Last Saturday I was asked to give an impromptu talk and join a panel Q&A session at a health & wellness seminar on the Gold Coast. It was an excellent information afternoon and clearly demonstrated both the general public’s interest and confusion around natural therapies, supplements and self-help methods. Inevitably, at these functions, questions about raw food and vegan diets for cancer patients along with questions about the Gerson Diet are asked. Participants at these days are often surprised when I answer that in the majority of cases, I have not seen cancer patients respond well to raw food diets – especially vegan raw food diets. As well, although cases of remission have been reported; personally, I have not seen remissions brought about by the Gerson Therapy or raw food regimens. Because my name is Gawler, people always ask me about raw foods and the many dietary approaches used to ‘cure’ cancer.
Many ask me about Ian Gawler’s recovery from cancer often having been told by a health professional that his remission was due to meditation, positive thinking and adhering to a vegan diet. These stories are not accurate, and when taken out of context and without the whole story; they can be dangerously misleading.
Ian’s recovery involved so much more; however like a ‘Chinese whisper game’, this amazing recovery story which occupied more than 23 years of my life has been so often misreported, even by the Gawler Foundation itself – that it is no wonder so many cancer patients are confused.
Ian underwent a full leg amputation January 1975 and was diagnosed with secondary bone cancer (osteogenic sarcoma) late 1975 – In the absence of options, we became proactive and embarked upon 3 treatment approaches, because at that time, he was not offered any potentially curative medical options. Concurrently, we imported a course of experimental BCG vaccine using it as an immunotheraputic agent while Ian began intensive meditation with Ainslie Meares. We also began the Gerson therapy regimen.
At first I made all the juices using a hand juicer before our Norwalk juicer arrived from the USA. I sourced organic food, made and gave coffee enemas, injected Ian with all required injections, gave all supplements and added potassium, fed him the potassium broth and a high percentage of raw foods, made cottage cheese, organic bread and juiced raw calves liver mixed with carrot- considered an essential part of the regimen!! The diet and its trimmings was an 18 hour a day job to buy, prepare and clean up; as well Ian was supposed to be practising 5 hours meditation daily! Do the math!
I managed to get his diet as near perfect as possible to Dr Gerson’s regimen, however – contrary to popular belief – the Gerson diet did not help Ian recover. His weight shed like dry leaves in autumn and he became skeletal with virtually no muscle mass.
After 3 months on Gerson’s diet, sick, debilitated and critcally ill with unmanageable pain, night sweats and excessive weight loss and unable to meditate at all; Ian succumbed to 3 treatments of palliative Radiotherapy. His symptoms worsened – we married. Given a few weeks to live and plagued by further weight loss, sciatica and hydoneprosis of his kidney – death looked imminent. Had he not gone to the Philippines at that stage – I have no doubts that he would have died.
While there – he began to eat a balanced diet including seafoods, steamed vegetables, fruits and yoghurt; he gained weight – but he had developed a raucous cough. Whatever occurred in the Philipppines saved his life – maybe it was a combination of re engaging his will to live with a nourishing diet; however his cancer kept growing until tumours on his chest became so large – he decided to have a course of chemotherapy September/October 1976. When his remission was declared in 30 June 1978 – it was found he had chronic TB likely initiated by administering the BCG immunotherapy-but it remained undiagnosed. A tell-tale shadow on Ian’s lungs was visible on past x-ray films and can be correlated with the onset of his symptoms. Dr William Coley ( Coley’s toxins fame) had written about remissions from osteogenic sarcoma after serious infections such as TB! Likely TB stimulated Ian’s immunity and thus the bony metastases in his lung and on his chest were eradicated. The tumour that was irradiated – did not progress. His TB – chronic and systemic, had to be medically treated. It is important that this story is reported correctly because many patients try to emulate our healing journey and so many people who have reported it have failed to see the whole picture. Ian’s recording from the patient’s point of view as recorded in You Can Conquer Cancer, omits some some very significant contributions to his recovery.
The Gawler story has been corrected publicly, recorded in my memoirs Grace, Grit and Gratitude( Published October 2008). It is to my knowledge the only true and accurate account of Ian’s recovery process. .
Regarding Ian’s vegan diet – For 20 years I prepared our family’s food and grew most of it in our organic/biodynamic garden and orchard. We raised fish in our dams, had fresh goats and cow’s milk from our own goats and a neighbours cow, and our hens and ducks that provided us with eggs. Ian’s diet was not vegan during the time we were together 1974 – 1997. Grace Gawler 7 August 2010