Steve Horne is pretty close to a medical marvel.
An obese, fast-living chronic alcoholic with diabetes and a raft of
health problems, his body began shutting down with doctors suggesting he
had only 18 months to live.
Moving to Thailand to live out his last days in style, Mr Horne
started drinking green tea while in Hong Kong on a three-week layover
and his 150kg frame lost nine kilos and he went to the doctor in panic.
He came out with a clean bill of health and the advice that "whatever you are doing, it's working".
The now 88 kilo man visited Hawera last week to speak with members of Kiwilife Gym about his journey.
"I went into a 7/11 in Hong Kong and I've just picked one (tea product) up that was all in Chinese writing," he says.
He credits the drink, which he picked up by chance, with saving his
life and creating a new business opportunity which allows him to help
Mr Horne is now 60kg lighter, diabetic medication-free, has acceptable cholesterol and actively exercises.
"It's happened to me so we can use that as a marketing thing," he says.
Mr Horne now sells Tao Ti nationwide as a healthy alternative to
softdrinks and says it doesn't taste anything like most bitter green
A portion of the profit from each bottle sold goes into the Bank of
Dreams Charitable Trust, which he started after his epiphany.
"The more money we can make, the more we can give back to the community," he says.
The business model is based on the movie Pay it Forward and it's a principal he lives by.
"I come round the country talking to people and inspiring them with
my story to make a difference to themselves and those around them."
Tao Ti Green Tea is sold at KiwiLife Health and Fitness Gym.
All the tea from China