Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Terry Becomes a Gerson Person!

Hethyr:  (1/25/12)  Hello, wonderful readers!  Wow, has it been a whirlwind couple of weeks for my family and me!  I know some of you personally and you may be sick of hearing from me after the past week-and-a-half, but I’ve just got to share the amazing story of what has transpired over the past ten or so days with all of our readers.  This is bound to be a pretty long post, so grab a cup of tea and a snack and settle in for an inspiring read.

My mom and dad in front of Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica,
October 2007

As you may or may not know, my dad has been battling cancer on and off for the past four-and-a-half years.  He was diagnosed in October, 2007 with Adenocarcenoma (lung cancer) and immediately began intensive rounds of chemotherapy and radiation.  After a couple of months, he was hospitalized with a double infection in the port that was installed in his chest in order to make administering the chemo a little easier.  He survived that scary episode, but the radiation left him with so much scarring that he now loses his breath very easily and wheezes a lot.  During the first rounds of treatment, he also decided to adopt a nearly vegan lifestyle and to take a ton of supplements to see if a natural approach could be the answer.  Although, we’re not sure what it was that helped at the time, he was in remission for the next three years.

The Helton family, September 2011

In 2010, we found out that the cancer has returned.   We were also rudely awakened to the fact that with this specific type of cancer comes blood clots.  Yikes.  After a year of being on several different types of blood thinners, the clots kept occurring.  Shortly before Thanksgiving, Dad ended up with fluid on his lung.  An aspiration resulted in a liter-and-a-half of fluid being removed…  amazing the man could actually breathe at all!  A day later he wound up with a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in his lung)… and survived.  On a day shortly after that, he woke my mom up at 6am saying he needed to go to the hospital.  Doctors and nurses were amazed that Dad was still alive when they found multiple pulmonary embolisms.  A filter was then installed in an effort to keep any further clots from reaching the lungs or heart, but then a very large clot appeared in the abdomen and threatened to block the entire filter.  A catheter was installed and a medicine designed to break up the clot was injected.  At the time, it was also determined that Dad was nearly completely clotted from knee to abdomen.  After a night in ICU (since there was a chance of internal bleeding), more investigation was done and it was determined that there were blockages in two places, which were leading to the extensive clotting, so balloon procedures were completed and stents were inserted to help the blood start flowing again.  Also over the past year, the cancer has spread to his spine.  He completed a round of chemo in December, which made him feel like crap and he also ended up with a cold over the past few weeks.  The poor guy is sleeping about 18-20 hours a day.

That brings you up-to-date on Dad’s health issues.

So, why am I so excited?

As he has been facing these terrible problems, my dad and family have been doing extensive research on alternative treatment options and in our searches, we found the Gerson Institute and Cancer Curing Society.  What a miracle.  Per the Gerson website…

"The Gerson Institute is a non-profit organization... dedicated to providing education and training in the Gerson Therapy, an alternative, non-toxic treatment for cancer and other chronic degenerative diseases. The Gerson Therapy is a safe, natural treatment developed by Dr. Max Gerson in the 1920s. The therapy activates the body's extraordinary ability to heal itself through an organic, vegetarian diet, raw juices, coffee enemas and natural supplements. The Gerson Therapy treats the underlying causes of disease: toxicity and nutritional deficiency. "

We’ve read countless testimonials and talked to several people who have either been to the Gerson Institute or have a relative or close friend who has completed the Gerson Therapy.  The cool thing is, each story we hear is a positive one of peace and healing.  People are not just in remission – they are actually cured through this amazing, natural approach!

The downside?
  It’s REALLY expensive and insurance doesn’t cover a dime.  BUT…  my family and some of our close friends decided to take matters into our own hands and attempt to raise this money ourselves! 

On Sunday, January 15th, I created the Helton Cancer to Wellness Facebook group page to create awareness about my dad’s situation and a fundraising page on the Give Forward website.  On Monday, January 16th we started inviting people to join the Facebook group and the response was completely overwhelming!  We had a couple of incredibly generous friends who offered to donate $1 for every person to join the group up to 1,000 people.  Little did we know that we’d hit that mark in three short days!  We had planned on linking to the Give Forward on Wednesday or Thursday of that week, but people were breaking down the gates to find out how to give, so we sent the link out on Tuesday.  For the first five days, we averaged nearly $2,000 per DAY in donations.  On day 10 – today - we’re currently at $11,330 in donations and the number continues to increase.  Today, my friend Leslie did a post about my dad on her incredibly popular blog (over 180,000 readers in the last 28 days), Crunchy Betty.  There have been anonymous donations rolling in all morning and I think we have her to thank!  It’s pretty cool how much Leslie’s own personal standards match up with the Gerson Institute’s in regards to natural, chemical free products.  I’m sure that my mom will be using her website as a reference very often in the near future.  =)

For oh, so many reasons!

