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Michele Vanzaghi

Michele Vanzaghi
Tuesday 25 October
Medical Doctor, Cancer Survivor, Brand Influencer, and Avid Cook; Michele Vanzaghi is a man of many titles.
A few years ago, during his compulsory internship in KZN, Michele was diagnosed with testicular cancer. This meant that he had to put his medical degree on hold during his time of treatment.
To fill up his free time and make his recovery more bearable, Michele cooked for his loved ones. “Food is my passion and it’s what keeps me going,” he says. “It’s my heritage, it’s an Italian’s love language.”
Michele has been in full remission for two years now. “Testicular cancer is probably one of the most curable diseases in terms of going into remission. I have what we call surveillance for 5 years, and I’m in my third year of that. That just means I get a scan every year as a routine follow up.”
“I’m back to full health and fitness, and I have some hair – which is really nice,” he says.
Michele recently opened his own practice called ‘Waterfront Medical’. “It’s beautiful. It’s a nice place to be where I can share my story and I can use my insights to work in healthcare,” he says.
“It’s a nice environment for me to do more integrative and functional medicine. Optimizing health and not only seeing pathology in a hospital, is where I want to go in my career,” he explains.
His growth on social media has also been a recent development. “People like vulnerability and they like honesty. That for me has been the biggest part of my social media page – just to be transparent and to share a story that not many 28-year-olds have to go through.”
“I just want to share the insights of destigmatizing cancer and show people that you can live your best life. The opportunities that have come from it has been incredible,” says Michele.
In the theme of World Pasta Day, Michele tells us about his signature dish. “I always used to try different weird combinations of pasta. I like to take Italian heritage, authentic recipes and just turn them into something amazing.”
“I always used to make this burnt butter sauce with some sage. One day I met someone, and they told me if I add anchovies and a little bit of sliced cabbage to the recipe, it makes it the most amazing thing in the world. Very unconventional, I don’t have a name for it, but it’s a dish I make a lot, and everyone loves it,” he says.

Follow Michele on his socials:
@grabbed_by_the_balls / @michele_kooks / Grabbed by the Balls

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