David and Helen West tell us their stories of living in Alaska. Waking up, getting out of bed, and taking care of the animals isn’t particularly easy for Mr. West. He says his farm is like therapy. It makes him get out of bed even when he hurts. David has a problem with his brain stem. The doctors say the cyst could be from an accident – he had fallen off a horse trying to impress a girl -- or he was born with it and it took this long to kick in. He told us a story of how he could have possibly gotten his cyst.
He has had three surgeries in the past five years on his brain stem. Everyday he is in constant pain. If there was a herb that could help with his cyst he would choose it over his medication. But just by looking at him he seems like a healthy, but active fifty-two year old man.
Normal brain stem has pores but David’s has spider like legs coming out of them and pushing on his spine making him ache with horrible pain. He hardly shows that he is in pain, because he laughs and smiles a lot.
Mr. West is an inspiration because he is living subsistence life, raising seven different animals, and he picks berries, mushrooms, and herbs. He also hunts moose whenever he can plus works a fish wheel. He has been unemployed ever since his injury. David and Helen are making it out okay. Thanks to David and Helen West for telling us your stories and answering our questions. You are truly an inspiration.