CLL Alternatives

When Newly Diagnosed

CLL Diagnosis 15 Things to Do

CLL Diagnosis:
15 Natural Things to do.
 When people first find my site,, it’s generally because either they—or someone they care about—has recently been diagnosed. Of all the gut-punches a person can sustain in their life, this is probably the worst. Even the word leukemia itself strikes terror. A blood cancer. A death sentence.

I get emails and postings from many people who are stunned and trying to figure out what to do. Getting well is possible, but there’s no quick answer as to how. There is no magic bullet; only magic ammunition. The list I’ve compiled here is in no means the entire answer to getting well, but it is certainly a good start.

There is so much to know, and to learn. But every journey starts with the first step, and this list is a very good step in the right direction. With that in mind, here are 16 things you can do to get a jump start on improving your health and either getting totally well – or at least getting well enough to be confident of your future and longevity. The list keeps growing, and I might add to it in a different post from time to time.

  1. Vitamin D3
    Take 8,000 to 10,000 IU of Vitamin D3 every day, and get your levels tested regularly. For those fighting cancer or leukemia, your level should be somewhere between 70 and 99. (See links in bibliography for more information.)
  2. Stop eating sugar.
    This is both simple and difficult, but it is also essential! Cancer feeds on sugar. Strive for a Paleo or Ketogenic diet. You don’t have to make the changes over night. You can start by cutting out all desserts–candy, cake, cookies, ice cream. If this sounds horrific, start by reducing the amount of sugar and find alternatives, or start making your own desserts at home. For example, I make my coconut-carob bars about once a week or so. They are made of just two ingredients, and they are so satisfying that I no longer crave chocolate! Not only that, they are healthy!!! It happens. Keep in mind that beyond desserts, you should eliminate white rice, white flour, and white potatoes from your diet. Try to eat more nuts and seeds, and fewer sweets. More details to follow.
  3. No processed food.
    This means shopping in the produce section of your supermarket, and preferably buying as much organic as available. This means buying organic turkey and chicken in its raw form, with no additives or preservatives. (Read the labels.) This means buying only those packaged foods with labels indicating ONLY ingredients like: frozen blueberries (in the frozen section), or a jar of raw, local honey, or almond butter that contains only almonds. Rice cakes that are made of brown rice. That kind of processed food is okay.
  4. Cut out gluten.
    There is increasing evidence that gluten is a culprit in robbing our health. This is especially important if you have a history of stomach upset or digestive issues. Cut out the gluten and you just might find that your gastric issues are history. The theory here is that the more items that are stressing your body, the less energy and immunity you have to fight your CLL. There are so many gluten-free items in the market these days, this shouldn’t be that difficult. (Don’t forget to check the sugar level on the label.)
  5. Eat at home.
    You know what you’re eating when you eat your own cooking. Even “healthy” restaurants will have foods with hidden ingredients, food cooked or grilled at high temperatures, food with sugar and/or gluten. At this point I’m eating out about one or two times a week. I choose restaurants with good salads, as I prefer to avoid eating meat out. I don’t trust their meats. (For example, it’s rare to find a restaurant that services wild-caught salmon, rather than farmed. And even wild caught salmon would be unhealthy if grilled.) If I have to, I’ll eat before I go out and have a bag of nuts in my pocket to eat after the meal, on the way home. Failing to plan is planning to fail. So look up the menu online and figure out what you can eat! I’ve even brought my own garlic sea salt to use instead of a restaurant’s GMO salad dressing. Think ahead and dine out infrequently.
    A subtitle here show be to EAT Fermented Veggies and Bone Broth soup! The fermented vegetables are natural and much more effective probiotics than those pills we buy at health food stores — with several times more “good bugs” than the pills. Bone broth soup is full of collagen, which builds the connective tissue and is a health builder for those with leukemia (and anyone wishing to be healthy!) The Weston Price Foundation is a good source of information about how to make your own pickles and soup. They have many books, and better  yet, local chapters that give volunteer-driven classes on these subjects and more.
  6. Cook low and slow.
    Another way to say this is: don’t eat food that was cooked at high temperatures! Grilled and burnt food raise your WBC temporarily. It also gives your body potential carcinogens that your liver and digestive system will have to tend to. Instead make stews and stews, roast in the oven at no higher than 300 degrees (with water and covered with foil), slow saute meats and vegetables, adding olive oil and seasonings when meal is almost completed. Make use of your crock pot, or simmer on your stove top using plenty of water to make certain it doesn’t dry out in your absence. This tip has been HUGE for me. When I started doing this at the end of 2012, I reduced my WBC to the low 20s in the span of three months. I’ve continued and now my WBC is (usually) in the mid-teens.
