Friday 8 October 2010 By Grace Gawler
Although a tad sensational with an image of quarreling wives – Adam Cresswell has written a courageous article that reflects the truth of Australia’s most famous cancer remission story.
To be 100% clear, this is not personal in any shape or form. What has happened over the years is a morphing and misreporting of Ian Gawler’s story so that it resembles virtually nothing of the truth of what actually occurred. The story is still amazing and it still offers hope – but there is a public responsibility to tell it accurately. I addressed these errors in the MJA 20 September 2010.
I believe that sound nutrition is important for cancer patients and I have always taught the balanced view both when I was at the Gawler Foundation and since. Many suffer gross malnutrition from bizarre diets; especially vegan diets. The more advanced the cancer – the sicker the patient can become. I also endorse the practice of relaxation therapies – but extending meditation into a curative form as proposed in the MJA 2008 version of the story is simply not responsible.
Something changed at the Gawler Foundation since I left the organisation in 1996. Admittedly I was no longer there to tell the correct story to patients; but in writing me out of the true story – something else happened… facts were topsy turvied about and then…. the vegan diet claims appeared on the website. Until eventually the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) article was written – seemingly a promo for Ian Gawler’s biography released in October 2008. The errors were too bizarre to ignore and I needed someone to listen and check the facts. Ironically – it was the MJA. Even more ironically most of the accurate timelines are written in Ian Gawler’s biography, books and previous articles – including in The Australian Doctor.
There is so much to this complex story – more than most could possibly imagine, but at the heart and forefront is the CANCER PATIENT and those who care for them. They must get the best and most accurate advice in order to choose healthy and life enhancing options – Their lives depend upon it.
Ian Gawler recently retired and The Gawler Foundation does good work – but unfortunately many of the staff don’t know me and have never had access to the real story. It appears that by trying to give Ian and/or the Gawler Foundation a new face – our amazing story of a hard-earned recovery was significantly changed and ultimately undermined.