In the meantime, a massive effort is in force to put on a few different benefits for my dad.  J.C.Cravers in Palm Harbor, FL is holding a chili cook-off with live music, raffle prizes, a silent auction.  Several musician friends of our family are organizing a musical benefit in Springfield,IL…  Tunes for Terry.  There will also be a silent auction with hundreds of items.  My friend Samantha and I are working on a donations-based yoga class for all levels here in Colorado Springs at Pranava Yoga Center.  There will be door-prizes, treats and lots of fun!  Another friend is doing her own fundraiser through her Pampered Chef business and yet another is representing Dad in the American Cancer Society’s Walk & Roll 2012.  I am so amazed at all of the incredible love and support we have received in such a short period of time – we never expected to be able to send Dad to the Gerson Institute so quickly!  With the donations we’ve received so far, we are able to afford the first two weeks at the Gerson.  With the additional fundraising taking place, we are hoping to raise enough for the possible third required week (we won’t know until the first two weeks of therapy are completed), the $2,500 juicer required and to help with the continued cost of fresh, organic produce – nearly 20 pounds a day and $600 per week – for the next two years minimum.

Florida benefit flyer

Illinois benefit flyer

Colorado SEVA yoga class flyer

I am more than ecstatic to say that my parents arrived at the Gerson Institute and Cancer Curing Society this morning and that Dad begins treatment today.
  But, as I mentioned, we still have a long way to go to raise all of the necessary funds.

So, I have a challenge for you, dear reader…

I challenge you to take your lunch to work for one day or one week and then donate the money you would have spent eating out to my dad’s cause at
http://www.giveforward.com/heltoncancertowellness .  Will you take this easy challenge in order to help my dad on his amazing path from Cancer to Wellness?

~ ~ ~

Update 1/30/12…  Well, it has been five days since I wrote the first part of this post, but I couldn't resist throwing in an update before posting because there have been major improvements in my dad’s health in just the five short days that he and my mom have been at the Gerson Institute!  On day three, Dad went to pull on his compression socks and realized that his ankle, which has been swollen for the past year due to the blood clots, was no longer swollen!  My mom also realized the same day that he slept on his right side the previous night and he hasn’t done that in quite some time since he has been in a great deal of pain due to the small amount of fluid around his right lung.  He has been walking a minimum of four blocks each day…  two blocks to the beach and two blocks back (more than he's been able to do in a year).  Not a bad place to start healing!  =)  Today when I spoke to my mom, she informed me that the most exciting thing about today was finding out that Dad’s blood pressure is down and they are weaning him off of his blood pressure medication.  I honestly don’t remember a time in my life when my dad has not had high blood pressure and been on medication for it.  Wow.  The are also working on weaning him off of his other medications slowly but surely.  I am so impressed by the rapid progression of things so far!  Mom and Dad still have a lot to learn and will begin a totally new lifestyle once they return home, but it will all be so worth it!!!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 I have Terry to thank for a helluva lot of things.  He's been a constant source of love, support, and... of course... entertainment for many, many years.  But he has officially earned a new high point of admiration from me.  I don't say this simply because he has cancer.  I say this because he has dared to break the mold, reject the conventional medical "treatments" of contaminating and defiling the body, and instead pursue a course of treatment that strengthens rather than weakens, heals rather than poisons, and promotes healthy nutrients rather than toxic chemicals.

Two Gerson patients (Terry is second from right) and
three companions walking along the beach

For many years, I have considered myself a strong proponent of natural healing over manufactured medicines.  But I will readily admit to thinking that Terry was bat-shit crazy a few years ago when he started talking about replacing chemotherapy and radiation with mass-nutrient ingestion.  I remember talking to Hethyr about how I just couldn't understand why you wouldn't battle cancer with all the twenty-first century medical technology available, no matter how much life the treatment sucked from your mind and body.  I thought he was downright suicidal.

