Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Katie Celebrates Her 14th Birthday At Home
Our government and medical establishment has lost the War on Cancer after billions were spent on research and squandered. You can't cure something if you don't even know the cause of it. All you can do is treat the symptoms. Chemotherapy and radiation are not solutions; although it seems to help a few in the short run, the use of these does nothing but cause cancer again. You have been lied to. The use of mamograms will cause more breast cancer, there are safer alternative detection methods such as thermography.
We are in a crisis when 40% of Americans will eventually develop cancer. Who will be left to take care of these people and pay their bills. It is time to research all alternatives and find the cause of cancer and cures. It's time the public took a stand and demand it. Nothing will happen or change unless the public and you demand it! We must all speak out with one message and now!
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Katie Leaves State For Treatment
By kathryn garcia Caller-Times May 9, 2006
Katie Wernecke, who was at the center of a state custody battle last year, was withdrawn from Banquete Junior High School last month and has moved out of state with her father to receive a new alternative cancer treatment.
The 13-year-old eighth-grader and her father, Edward Wernecke, are staying at an undisclosed treatment center out of state where they could be for months, Edward Wernecke said during a brief phone conversation Monday.
"I really can't say anything because it could jeopardize her treatment," Wernecke said. He would not elaborate on the treatments or where they were, saying the treatment center requested the family not speak with media.
He did, however, say the treatment was beyond the alternative intravenous Vitamin C injections that Katie had been receiving three times a week at her Agua Dulce home since November, when she returned home and went back to school.
Banquete Junior High Principal Eusebio Torres said that before Katie left in early April, she seemed weaker, more tired and wasn't acting herself, but he, the staff and the students remain hopeful.
"We told her dad that when she feels better, we hope to see her again and if not this year, then maybe next year in high school," Torres said. "We just don't know. Nobody knows."
Child Protective Services removed Katie from her home in June after her parents refused radiation treatments for Hodgkin's disease because they feared the potential side effects. Katie was reunited with her parents and three brothers in November after a five-month legal battle that reached the Texas Supreme Court. Ultimately, a district court judge ruled that Katie be returned to her parents and that they be allowed to make all her medical decisions.
While in state care, Katie underwent chemotherapy treatments at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where doctors in November gave her as little as a 25 percent chance of survival, down from 85 percent in August. Dr. Ron Hunninghake, who treated Katie with the intravenous Vitamin C treatment, said in November that Katie had a better-than-average prognosis.
Hunninghake did not return phone calls Monday.
Katie's mother, Michele Wernecke, wouldn't comment about her daughter's condition and treatment, but said she was optimistic and missed Katie being at home with her and her three other children, who still are enrolled in Banquete schools.
"God willing, everything is going to be OK," she said.
Katie's former language arts teacher Gracie Bourlon hopes the same. She said she even keeps Katie's notebook for when she returns.
"She's like a best friend that lives far away and when she comes back, it will be like she never left," Bourlon said.
It's been more than a month since 12-year-old Shelby Rebecek has seen her friend. The last time she saw her, Katie was a guest at her birthday party.
"We're hoping for the best," Shelby said. "It's scary to us because we're so close to it."
Copyright 2006, Caller.com. All Rights Reserved.
(Note the above article was published without our conscent and is very inaccurate. We are not in hiding and did not move out of state. We have actually already been to 5 states for treatments. A companion Washington Times article is titled: "Texas Cancer Girl Receives Secret Treatment". On a condition of receiving treatments there can be no publicity at all. That is why there has been no communication on this website for months. We cannot tell you what we are doing or where we are at simply because the doctors and hospital would refuse to continue treatments. Katie's tumor grew in March but now is receding with the new treatments. Katie is doing very well and has 2 inch long curly hair now.
Friday, March 17, 2006
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Monday, February 13, 2006
Katie's Blood Test Good, Keep Her in Your Prayers
Sunday, February 12, 2006
13 Year Old Katie Fights the Establishment
13 Year Old Katie Fights the Establishment
For most 13-year-old kids, summer is a time to enjoy the freedom of long days and warm weather with family and friends; fireworks on the 4th of July; trips to the beach; making plans for the final year of middle school. Katie Wernecke didn't have that type of summer. This summer, the Texas legal system supported the local medical establishment in trying to bully Katie into undergoing a cancer treatment she and her parents had decided against. She was removed from her home, taken from the care of her parents and siblings, and allowed only very limited contact with her mother.