  7. Baking Soda
    Take 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda in your water before bed each night to keep your pH at 7 at optimal levels. I buy the market brand and take this with my night pills. (All supplements.)
  8. Peak Immune
    Take Peak Immune, by Daiwa. Especially if you’ve ever had any problem with your neutrophil level. Buy the bottle at the best price you can, and take it religiously. I buy it on the re-order system on Shop around for your own best deal. (I have no affiliation with this company. I do not sell anything that has to do with, or with CLL in general. I write my blog and help people on the phone because that’s what I do. This site and its upcoming book are non-profit in every sense of the word.) But back to Peak Immune…my neutrophil level remains in the safety zone so long as I keep taking this pill. It could be that some of the healing mushrooms could have the same effect, but I’m dancing with the one that brung me. I’m so grateful to have found a product that keeps my neutrophil level normal—with zero side effects—that I plan to take it (and recommend it) forever.
  9. Natural Personal Care Products
    Make sure all your personal care products are either organic or home-made. Don’t let it touch your skin if you wouldn’t eat it! These days I keep a small glass container of organic coconut oil in the bathroom to use as skin “cream.” Works wonderfully! This also goes for toothpaste, soap, makeup, shampoo, conditioner, the whole ball of wax. (If the wax is organic.  )
  10. Natural House Cleaning Solutions
    Clean your house without toxins, as well. My husband was after me to do this for years. I wish I’d listened to him sooner. I use baking soda, organic dish wash liquid, white vinegar, peroxide, and occasionally a lemon to clean my kitchen and bathroom. I’ve recently added the Mr. Clean Eraser as I can’t find anything on the Internet showing that it’s toxic. Now that I use all these nontoxic items to clean, it’s funny how noxious even products like Ajax and Comet smell. Glad to have them out of my house! Once again, this is getting the irritants out of the way and allowing your body to heal!
  11. Reduce Your Stress
    Arrange your life to reduce your stress. I know, easier said than done. But sometimes you have to step back and make changes in your life, if your life is killing you. Does your boss make your blood boil? Look for another job, or even consider changing careers to something more peaceful or meaningful. Avoid friends or relationships that cause your pain. Step back and take a look at your life and try to set things up to make yourself happy. Happy people have a better chance at healing. Which brings us to:
  12. Get Eight Hours of Sleep Per Night
    Plan to get into bed at 10 PM and do your best to make that happen. I will admit that many times I make it there a half-hour later. But 10:30 is a LOT better than 11:00 PM. I truly feel the difference! For example, if I’ve been stressed (it happens) by life or by minor illness, like a cold, my salivary glands tend to swell and get tender. If I get enough sleep, voila! In the morning, my neck feels normal again. In fact, when I get good sleep regularly, I feel wonderful. This is simple and free, and I highly recommend it!
  13. Exercise!
    You don’t have to run a marathon. In fact, it might not be a good idea. (See number 11.) However, going for long walks, jumping on a rebounder (mini-trampoline), lifting weights, going on a treadmill or other exercise equipment like a stair-stepper or elliptical trainer, is a great idea. It stresses your body the right amount. This is the “use it or lose it” issue. If you let yourself become, a couch potato, this is terrible for your general health. And when dealing with CLL, your general health matters! It is your keep to getting well!
  14. Find your meditation.
    I know this can sound strange. And truth be told, I don’t really meditate. But I do crave silent alone-time when I can sit with my journal and write. This is my own method of ‘meditation.’ Find your own way to de-stress, preferably daily. Listen to your favorite music, pray, relax with a good book. Color in those adult coloring books. Whatever works for you. Don’t make it a chore; that’s not the point. Find something relaxing that you really want to do to get inside yourself and leave the world behind for at least 15 minutes each day.
  15. Never Stop Learning
    Get acquainted with for a treasure trove of past articles on all things health-related, as well as a daily email of more and more health-related articles and news. Also, log onto and sign up for constant contact from this valuable organization. This is where you can learn how to make your own fermented vegetables (sauerkraut and pickles) and bone broth soup. Both are essential for getting well. (Do some of the other steps first, and work your way to making your own healing foods.)

