In mid-2016, Mari Lopez and her niece Liz Johnson began posting YouTube videos discussing Lopez’s breast cancer. That was inspiring. I’m sure her openness helped a lot of people struggling with the same disease.
The problem is that Lopez explained in their videos that she had cured her own cancer because of two things: faith in God and a vegan diet.
In a video posted to YouTube last January titled ‘Cancer Transformation FAQ – SEE IMPORTANT UPDATE,’ Lopez credited veganism and a faith in God as the cure for her breast cancer, adding, “The lemon-ginger blast helped me remove inflammation from my body.” Additionally, Lopez went on a 90-day juice cleanse, which lead to “food withdrawals.”
Lopez, at the time, also said she had skipped cancer treatment despite the recommendation of her doctors. “It’s my choice, I’ve been okay, I haven’t died, I haven’t gotten to the hospital… I am going to continue on this path of going natural,” said Lopez. “It’s over, it is done with, I am healed.”
That… sounded like a bad idea stacked on top of another bad idea. While there’s no cure for cancer, there are ways to mitigate its effects, and Lopez was ignoring all of that by sticking with her conspiracy theories. It had an impact, too. Commenters said on those videos that they were going to try doing the same things. (Chemotherapy is awful, no doubt, but that’s no excuse for choosing an alternative with no scientific backing.)Lopez also said in a video that her faith in God had helped her overcome her lesbian tendencies. (Because that’s how sexual orientation works…)
Over the weekend, Johnson posted a new video. This one explained that Lopez had died in December after her breast cancer returned. (Who saw that one coming?) That’s heartbreaking, but what’s really disturbing is how Johnson proudly defended their public conversations. She said Lopez died not because she ignored the doctors, but because she didn’t stick to her own vegan/raw food diet.
… She alleged her aunt’s demise came not from the cancer itself, but rather her consumption of meat and her use of a microwave.
“My family is not familiar with that style of living… What happened was, as Mari was living with my mom, my mom started to tell her that she needed to eat meat,” said Johnson to Babe.
Oh, this poor deluded woman…
Instead of apologizing for spreading bullshit advice, Johnson shut off the comment threads on all her videos because she’s not interested in your criticism. I could understand not wanting to deal with that after a personal tragedy, but what Johnson is doing now is a lot like the NRA after a mass shooting. She’s laying low, hoping the critics will lose interest, while still promoting the same sort of advice that will get people killed. Is that what she wants?
Cancer doesn’t need its own Jenny McCarthy. The advice promoted on their channel was dangerous. At best, it provided false hope; at worst, it shortened a life that could have been extended with actual medical treatment.
Johnson needs to remove those videos and replace them with one where she apologizes and explains why her aunt was so completely wrong in her beliefs. Anything less than that means more people may follow the same path to destruction.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)