This divide-and-conquer strategy would have worked with most kids of Katie's age. But Katie isn't your typical 13-year-old. When the time came to inject her with high-dose chemotherapy, Katie said no. And when doctors tried to force her, she boldly and repeatedly resisted. Finally, they admitted they couldn't make her accept the treatment unless she cooperated. Can you imagine the guts it took for a 13-year-old, without her parents by her side, to give a flat, unconditional "no" to a team of doctors and nurses?
Opinions of Patients Will Not Be Tolerated
This insane situation could have easily been avoided if some members of Katie's medical team had not been so arrogant and if Texas Child Protection Services (TCPS) had not been so narrow minded.
Last June I sent you the e-Alert "Amber Ambush" (6/15/05) with details about Katie's story. In a nutshell: After undergoing several months of chemo treatments for Hodgkin's disease, Katie's cancer was in remission and her doctor prescribed radiation as a preventive measure. Katie and her parents said no, based on the possible long-range side effects of radiation in the upper body (including damage to the heart muscle, lungs, spine and thyroid gland, a high risk of breast cancer and hormonal disruption). The Werneckes said they wanted to investigate less harmful treatment options.
This was unacceptable, according to Katie's doctor, who was so certain that his plan for Katie's treatment was the one and only course of action that he reported the Werneckes to TCPS. For the unforgivable offense of disagreeing with a doctor, Katie was removed from her family and ordered to undergo treatments. Just as all this was happening, Katie's cancer was found to be active again. At that point her parents agreed to additional chemo treatments, but not radiation.
Finally Some Good News
Court hearings continued throughout the summer, with the Werneckes fighting for custody of their daughter while Katie refused treatment. Then, last week a small ray of good news came from the Texas Supreme Court. Recognizing that Katie's parents are not monsters who would do their daughter harm, the court wisely overturned two lower court rulings:
Katie's father may now visit her
Katie's mother may now visit without being forced to promise authorities that she will encourage Katie to comply with the treatment plan
If this seems like small potatoes, it is. But the Werneckes - especially Katie's dad - are grateful to have more access to their daughter, even though visits are still strictly supervised. If a supervisor determines that Katie's parents are encouraging her to refuse any treatment, permission to visit their daughter will be revoked. Is this how you "care" for a cancer patient? Especially a patient who's a child?
Tyranny of Experts
Less than two weeks ago Katie's mother visited her daughter and encouraged her to allow further chemo treatments. Katie agreed, and this is most likely a good decision. Chemotherapy is used on a wide range of cancers, but most cancer patients don't realize that only nine types of cancer have been proven "highly responsive" to chemo. Hodgkin's disease is one of them.
Katie's doctors continue to recommend radiation therapy after four more months of chemo, so how her long-range treatment will play out is still unresolved. Attorneys for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services have stated in court that the Werneckes are "medically neglectful" for refusing radiation. Apparently these attorneys are blissfully unaware of the irony of that statement. Hello! Earth to Texas! Removing an ailing child from loving parents is neglectful in ways you apparently can't conceive of.
In a U.S. News and World Report article about Katie's case, Bernadine Healy, M.D., notes that Texas state officials are mistakenly convinced that radiation treatment is the standard of care in this instance. Dr. Healy's article is appropriately titled "The Tyranny of Experts." Dr. Healy quotes James Nachman, M.D., a pediatric oncologist and a professor of pediatrics at the University of Chicago medical school. Dr. Nachman states that he approves of intervention by child services when it's a matter of life or death. And he adds that the use of radiation in a case like Katie's is NOT a case of life or death.
A new hearing to decide on Katie's custody will be held on November 18th. I'll watch for the results and keep you posted.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
The Truth and Nothing But the Truth, Thats All You'll Get Here
As a rancher we are in a terrible drought so half my time is spent caring for Katie and the other half spent feeding the cows. This blog is not a priority for me right now. I realize people want to know, but Katie wants her privacy. We turned down numerous TV appearances like CNN and ABC and others. It is also not safe to paste specific medical information on this blog. We are still being watched and scrutinized and so legally we cannot post this information. I can tell you that Katie is ok and is under the care of two doctors, one who is a radiologist. Katie is doing ok, she attends school daily, and is seen by the community daily. The Rebecca Poe comment says it all.
