin has publicly credited Howard Stern’s support with saving her life. In an October 2013 interview with NewsDay she said,
“Howard was there every day, asking “What did the doctors say today?” He was with me every step of the way, we made all the decisions together…. Howard even volunteered to go the appointments with me! I can imagine us showing up together at a doctor’s office! That’s going to be fun! But he was willing to do anything.”
When asked about her being shocked by Howard’s public outpouring of love for her she says,
“It still makes me tear up, him saying, ‘I don’t want to work without her.’ You don’t necessarily say that to each other every day, and over 30 years nothing like this had ever happened to us before. Helping someone through the breakup of a relationship is one thing; helping someone save their life is a completely different deal.”
While one gift of her illness may be that it revealed the depth of love and support in her inner circle, another gift is certainly the inspiring story of strength of recovery that Robin is sharing with the world. While she had already written The Vegucation of Robin before her cancer diagnosis, her remarkably quick and complete recovery has become a powerful testimony for the healing power of plants. In her book she discusses her lifelong health struggles, reveals how she healed with a vegan diet, and she shares 90 of her favorite plant-based recipes including including a tasty-sounding citrus salad with roasted fennel and pomegranate, a peach almond-butter smoothie, tomatillo tortilla soup, spicy roasted cauliflower with pimenton, and grilled portabella mushroom burgers.
Good Reads praised Robin’s book saying:
“By filling up on soul-quenching, cell-loving vegetables instead of damaging animal products and processed foods, Quivers left behind the injuries, aches, and pains that had plagued her for twenty years. Charting her inspiring road to wellness, The Vegucation of Robin describes her transformation inside and out, and, with the inclusion of ninety of her favorite vegan recipes, she encourages readers to join her in putting their health first. With her signature humor and wit, Quivers builds an undeniable case that the key to living the life you’ve always wanted lies not with your doctor but in your refrigerator. Putting a new face on the pro-veggie movement, Quivers’s star power is sure to dazzle readers who want to look good, feel good, and have fun doing it.”
Robin has made plenty of celebrity guest appearances to share her story, promote her book, and testify for the benefits she’s experienced by going vegan. She has appeared on Wendy Williams, Dr. Oz, and The Doctors – and may have helped inspire Wendy Williams, who has since become vegan, and Dr. Oz, who has also been increasingly promoting a plant-based diet. Robin’s also inspired a change in Howard Stern (who previously made fun of vegans on his show) who has stopped eating all animal products besides fish. Robin’s advise to others looking to heal and regain their health is simple:
“If you want your body to work with way it’s supposed to, you need to give it the nutrients it needs. The solution isn’t in a pill; it’s in what you eat.”
Robin continues to speak up for the miraculous healing power of plants and, says now that she’s healthy she is open to new opportunities in television and radio. But the love between friends is almost just as powerful as plants in her story. It touched my heart to hear and brought a tear to my eye when I watched her return to the Howard Stern Show and Howard tells Robin:
“But never get sick again.”
and she says:
“I plan not to.”
“I can never be without you again.”
…and the show goes on.
Sister Reya is a holistic health journalist and nutrition educator. She is constantly inspired by stories like Robin’s where plants give people a new lease on life, and more time with the ones they love.
Healing With Plants is a health education channel/website providing you with the research, inspiration, and recipes to heal with plants. If you don’t want to miss a single good news story, subscribe to Healing With Plants on YouTube and follow us on social media.
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