YouTube star who claimed a vegan diet 'cured' her cancer, dies

Elise Solé

A YouTube star who said she had cured her stage IV breast cancer with a vegan diet has died of the disease.

Liz Johnson, the niece of Houston blogger Mari Lopez, announced the news on Sunday on the pair’s YouTube channel Mari + Liz, where they shared their beliefs that Lopez’s juicing-and-raw-vegan diet cured her breast cancer in just 90 days and that her faith in God healed her gay lifestyle.

Blogger Mari Lopez, right, with her niece Liz Johnson, has died of cancer after claiming she was cured of the disease through a vegan-juicing diet. (Photo: YouTube/Liz + Marie).

“My aunt passed away in December because her cancer came back,” wrote Johnson on YouTube. “My aunt was inconsistent in her diet and spiritual life.  My aunt did not continue juicing/raw vegan diet when she got diagnosed again, she chose to do radiation and chemo. I never pushed my aunt to do anything or stay away from doctors. She chose to do what she did and experienced healing, leading her to share her testimony to help others. I have never been against doctors or medical advice.”

As for her aunt’s religious principals, Johnson wrote, “I never claimed to heal my aunt’s gay lifestyle through juicing. My aunt chose to make that change on her own, which had nothing to do with her juicing but everything to do with her faith.”

She added, “People have sent me many emails about positive changes after juicing, and some have told me that they chose to do chemo. Some are still alive, and unfortunately, some are not. We never claimed that this would 100 percent work for everyone.”

In a YouTube video published June 2016, Lopez explained how consuming alkaline water helped “kill cancer” by balancing the acid in her body, induced by a carnivorous and sugary diet. She also embarked on a 30-day juice fast, drinking a concoction called “lemon ginger blast” (habanero, cilantro, dandelion, cucumbers, apples, ginger, and turmeric) to reduce inflammation and “toxins.”

In a Feb. 14 interview with, Johnson explained that her aunt’s cancer had spread to her blood, lungs, and liver in part, she believed, because Lopez had started chemotherapy and radiation at the insistence of her sister, Johnson’s mom.

“She was following a raw vegan style [diet],” Johnson told the website. “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 now. She said it was OK to use things that she didn’t want to use. My aunt was very against the microwave because of cancer-causing issues with that, and my mom would cook her things using the microwave.”

Johnson continued, “My mom would buy her burgers and things like that, and she didn’t want to eat that but after a while she just was just OK with it. When you give in too many times, you just end up saying whatever. I feel like that’s what caused the issues. That’s where the inconsistencies were. She was telling people in her videos that people needed to eat this way, but at the same time she was having her own struggle.”

While the American Cancer Society states that a diet of “vegetables, fruit, poultry, fish, and low-fat dairy products” has been linked to a lowered risk of breast cancer in various studies, it also clarifies, “It is not clear if specific vegetables, fruits, or other foods can lower risk.”

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