Oh, I guess he's BIRD-shit crazy.

But Terry, despite the conflicting opinions of nearly everyone around him, continued to believe with all his heart that there was a better path to wellness.  His natural remedies were rather eccentric for a while, including a period of time when he was vegan and taking about fifty supplements a day.  Did I mention I used to think the man was bat-shit crazy?  But he pressed on, always searching for a way to self-heal.  And then, after a long road full of some highs and many more lows, Terry discovered the Gerson Institute.

Picture from Gerson Institute's Facebook photo albums
After learning about the philosophy, the history, the treatment plan, and the successes of Gerson Therapy, and after hearing about Terry's improvements after less than a week at the clinic, I am a true believer.  Despite my "earthy" principles and ideals, I doubt that I would've had the guts to take the steps that Terry has with his life on the line.  But now that he ventured down that road, and only because he had the audacity to do so, I know that I could as well.  Thanks for your courage, Terry.  You are an amazing guy.


  1. Of course, this post brought tears to my eyes (or rather running down my face). Jon -- I felt exactly as you did thru the first rounds of battling this disease, but I am so thankful that Terry kept pursuing what he knew was the truth while others tried to hold him back. And the healing effects still keep coming! I am amazed, thankful, and very eager to spread the word!!!

    1. Mom, I hope I got all of that medical info right... I kept getting confused chronologically, but this is what made sense to me in the end. Feel free to correct me if there's anything I got wrong... =)

  2. Yes, yes, yes, yes yes!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am inspired and elated at the same time... my heart is with you all! Thank you for sharing this!

  3. That is super, super, SUPER fantastic! I, too, am in the process of raising money to be able to go to the Gerson institute. (Is he at the one in Hawaii or Mexico?) I am signing up for 0% promotional APR credit cards, and so far I have asked a group of family and close friends to donate, but I am now thinking of asking for donations via my website and kickstarter.org. it is VERY encouraging to hear about how many people are willing to help out your dad, and of course, of his improvements thus far at the institute! It gives me so much hope! I have two more rounds of chemo left, and will be receiving intense radiotherapy, one treatment, to the small tumor that just popped up in my brain. After that, never again!!! I just filled out my Gerson application form yesterday!

    1. Hi Lillian. It is so awesome that you've also chosen the Gerson Therapy as your treatment! I would definitely encourage you to widen your circle and begin asking for more donations - we've been just shocked at the response we've gotten just by putting our story out there. There are still a lot of really good people in this world! I would like to give you some advice on fundraising websites... I also looked into Kickstarter and decided it was NOT the way to go for trying to raise money for medical costs. You have to set a goal and if that goal isn't met by the specified date, the project isn't funded AT ALL. My husband looked at many other options and decided that Give Forward was the best option. You should definitely check out some others, but that was the best for us. Best of luck on your path to wellness!!!

  4. Terry have you heard about dichloroacetate (google it)? Supposed to work well in conjunction with gerson therapy, too bad it wasn't around when max g was still alive.

    1. Sarah, I feel like I should pass along this information about dichloroacetate. The Gerson Therapy is designed to release toxins from the body and this seems completely counterproductive...

      "Dichloroacetate (DCA) is a xenobiotic, meaning that it does not occur naturally in our bodies or in the environment. However, DCA is widely present in the environment in minute quantities because it is a by-product of the process of water chlorination. It is also a product of the breakdown of certain industrial chemicals and medicinal drugs. DCA is also used as an intermediate for chemical syntheses.2 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified DCA as a hazardous environmental chemical (group B2, probable human carcinogen).3 On the other hand, it is being used as an investigational drug for the treatment of cancer4 and of rare diseases associated with disturbances of cellular energy metabolism, such as congenital lactic acidosis.5,6"

      Pretty sure my dad will not be looking into that. I just felt that I should share.

  5. What is the latest? I am thinking about Gerson.

  6. Hi,
    I'm trying desperately to get my mother in-law to the Gerson Institute. Put the application through and they said that she couldn't go because of her pulmonary embolism . I'm just wondering when your dad applied was his still there, or was it gone at this point?

  7. My dad's was gone when he went to the clinic. I wish you the best of luck in getting her there!

    1. Thank you !! Good luck to your family also!