About Richard Harding – RFS

Richard has been a lecturer in nutrition in Newcastle, Australia at WEA Hunter and has been involved in the design of nutrition courses for degree and diploma qualifications in Health Sciences.

My qualifications include:

    • Certificate in Plant-based Nutrition – e Cornell University
    • Certificate IV in Food Coaching
    • BSc – Chemistry, Mathematics (Pure & Applied), Information Technology (Sydney University)
    • Certificate IV in Training and Assessment

I have worked in the pathology and information technology industries before turning to preventative medicine – prevention should be the prime focus of our health care.

I have also worked as the system manager for a large pathology business that had a network of 10 pathology laboratories online 24 hours a day for 6 days a week.

Every year in January a school friend, John and I did a canyon trip in the Blue Mountains of NSW. At the same time, I visit my local doctor.

In 2014, just after my 60th birthday, the results came back with abnormal red and white blood cell counts and an elevated bilirubin. Elevated bilirubin is a sign that the liver is not functioning as well as it should.

It took 8 months to diagnose what the problem was. I have myeloma which is a cancer of the bone marrow that can no longer properly produce red and white blood cells. As a result, the immune system is compromised.

RFS Colleagues 2010
RFS Colleagues 2010

Even after I was diagnosed the doctor said, “If you are going to get cancer, myeloma is one of the best to get.” I was booked into the regional myeloma clinic for treatment. I had pneumonia at the time he made that comment which is what nearly killed me. Twice Ruth was told that I would not be coming home. If he told me the truth, that is, “You are really sick. Go home and pack your bags and go to hospital this evening”, the outcome would be different.

In September 2014, I ended up in hospital for 9 weeks. I was 68 kg (150 pounds) before admission – the same weight when I was at high school. I lost 21 kg (46 pound) in 4 weeks and lost 20 cm (8 in) in height. Myeloma also damages bones resulting in abnormal growths, crushed vertebrae and many broken ribs. Five years later, I am still 15 kg lighter and 20 cm shorter than my pre-sickness days.

Myleoma appears to be associated with environmental and agricultural toxins. Even as a teenager, I was conscious of what I ate and have  not eaten animal products for decades. I kept a skipping rope outside the back door and would do 1,000 skips when it was time to have a break.

I live with my wife Ruth in the Hunter Valley of NSW. We have a big vegetable garden, keep geese and chickens and have planted hundreds of trees in what was an empty paddock. Other interests include Rural Fire Service, music (play piano), photography.

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