Beating the Silence Again Grace Gawler

In 2007 Katherine Kizilos wrote a feature article for the Age newspaper Melbourne. The article begins…” She survived her husband’s illness only to fall prey herself to disease but Katherine Kizilos finds that Grace Gawler used the experience to launch a new life.”Gawler is a name familiar to those who want

Photo : The Mebourne Age

to believe the human spirit conquers disease. Ian Gawler lost his leg to bone cancer but not his life and with wife Grace established in 1981 Australia’s first cancer support service, the Gawler Foundation. CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE

My life has had a theme of  issues pertaining to silence – holding silence where appropriate, and breaking silence when essential!

My book Women of Silence (1994) was the first to open doors of communication surrounding breast cancer and emotional recovery – a little spoken of issue in those days; it formed the basis of breast cancer support groups in Australia.
Katherine Kizilos’ 2007 article  after more than 2 decades of silence was the first article to publicly raise the the issue of Ian Gawler’s remission from cancer being in some way associated with tuberculosis – a very important scientific connection to make in the interest of cancer patients. An opportunity to discuss this important topic resurfaced in 2010 when the (MJA) Medical Journal of Australia published my refute letter in response to an incorrect version of Ian’s recovery story that appeared in the MJA in December 2008, under the title “True Stories”. But then – more silence…. with most newspaper medical reporters refusing to comment, with one exception! Continue reading “Beating the Silence Again Grace Gawler”

Out on a Limb – Desperate Times call for Desperate Measures Grace Gawler Appeals

The Eagles Syndrome Appeal: Gawler Family Member

It is a tragedy when a family member is ill  and requires treatment that cannot sourced locally and needs substantial funds to pay for it overseas. I see this situation often in my practice and understand the difficulties faced by  many of my patients; even more so since my own 21 surgical procedures – a personal journey I began in 1997.  In 2002 my survival necessitated seeking an overseas solution if I wanted a life. My illness (the result of a complication following routine surgery) devastated my already compromised finances and I found myself in my fifties relaunching my career and owning nothing!  Now that my son needs help; I cannot afford his surgery, so I decided that the most creative way of raising funds was through my ‘self-published’ book sales – a win-win for everyone. My son requires life-saving surgery in Los Angeles – delaying his treatment could severely compromise his life – the longer his medical situation is left unattended, the more challenging his surgery will be.    

To support  this cause – Please visit the Resources/Bookstore page at :
We are trying to raise $60,000 through book sales
Please send this blog link to friends in your address book….. Together – I sure we can make this happen!

Apologies to regular blog subscribers for my lack of correspondence during the past few months; a personal and imperative family issue has been occupying much of my time – hence the subject of this blog.  Trying to raise funds whilst respecting my son’s privacy has not been easy & we have tried many obvious avenues including many requests to his father – all without success. So – as time is ticking by for this beautiful young man  –  as the heading implies, desperate times call for desperate measures.

Some Background: D lives with me and has done so for 29 out of his 31 years –  he entered this world at Yarra Junction, Victoria on a stormy August night in 1980 into a life that held severe health challenges.  He remains my greatest teacher. Although D is no stranger to pain, watching his deterioration as he bravely manages the affects of Eagles Syndrome is a distressing daily event and so ironic, given my vocation is helping others.  I continue to support in every other way I can. Surgery has a high chance of success, but the longer the condition is left – the greater the risks. D needs some action soon.

As a child, Specialists said D would never be able to hear. As with Ian Gawler, whom I married when he had a 2 week prognosis; harnessing the same tenacity, I doggedly pursued healing options for D utilising the best of complementary and mainstream medicine. D can now hear without aid and he has achieved many amazing things. I am very proud of him.
Following my own recovery, I had been hoping to take a ‘breather’ from health related dramas – but it seems the universe has other ideas! About a year ago D began to be investigated for a stiff neck and jaw clicking.

Xray of Eagles Syndrome - note 2 long bony styloid processes (pointing towards spine)

The outcome – he was diagnosed with Eagles syndrome – a rare condition involving calcification, thickening and lengthening of the styloid process (a pointed piece of bone that extends down from the human skull, just below the ear.) See Xray left. As you can imagine these extended bones create havoc.

A normal styloid process length is approximately 2–3 cm and serves as an anchor point for several muscles associated with the tongue and larynx and other facial structures. Eagles Syndrome is diagnosed if the overall Styloid length in excess of 3 cm. In D’s case both styloid processes are grossly elongated … 6.5 cm and 5 cm! This excessive length has caused havoc with jaw and facial nerves and shoulder spasm; but not only is it painful, the growing styloid processes have already caused severe compression of both jugular veins. Continue reading “Out on a Limb – Desperate Times call for Desperate Measures Grace Gawler Appeals”