Cancer Survivor Creates NHS Approved Health App, 'Wholesome World'
BY Freyja Hanstein and Victoria Cooper
PUBLISHED July 07, 2020
Wholesome World is a new app that has launched to assist all of your nutritional and wellbeing needs.
The app came about after founder Freyja Hanstein lost her husband to abdominal Synovial Sarcoma cancer in 2014, and was herself diagnosed with a brain tumour just ten months later. Freyja chose to use the lessons she was taught during this incredibly tough time to triumph over the disease and create something that could support others fighting cancer.
Wholesome World is a collection of recipes, nutritional information and lifestyle resources from medical research to nutritional, physical and mental health, as well as tips on how to maintain a stress-free and happy lifestyle. All of the recipes and information on the app are specifically designed for patients recovering from cancer and for families helping loved ones through cancer treatments, however, anyone can use the app for a healthier and more nutritious lifestyle. Freyja explains, "One of the hardest moments in my life was to see the strongest man I knew - both mentally and physically - have to deal with so much. Lars dealt with the most intense treatment, and highest drug quantities, that had ever been seen by his doctors. We both researched medicinal angles alongside lifestyle approaches to see if we could reduce our stress and fill our home time with positive action, both in terms of battling cancer, but also enhancing our general positivity. Many of these aspects of 'life actions' strongly related to physical, nutritional and mental health, so his body could better handle cancer. We climbed mountains and surfed, he finished his geological research and we found new ways to support his mental health. Lars grew so strong between cancer hits and treatment, being told he could be cancer-free before sadly getting re-diagnosed, again. He proposed to me on coastal cliffs, and we got married the following year. Lars passed away two months after we became husband and wife. He is an amazing soul, and I am so proud of him and I thank him for his love and the time I had with him."
Heartbreakingly, just a year later Freyja started experiencing symptoms of her own, but as she describes, in a stroke of luck and experience with Lars, knew it was more than suspected epilepsy and pushed for an MRI scan which revealed a brain tumour. Alongside her brother and his wife had just completed their neurologist Ph.D.'s and a family friend was a professional neurosurgeon who was there to give her well-researched advice. Plus, Freyja's initial university degree was Biological Sciences, so not only did she have personal medicinal understanding, but solid connections to those that worked in research.
Freyja's hope is to pass on the information she used and researched since her own diagnosis to anyone else who might be stuck, not knowing where or how to move forwards. "I hope it resonates with a lot of people. The recipe and nutrition content is key, the main driver of Wholesome World but it's also about the healthcare aspects and up-to-date links to scientific information; it's part of the inclusive approach of the whole App. The idea of the app is to offer a library of trusted resources for anyone to access, anywhere at any time. I want Wholesome World to help people understand their diagnosis and explore more options, to be a resource for everyone going through their own experience."
Freyja highly recommends a book by Dr. Servan Schrieber, Anticancer: A New Way of Life, which helped her to understand how she could increase her health whilst at home. She explains, "I pushed to make this understanding public - as recovery was hard for me, even despite my past experience with cancer, and strong family connections in the medical field. I want people to know how they can go about creating cleaner, healthier and happier lives - so they can enhance their general health to help them avoid, or to battle, cancer."
Wholesome World app has now been approved by the National Health System (NHS) in the UK and was created through the European Digital Medicinal authorized projects. You can find out more about Wholesome World and download the app on IOS or Android by going to the website www.wholesomeworld.com and on Instagram at @wholesomeworld.