    Bonus Suggestion:
    Buy The Metabolic Approach to Cancer by Winters and Kelley
    I was so excited when reading this book. Because…I’m already doing about 90% of what she says. Why is this exciting? I was diagnosed in 2001, told by my pathologist uncle that I’d likely have symptoms in two years and be dead in five. (That didn’t lead to a good night’s sleep, let me tell you.) But here it is, sixteen years later, and my numbers are similar to what they were at diagnosis, and other than those salivary glands that have been swollen since the beginning of time and one “palpable” (but barely visible) node on my neck, I’m symptom free. This didn’t happen by itself. And I didn’t read this book until this past summer. Over the course of time, I’ve shifted my diet from SAD (Standard American) to what I thought was “healthier” (yogurt on an organic, store-bought cookies), to Macrobiotic (beans, greens, brown rice and sea weed), to my current amalgamation of Paleo, ketogenic and Weston Price Foundation. You can cut out a lot of wasted time by reading this book! I recommend it with my whole being.

There is so much more I could say, but I’m leaving it here at Lucky Sixteen. Please read and consider all these suggestions if you’re just starting out. Please post with your experiences and thoughts, and with your own suggestions. I do answer private emails, but I think we all help each other when we’re willing to post. You can do it anonymously, but do it!

22 Responses to "When Newly Diagnosed"

Hi, I just discovered your site – Very helpful and inspiring. Diagnosed 3 months ago with CLL, asymptomatic with WBC in teens. I am already on a lot of the path you present here. I see that the last posting was a year ago. Are you still on line and available?
Thanks, Karen

Hi Karen,
So sorry you were diagnosed, but glad that you’re on the right track, and that you’ve found this site! I don’t post too regularly. But my last post was in March, at the beginning of the pandemic. I am here and very available. I get comments and questions on my old posts all the time from new people, and I always respond, though sometimes it might take me a few days.

I’ve considered going on Facebook, but I’m not sure if Facebook is open to alternatives in the medical arena. When it comes to search engines, Bing, Yahoo, and Duckduckgo are all more likely to bring you to sites with alternative suggestions. To help you be optimistic, I was 46 when diagnosed, and now I’m 65. I’ve never had any conventional treatment. I’ve tried many supplements and alternative treatments like vit C via IV, ultra-violet blood irradiation, and more. These days I’m cruising by with my hybrid keto/low oxalate diet and still a boatload of supplements. I used to wonder when i could stop taking the supplements. Now i know that they keep me healthy. This isn’t a disease you can “cure” and then get on with your life. It’s a condition you learn to live with and live well.

I’m here if you have any questions. So glad you wrote! – Denise

Denise et al:
I was diagnosed in July of 2017. At the time of diagnosis, my level was 43k. Today (Apr’19) unfortunately, I’m around 80k. Still searching for what works for me and my body. I’m in my late 50’s and physically fit. I eat a very clean diet, mostly organic, and have removed “toxins” from my world. Stress level is most likely the biggest contributor to my condition. I’m in a very stressful job, but with the latest WBC levels I’ve received, I’m making headway in changing that too. For the past few weeks, I’ve started on a protocol of green tea supplements (3xday), apricot seeds (30-40/day), and the Budwig regiment. I’m curious if anyone in the group has had success with ESSIAC tea. Thanks for the recommendations and the 16 natural things you can do.


Hi, and thanks for writing. I think you’re onto something when you recognize that your job is too stressful. I don’t know what you do, or if it’s the passion in your life, but…this could be the thing you need to do to get well. It’s hard to accept that in order to be well people, we have to make changes. For example, some people are extremely resistant about dietary changes, and I get that. I had a hard time with this initially. (now it’s old hat). But if your job is the monster on your back, it’s really hard to get to wellness. I’m glad that you’re making headway in changing that. I’m able to work part time, and still have time for my writing and my grandkids (oh, and for my husband and friends, too). : ) All the things you’re doing/taking sound good (apricot seeds, green tea, budwig). It was hard for me to tolerate large amounts of apricot seeds, so instead I’ve been taking the pills from I’d also be interested to hear if anyone has had success with Essiac tea.

