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As 'pH Miracle' founder awaits his criminal trial in San Diego, one of his victims speaks out

Dawn Kali is a cancer patient and former client of Robert Young. Kali speaks out about her experience with the man who said he had a cure for cancer

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — On July 7, Robert Young will appear once again in front of a judge on charges that the best-selling book author of the 'pH Miracle' book series treated terminally-ill patients without a medical license or even a college degree.

On that day, the popular author will ask to remain free on bail until his criminal trial in November of this year.

Young, is the founder of the pH Miracle diet, a health regimen that, according to Young, can help fight cancer and other terminal diseases through a strict all-vegetable smoothie diet and IVs full of sodium bicarbonate - more commonly known as baking soda.  

RELATED: Creator of the 'pH Miracle' diet in court on new criminal charges

WATCH RELATED: Creator of the 'pH Miracle' diet in court on new criminal charges

Young treated dozens of patients who came to his vast 48-ace ranch in Valley Center in search of a second chance at life; a cure to their terminal illness. 

Young, along with his colleague, Galina Migalko, faces five felony counts which include elder abuse resulting in great bodily harm or death, two counts of treating the sick and afflicted without a certificate, and theft of an elder. 

Each count carries a maximum prison term of 4-to-16 years. 

This is not the first time Young has been tried criminally for practicing medicine without a license.

In 1996 Young pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of practicing medicine without a license.

Then, in 2017, Young pleaded guilty to two felony counts of practicing medicine without a license. Young spent just over five months in prison in exchange for his plea agreement. 

The $105 Million Dollar Verdict

Northern California resident and small-business owner, Dawn Kali, was one of Young's patients. In 2018, a civil jury ordered Young pay Kali $105 million for improperly treating Kali's cancer. Kali says Young urged her to forego chemotherapy and instead follow his all-vegetable smoothie diet and baking soda IV regimen. 

The trial judge later reduced the verdict to just over $25 million dollars.

CBS 8's Anna Laurel sat down with Kali as Young prepares for his upcoming criminal trial to talk about her painful experience following Young and now living with Stage 4 breast cancer. 

Dawn's Story

Kali says she first found Young after a relative recommended his book. At the time, Kali had just been diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer and had what at the time was a small lump removed. She was just 33 years old at the time. 

"My world was collapsing all around me," Kali told CBS 8. 

Kali contacted Young's team at his Valley Center ranch. Young invited Kali to the ranch to learn more about his treatment.

"‘I told him that my cancer was really aggressive and he said that it didn't matter. As long as I lived this lifestyle, his lifestyle and his diet and everything would be OK.” 

Kali believed Young, as she said so many others at the ranch did. 

"He always told us this one metaphor; that when the fish gets sick do you treat the fish or do you change the water that made the fish sick. Having this cancer growing inside of me, it made sense. And so I wanted to clean my fish bowl very thoroughly."

Those metaphors, as well as Young's research in blood analysis began making more sense to Kali and to other patients.

“You’re isolated. You listen to him and start to believe what he said. I saw patients there spending anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 a day depending on how many IVs they were getting.”

Kali says Young would ask her and other patients when they began to worry about the cost of his treatments what was more important their life or money.

"He said, 'I don’t care about the numbers. I don’t care if two or three more tumors are popping up. This is what happens, it gets worse before it gets better.'”

Around 2015, Kali began hearing rumors that Young was under investigation. She saw other patients come and go, some she had heard had died. 

Then, six years after her first diagnosis, Kali says she decided to see an oncologist.

Kali's cancer had returned.

The oncologist told Kali that her cancer had spead throughout her body, in her spine, her lungs, and in her lymph nodes.

Shortly after, police raided Young's ranch. In 2017 Young served prison time for practicing medicine without a license. In court he admitted he did not have "any post-high school educational degrees from any accredited schools", nor was he a "trained scientist." 

“I realized that he knew nothing and that no one had survived. He was a con man. He is a narcissist and a pathological liar.”

Added Kali, "I feel like a fool for having fallen for this. I deal with a lot of guilt and shame. It's been a long journey of realizing how I got there, how it happened, and where I am today."

Kali hasn't seen a penny from her lawsuit and she doesn’t believe she ever will. She said she's in a deep financial situation. Adding to that, she is now in stage 4 cancer and requires all of the treatments that come with that.  

She said it is difficult for her to work a 9 to 5 job, so she has started a sustainable clothing company that’s online.  

You can visit her online shop here.

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