CSUB Housing Director shares how she chose Holistic Medicine to fight ovarian cancer

Story by Ilse Reyes, CSUB Public Affairs Intern

Photos by Brian Willhite, CSUB Public Affairs Intern

In 2001, she was given a death sentence. Twelve years later, Crystal Becks is sharing her story on how she has successfully battled her stage three ovarian cancer.

“I felt like I was in a bubble, like I was the one going through this. I felt hopeless,” said Crystal Becks, CSUB Housing Director, educator, and currently a cancer survivor.


Becks shared her story during this quarter’s Brown Bag Discussion, where she not only talked about her fight against the disease, but her choice to use holistic medicine to do it. After two years of chemotherapy proved unsuccessful Becks traveled to the Middle East where she learned about this type of natural healing. Holistic Medicine is a natural way of healing the body. This medicine is about finding balance spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Holistic practitioners believe that having one of the three out of balance can create discomfort in someone’s life.

When she returned home, Becks decided that Holistic Medicine was the path she would take to fight her illness. “I invited a healer to my home. She entered with no shoes, didn’t wear deodorant, and sat on the floor. I thought, ‘what did I get myself into?’ She gave me tips about natural healing and left my house.” Becks, not knowing what to expect, followed her orders. Soon she became healthier, and sometime after, she went into remission.

The Brown Bag’s guest speaker found her peace at last. Turning to Holistic Medicine gave her the strength and motivation to fight for her life. Becks went from dealing withbeing given a couple months to live to living life to it’s fullest. “I feel like cancer was a gift in my life because it helped me put more thought about what I put into my body,” said Becks. “People say it’s too expensive to eat clean, but being sick is more expensive. My cancer medical bills are a lot more expensive than the money I spend on eating healthy.”


Becks gave the audience the following keys to good health:

  1. Mental and Emotional Health- We believe what we tell ourselves
  2. Nutrition- Clean eating- eat as purely possible
  3. Hydration- body weight divided by 2 = daily intake necessary to repair and replenish
  4. Decreasing Toxic Insult/ Elimination
  5. Movement and Exercise
  6. Managing Stress and Handling Crisis
  7. Proper supplementation for our individual need
  8. Sleep
  9. Community and support
  10. Feeling worthy, valuable, and needed in our daily lives
  11.  Communicating openly with our chosen medical practitioners
  12. Laughing a lot and finding joy daily.

Becks said during her discussion that her goal was to help the audience walk away feeling empowered and help them take control of their health. Her testimony did just that for CSUB senior Jacqui Haffmonn. “Most of the things that Crystal said impacted me. I had a close friend with cancer and I wonder if he had known about this, would he have lived? I wish talks like these would be given more often so students can get informed,” said Haffmonn

The Brown Bag Discussions are an opportunity for students, staff, faculty, and alumni to learn something new from someone else. Guest speakers, like Becks, are invited to motivate and impact our CSUB campus. “These discussions give our students, staff, and community members an opportunity to come together as a campus and learn interesting facts about our guest speakers,” said Emily Poole, Assistant Director of campus programming, also part of the committee of the Brown Bag Discussion. 

The Brown Bag Discussions are held once a month during the regular school year. Those that attend, may just walk way with a piece of knowledge that can truly impact their lives.

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