You might consider getting ahold of The Metabolic Approach to Cancer by Nasha Winters and Jess Kelley. It goes through all the ways (terrains) to assess in finding your way to wellness. Also consider to consult with a nutritionist/counselor. (This is Jess Kelley’s practice. She is not very available, but has trained all the nutritional counselors there.)

I am glad to share what I know. Unfortunately, what works for one of use, does not necessarily work for all. But we have the blessing of time to try things out and keep testing. As long as you feel well, an 80 WBC score isn’t terrible. It would be a good time to stop it in its tracks and start reversing. It sounds like you are trying to do just that.
Wishing you good health and peace,
PS Please write back and let me/us know how you’re doing!


I am happy to have found this group.

My sister has been diagnosed with CCL and I am trying to help her.

I am very interested in alternative health and fortunately so far have kept well at 62 with a low carb diet, exercise, lots of vit d and some other supplements. My sister not very good at trying to figure out what to do. She is taking apricot kernels, vit d. I want her to get her levels tested but she wont:((( i test mine yearly. She drinks some green tea but i have heard about the extracts/tablets that ma be better. Has anyone taken Low Dose Naltrexone for this. I have her blood test results but I am not sure what the optimum levels are. I also always have to convert them into the measures that we use here in NZ which can be a bit tricky sometimes. Would love some input from you all. Will buy the book as i have heard about it before. thanks in advance. kindest regards to everyone. cheryl

Hi Cheryl,
What a wonderful sister you are! It sounds like your sister is on the right track, taking apricot kernels and vit D3. These are both good things. Of course, getting tested regularly is a good idea. Here, in Michigan, I have access to, where I can order up my own tests, take the receipt/requisition to a specified lab, and have access to the results in about two days. (I also go to a doctor’s office about once/year and have lab tests done then as well.)

About your questions, personally speaking, I can handle drinking green tea (but I usually drink white tea, which has the same ECGC). When I tried the green tea capsules, it caused palpitations for me, making it hard to sleep. I tried it twice to make sure I wasn’t blaming it by mistake. But no, I had the palpitations again. That’s just me. We all react differently, so it’s good to try different herbs, teas, etc. and make note of what works and what doesn’t. I was also on LDN (low dose naltrexone), and unfortunately, it did nothing for me. I DID read about other people for whom it worked, so please don’t discount it because of me. If a person keeps trying, I believe they’ll eventually find something that DOES work.

Now, here’s the hard part.You can’t make your sister do anything she doesn’t really want to do — or believe in herself. So make gentle suggestions. Maybe give her Nasha Winter’s book to read. (The Metabolic Approach to Cancer) Send her to this web site (if you haven’t already). It’s very frustrating, but most people just believe more in doctors than in themselves. I used to!!! It felt safer at the time, so I truly understand it. So make suggestions, and then back off. There is the expression, “if it’s to be, it’s up to me.” In your case, “If it’s to be, it’s up to your sister.” So keep researching and suggesting and loving your sister. That’s the best you can do.

I wonder if there will be some interesting suggestions coming from people “out there” reading this site.

Wishing you all the best of health! – Denise

Just found you here, very happy discovery.
Well my wbc was discovered a year and a half ago to
be about 100 and a CLL diagnosis. I had intravenous vit c treatments but to no real avail. After changing my diet, exercise program, and supplements my wbc dropped to lower 70s.
The weird thing is I feel very well! No stress lifestyle, rebounding, and “walking qigong” are my pals.
My naturopath wants me to come back and try vit c and hydrogen peroxide treatment alternating. She has a CLL patient who has dramatically improved with this therapy.
Thanks for everyone being here. I also, by the way, teach karate. I’m 68. ps Anyone know about ozone therapy?

[…], for the best deal.) I have a comprehensive list of what to do in this article:  Please read and re-read this. Getting well is a process. It’s good to revisit things you […]

Hello All,
I’m always excited to come to this blog because it always gives me some insight when I’m having an off day. Few months ago I started apricot kernels and in December my Lymph count really took a dive as well as my total WBC. However just today I found out they went back up and I’m not sure if it’s the new brand of kernels that I’ve started (some of them were not that bitter – who knows!) I will go back to the Apricot Power brand and see what the next few weeks bring.

