WHEN Neil Patel discovered he had a rare form of cancer in his thigh he was determined to fight it off.
But rather than accept it was a battle best fought with chemotherapy he decided to adopt his own remedy.
Because for the past eight years Neil has refused all medication - saying a positive attitude and yoga have staved off the life threatening illness.
When he was given the news in 2000 he was warned he might have as little as two years to live - if he underwent therapy and surgery.
But having been diagnosed at just 27 he wanted to live out his life as normally as possible.
Neil said: "I have met a few people who have suffered a similar illness to me and they have had to have surgery to remove their leg.
"I was told that I would still be able to walk but it would be with a stick.
"As a young man I thought, for me it's all or nothing.
"I didn't see the point of living without mobility; I want to be me.
"So I took the approach I could cope with this using mind over matter."
The 36-year-old from Village Way, Pinner, says a holistic approach involving willpower, positive attitude, meditation and yoga has kept him going for the past eight years.
He added: "I was told in 2006 the tumour was still there but my body had contained it.
"Doctors expected it to spread to my lungs and brain but it remains entirely in my left thigh.
"Research shows environmental and personal triggers cause illness so I decided there must be a way of reversing it.
"So I divided my life in to 36 categories, like family, friends, money, work commitments and God and then completely altered my attitudes to them.
"I believe this change in attitude and the use of meditation and yoga was more positive than medication."
Neil got into yoga thanks to his mum, who taught it, and now he runs a series of classes across Harrow with his Chi Kri School of Yoga.
He has also established his own charity, the Chi Kri Foundation, which he hopes will get compulsory yoga into schools across the country as well as in orphanages across Asia and Africa.
* On Sunday Neil will give a talk about his battle with cancer and the benefits of yoga in Churchill Hall, Hawthorne Avenue, Kenton. The event, called I can-cer-vive, starts at 1.30pm and is free to attend.