Home Events About Brenda About Our Friends Donation Contact Us

Three years, two surgeries and a couple of complications later, the cancer came back with a vengeance in the form of a very large and inoperable tumor on his hip which also extended to the sacrum. The tumor caused James to lose his ability to walk. For the last year of James’ life, he required 24x7 custodial care, so I had to leave my full-time job at the University as well as my part-time job as a Pastoral counselor to stay home and take care of him. We lived off a small disability payment and the generosity of friends and family.

I am grateful for the time I shared with him, but it was both physically and emotionally taxing. Watching my “larger than life” husband shrink away was the most painful experience of my life and it drove me to research. I needed to understand the causes of cancer and how to heal and prevent it because I couldn’t bear the thought of seeing anyone else I loved and cared about suffer the way James did if they didn’t have to. I discovered there is much a person can do through diet and lifestyle to greatly reduce the odds of all disease and improve health and well-being. It has become a passion of mine to share this education with as many people as I can. It’s also important that I honor the memory of my husband and others who have lost their battles with this wicked disease. So, let me tell you about James Warren, Jr.

James truly was larger than life. His energy was electric and when he walked in the room he changed the atmosphere. His smile, his loud laughter and fun-loving nature enveloped everyone he met. James had an incredible ability to make the person in front of him feel accepted and like they were the most important person in the room.

Kids loved him and so did everyone else. He was the Story time guy at Imagine Coffee in Corvallis every Saturday morning reading stories to the children. It wasn’t the stories they loved, it was the way he got them involved in the stories and how he connected with each one of them. On several occasions, parents would bring their kids and warn him that their child was shy and likely wouldn’t engage. To these parents amazement, James would have the child laughing and practically eating out of his hand in no time! At Christmastime, James would don the red suit and beard and entertain young and old with his hearty “Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas!”

James was pretty comfortable in his own skin, definitely his own man. The man could not be bullied, guilted or coerced into something he didn’t want to do or anything that would go against his moral code. He loved people, but wasn’t a “people-pleaser.” He also wasn’t star-struck and never put on airs. A good example of this was the time he worked as a bodyguard at The Palace of Auburn Hills. On one occasion, he was assigned to Michael Jordan. When Michael asked James to carry his bags, James boldly and unashamedly replied that he was there to keep him safe, not carry his bags!

James served our country in the U.S. Marines and distinguished himself as the Marine in basic training who displayed the highest degree of military proficiency in physical fitness, marksmanship, dress, appearance and leadership qualities. He served as military police and bodyguard to the American Ambassador, Shirley Temple-Black, at the embassy in Accra Ghana. He also spent some time in the jungles of Cambodia and served at the American embassy in Singapore.

After his military service, James went to college on the G. I. Bill at the University of Illinois where he played Safety as a walk-on for the football team. James’ football claim to fame was the time he sacked Dan Marino!

There’s much more that could be said about James Warren, but the most important thing we remember and cherish was how he made us feel. He loved and accepted us unconditionally, he brought us much joy and laughter, and he taught us to wake up grateful for every day that God gives us breath.

 The first noticeable sign that something was wrong occurred in September 2012, when James Warren Jr., began experiencing severe pain just above his right knee. Unfortunately, there were a lot of medical missteps that occurred prior to an accurate diagnosis. Despite the pain and swelling around the knee and the fact that it was significantly hotter to the touch than his other knee, there were no x-rays or other imaging ordered. Instead, the doctor prescribed physical therapy for sciatica. For six months, James endured the pain and got nowhere with physical therapy until, completely fed up, I insisted the doctor take an X-ray of the knee. I’m not sure how I knew it was cancer, but I just did. The doctor laughed when my husband told the doctor my prediction, but humored him and me by ordering the x-ray. Less than 24 hours later we received word that there was a large mass above his knee that had eaten through one wall of his femur.

James Warren