I’ve been on a roller coaster ride and each time I think I may have found something it escapes me. My problem is I don’t keep a log and have no idea what I’ve done. In any case, I’ve started one today and will keep it updated daily. Once thing however that’s been missing each time my count is off is PectoSol-C. It’s made of the rind of citrus fruits I believe. The brand I use is by Ecogenics (or something close to this). I ran out three weeks ago and figured I should be okay with just the apricot seeds. Well, I was wrong. This seems to have happened a couple times already and each time (now that I think of if) I’ve always missed a couple weeks of the PectoSol my count goes up. I don’t know if anyone has heard or even used this product.

Back to the grind and I will report in another month. I hope Jim remembers to visit and give us an update.

Denise, as always, thank you so much for your blog.


Hi Nathalie,
It’s always good to hear from you, and despite the fact that your numbers just went south (or north/whatever, the wrong way), I think your news is good because you’re getting a handle on what works for you. And that’s what we all need to do. About the PectoSol-C, I’ve never tried it, but… I was eating a whole small orange a day (or its equivalent) and my numbers were doing well. By “whole” I mean the entire peel and the seeds, along with the inner “meat,” ground into my morning smoothie. To update from that, I’ve had to discontinue, but that is only because I have another (non-fatal, but serious) condition that requires that I be on a low-oxalate diet. And who knew? Citrus peels are high in oxalates. I might do a whole post on this, but I’m sure it does not apply to too many people, so not sure it would be relevant on this site. The good news is that I’ve had my numbers tested, and I’m still doing okay. (Will test again within the month.)

I’m glad you’re going to keep a log. The only thing I really log is my supplement list (which is gargantuan). But I do know what my diet is, and I’ve adjusted many times. Going low-oxalate has been a challenge, as I’ve had to give up my carob bars (carob is high) and having my alternative cookies (coconut flour) causes me stomach distress. It’s all slowly working out. Like I said, I might report in on this, once it’s all worked out. In the mean time, I have my nose pointed at working on my book. (I’m slow, but I eventually get there.) 🙂

Happy you are making serious progress in understanding your body and your methods. I see good things ahead for you. Please always stay in touch.
All best, Denise

Hi, I love your list and will buy the book. I’m surprised there isn’t more included about green tea extract. My Mayo oncologist recommended it and I’ve been on it. Also, any info on Beta Glucan? Thanks again!

Hi Maggie,
I’m glad you find the list helpful! The reason green tea isn’t on it, is that this is my personal list… and for whatever reason, I don’t react well to green tea. (my personal problem/absolutely NOT universal, obviously). I get palpitations. I’ve tried it three times, and each time this happens, even when I’ve purchased caffeine-free pills. So, I don’t include this on my list. However, it does work well for other people, as evidenced by reviews/testimonials on the web. So I definitely recommend people try it. Life Extension brand is a good quality, and can be reasonable enough when bought in quantity. (Try one bottle first, and then buy more if you have the desired effect.)

About Beta Glucan…I tried it and seemed to have no effect. That said, I started doing real well when I included a whole (including the peel and seeds) orange with my morning smoothie. Unfortunately, the peel is high in oxalates, and I started to have problems with that. (I have a pain condition that reacts to the crystals formed from the oxalates. Also urological problems, similar to kidney stones.) It turns out we’re all chemistry experiments, and we should try and test everything that sounds good. The whole orange worked real well for me (WBC dropped). However, I’ve remained stable, and even improved a tiny bit with just the “meat” of the orange for the past two months. This is the stuff of Beta Glucan. But, as always, it is my philosophy that everything is best when we have it as close to the way God made it. (I’m not so much religious as a believer of the natural, and of God.) So orange peels are better than a pill, just as apricot seeds are better than extract pills. (Ironically, I take the B-17 via pills from I have a hard time with the seeds. Taste terrible and I react to them with really bad belly aches. Oh well. Test. Test. Test.)

About the book, I’ve not had my nose to the grind stone on this, as I work a regular job and also free-lance write. But it is a goal and I will make it happen (eventually). In the mean time, I continue to post on this web site and hope this helps people as well.

