Ian Gawler – A Survivor's Bemusement?

The fact that Ian Gawler survived his wrangle with osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer) is highly significant, however when a cancer suvivor becomes famous for just that – surviving, there are public responsibilities inherent in the role. One of them is accuracy about the story, time-lines and incidents crucial to their survival. A high profile patient must be transparent with the details, medical history, photographic and radiographic evidence and needs to be answerable to the public and the medical community – especially if obvious flaws are brought to their attention. These “flaws” were made very obvious in an article about the patient under the banner of “True Stories” – a 2008 Australian Medical Journal (MJA) article. Medical journal articles give enormous credibility to ‘alternate cancer cure claims’ and are supposedly peer reviewed and accurate.

This blog was never intended for speaking out against the story that I was so intimately a part of – however when one can see that the MJA story in question had such a makeover as to make it almost unrecognizable – then for me not to make a statement and rectify the errors in a public forum would be reprehensible.

So cancer patients beware:  Since most of you don’t have the luxury of reading refutes in medical journals spreading the true version this story is the value of my blog.

  • When open comment is sought after errors are brought to attention and there is silence – I am concerned.
  • When I write to Dr Ruth Gawler, Professor George Jelinek and Ian Gawler about the significant errors and I get no reponse – only silence – I am concerned.
  • When I read their rufute of my factual timeline letter in the MJA and they do not address or worse, show indifference to the facts – I am deeply concerned.
  • When I see comments like the following quote from Ian Gawler saying: – ” It is rather bemusing to be a long term cancer survivor and to have so many people claiming to be responsible for curing you and to have their own version of what you did” – having been instrumental in many of the treatments we tried and having walked the arduous path to his recovery alonside him – I am am not only concerned but shocked!
Ian Gawler - after Meares and Gerson diet Photo taken Philippines March 1976

So…. to you the patient or caregiver –  if this blog is serving its purpose to help you, it is imperative I address these critical errors in Ian Gawler’s story.

My new Institute’s charter is to provide cancer patients and caregivers with accurate cancer therapy information as well as information about the traps, tricks, scams and fraudulent statements in profusion on the internet and in the plethora of do-it-your-self cancer books and blogs now available to cancer patients – all at the touch of a “mouse.”

Therefore it would be unethical of me and certainly not in the public interest if I chose to ignore the version of Ian Gawler’s medical history and remission story that was published in Dec 11 2008 MJA ( Medical Journal of Australia). Incidentally about the same time Ian’s Biography, The Dragon’s Blessing was penned by Guy Allenby.

After almost a year of scrutiny, fact checking and cross referencing – the MJA decided to publish my refute of the story along with original photographs, correct dates and many other corrections. Ironically, Allenby’s biography actually validates the dates I have included in my refute letter!!

How could Dr Ruth Gawler and Prof George Jelinek got it so wrong?  All they had to do was read the Dragon’s Blessing or previous articles in the Gawler Foundation’s Inspiring People or read the timelines that were previously published on the Gawler Foundation website or even read a copy of the Australian Doctor September 3 1983 as I did when verifying what corresponded with my memory. If I find out the answer to the question – rest assurred it will be published here.

But – there is more…

1.    The Patient never adhered to a vegan diet – neither throughout his recovery period 1975 – 1978 nor for the following years we were married 1978 – 1997.

2. Inversion of timelines as evidenced by the photographs published by the MJA 2010. Even in their reply to my refute – Drs Gawler & Jelinek are still claiming these photographs were taken in 1976!!- They were unaware that I had provided the MJA with my originals at the last minute prior to publication. The new date on the photos happens to fit in with their version of the 2008 True story; which states …. only after Ian Gawler failed chemotherapy and other medical treatments – did he then consult Ainslie Meares. However Ian can’t have consulted Ainslie then because he first consulted Meares 12 December 1975. ( see page 74 The Dragon’s Blessing) This is a timeline error of 19 months and corresponds with my memory!

MJA published 20 September 2010
Ian Gawler - Photos with actual dates dsiplayed MJA 2010

Ian’s now very famous photographs are dated and have been reproduced many times in many publications including many of his own.
The date is clearly stated – they were taken 7 July 1977 when Ian Gawler was basically well – not when he was critically ill Feb 1976.

3.    The 3rd not so publicly known issue: That Ian failed to correct Ainslie Meares wrong version of our story in 1978. Meares also inverted critical medical timelines. He also states Ian had a mid thigh amputation. Ian is aware I have tried to correct this error since 1978.

1. The 1978 Meares article – misreported
2. The 2008 MJA “True Stories article – even more errors
3. Patients at Risk from Inaccurate Clinical Reporting in a High-Profile Story: Comment and Corrections’ 20 September 2010 MJA Volume 193 Number 6 20 September 2010- pp371-372

I encourage you to look at the factsview the MJA articles online and then make up your own mind. The question of why the story changed after 1996 and why the makeover aoccurred just might be related to attempts to write me out of Ian’s story and the Gawler Foundation’s history. Failing to report the whole story in context and accurately presented is a great travesty for cancer patients and caregivers.

My advice – Choose CAM therapies wisely – check facts and claims – your life may depend upon it!  Grace Gawler: http://www.gracegawler.com
If you would like more information and an information package on this topic please email me via my website.