Wishing you the best of health! (and write again, please, if you have any questions!) – Denise

Hi Denise,
I found these two points in an article that i read re: mushrooms and thought i’d pass it on. Article linked below

– “Shiitake has been used in medicine for years as a blood balancer”
– “Coriolus Versicolor has been shown to activate T-lymphocyte production” – Here’s a link to the full article:
Also, a friend whose husband was diagnosed with CLL sent me an email this week saying his platelets went up from 85 to 107. She wrote, ” He started taking 3,000 mg of liposomal vitamin c, 7 tablets of wheatgrass (we use Pines wheat grass tablets, DaVinci Liposomal C – 3 times daily, Papaya leaf extract (smart organics) 2 times daily. We were very concerned about platelets. Had blood work done in Dec. Platelets 107,000. WBC is still high (not out of the woods) but did not go up.”

Thrivers and strivers keep it going.


Hi Mike,
Thanks for the reminder about mushrooms! I’ve been taking Maitake D Fractions (a pill) for several years now, and have recently transitioned into taking mushroom powder (available on Amazon, iherb, vitacost, luckyvitamin). Also, I’ve been taking Peak Immune by Daiwa (most cost-effective — cheapest — at LuckyVitamin, if you buy on an automatic re-order system. They are touted as activating Natural Killer cells, which is a good thing. In my case, they help keep my neutrophil at a normal enough range. I’ve heard good thinga bout papaya for platelets, but hasn’t worked for me. (It DOES work for others; we’re all different, which makes things difficult.) About vitamin C, I’ve heard great things about liposomal. For me, it didn’t move any markers. I’ve just reduced to 1000mg/day of buffered C as I’ve been having problems with oxalates again, and vitamin C aggravates this. About platelets: my son, a trained Nutritionist, recommended that I eat chicken skin (organic, of course), so I have that as well as bone broth soup, and my platelets are always above 100, which is the goal. (I’ve been as low as 58!) Thanks for writing!!! The more we all share our information, the better! – Denise

Thanks Mike,

I also feel that mushrooms help though I am not 100% sure because I take so may other herbs. I have tried Bell Supreme Immune support and NewChapter Immune Support.

At present I take 3g of AHCC (Quality of Life) which I feel is helping me.


Hi Vin,
I’m so glad we have this site (thanks again to Denise) to share ideas and tonics. I agree, its hard to know what works and what doesn’t. There’s no hard science behind it. So – research, sharing info with others, trying new things, going with our gut & staying with what seems to work is the key for me. Thanks for sharing.

Yes Mike, please do provide us more info. on your experience. In my case the CD (38) markers in the blood are what they consider to be good. But, does that really mean much?

As yet I am not on any “medication” though I take many herbs etc. And, everything except for the lymphocyte count (about 75% of wbc) everything seems to be normal.

In general, the rate of increase has not been alarming but it varies, sometimes quite high and then other times reasonable slow. But, every preceding blood work has shown increase in lymphocyte cell count without an exception i.e. they have never come down. Hence my question: “But, does that really mean much?”

I wish you good health and an enjoyable life.

Please pardon my carelessness. The post should have been addressed to Jim.

But, yes Mike please do share your experience as well. I find it helpful to share our experiences. That is why I feel so thankful to Dense for providing us this venue, in addition to the direct information she provides us.

Hi Denise,
Thanks so much for your posts, I always learn something new and helpful. Knowledge is key, I appreciate you passing it on.
It would be nice to hear more from Jim. It looks like he has some info that we with a CLL diagnosis could use.
Good health,

Hi Mike,
You are very welcome. It helps keep everything front and center in my mind as well. It would be nice to hear more from Jim. I hope he writes again!
All best, Denise

Great post; first time I found this site; I am a First Connections consultant for the upstate NY / Vermont Leukemia and Lymphoma society, specializing in CAM; I am fortunate to have good CD markers, as I am sure you do; I am in a study, not trial, at NIH in Bethesda because I am doing well; backed myself out of full blown CLL to B cell lymphocytosis; I agree with the D3 levels you noted; Also, I take a ton of turmeric , green tea and artimisinin

Hi Jim, Thanks for writing. I am not familiar with CAM. Also, I’m not sure what my CD markers are. Not sure if they’ve been tested as I’ve been at this for a long time. It would be interesting to know how you “backed yourself out of CLL”. Was it the vit D3, tumeric, green tea and artiminisin? Please write when you can.
All best, Denise

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