Posts will be infrequent and likely only on Saturday or Sunday. The comment section will be shut off again, because such negativity is not good for Katie or us. The comments are full of misinformation and out right lies and slander. We know that most of these are being done my Margie, Katie's foster mom in Houston. Everything she said is a lie i.e. being able to visit, writing a book for a million dollars, starting and stopping treatments, caring for Katie, and getting kicked out of church. None of these things are true. If she cared for Katie, Katie would have had good things to say about her and she does not. She did things like pull her out of school 1.5 hours early every day just so she could be home for the other girl. She never bought her clothes she needed, yet she received over $600 a month to care for her plus travel expenses. Katie could add a lot more information if you Margie want to keep slandering us with outright lies. Other posts are coming from M.D. Anderson itself. In fact M.D. Anderson itself caused all the delays in treatment. Margie sat there and did nothing when Katie drank that coke and she was supposed to be caring for and watching her. We were banned during this time. Katie herself refused the High Dose Chemo and M.D. Anderson sat there and did nothing for 30 days. I will remind you that M.D. Anderson treated her with Phase I clinical trial chemicals, in which only two treatments were allowed and they used four treatments of these unproven and unsafe chemicals on my daughter. Katie wasn't even placed in that Phase I Clinical Trial, nor did that have a right to use these experimental treatments on our daughter. I believe these things contributed to her chances being lowered to 20%. CPS and M.D. Anderson handed her back because they didn't want her to die in their care. Now if she dies we will be blamed and probably go to jail for it. How convienient. She had no active cancer when they took her and her immune system was taking over. We were actively seaking care at the time.
It is a different situation now and we are doing our best to see that she beats this cancer and recovers. That's what happens when over zealous doctors and the government sticks its nose into families lives where they do not belong. If you want to help then give us prayer, support and information we can use to beat this cancer. If you want to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again, then contact your Texas legislaturers and insist that they fix the problem. One fix is to change the law to allow an immediate trial by jury in family courts. As it stands now you can't get a trial for at least 12 months.
Friday, February 03, 2006
This Comment Says It All
Friday, January 13, 2006
Katie is Doing Ok
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Compassion Childrens Donation Site is Back Up
Sunday, January 08, 2006
Sorry, Compassion Children Site is Down for Donations
The problem should be fixed shortly, so please bookmark us and come back. For those who don't need a tax deductible receipt you can mail donations to: Katie Wernecke, P.O. Box 132, Agua Dulce, Tx 78330. All donations are used for the legal or medical expenses of Katie Wernecke and you can specify which if you want. Thank you very much. May God bless you richly.
Friday, January 06, 2006
State-sponsored medical terrorism: Texas authorities arrest parents, kidnap their teenage daughter and force her through chemotherapy against her will
Thirteen-year-old Katie Wernecke was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, a cancer of the lymph nodes, in January 2005. The teenager underwent chemotherapy after being taken to the emergency room with what her parents had suspected was pneumonia, and doctors recommended she also receive radiation treatments. However, Katie's parents, Michelle and Edward Wernecke, refused the treatments for fear it could cause complications such as an increased risk of breast cancer, learning problems or stunted physical growth. That's when Texas authorities intervened, making private matters public in a way that many feel violated parental rights as well as principles of health freedom.
In what amounted to an attempt to force the Werneckes to submit their daughter to radiation treatments, officials with Texas' Child Protective Services took Katie away from her parents in June, after receiving a tip that Katie and her mother were hiding out at a family ranch in order to avoid the radiation that doctors claimed she needed to survive. Authorities promptly took Katie into custody and arrested her mother on charges of interfering with child custody.
Although Michelle Wernecke was released on $50,000 bond shortly after her arrest, she returned home to find her family in shambles. The state had – in effect – kidnapped her daughter, placed her three sons in a foster home and labeled her and her husband neglectful parents, even though they were only trying to protect their daughter from conventional medicine's harsh cancer treatments. Thus began a long and difficult struggle for the family that received national attention and raised significant questions about medical freedom and parental rights.
On a June 9 episode of NBC's Today show, Michele Wernecke said of her daughter: "I think they should treat her for what her body calls for and not for standard protocol. Nobody will look at that. Not every cancer is the same. Nobody understands that. Her body is not standard, and her cancer is not standard." A videotaped statement, recorded by Katie's parents, shows the girl saying, "I don't need radiation treatment. And nobody asked me what I wanted. It's my body."
On Oct. 21, Texas District Judge Jack Hunter ruled that the Werneckes would be allowed, as they had hoped, to take Katie to Kansas for a consultation with a physician on alternative intravenous vitamin C treatments. However, the judge also ruled that, before her parents could pursue the alternative treatment, Katie must first receive five days of traditional chemotherapy at the University of Texas' M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. This once again thwarted her parents' efforts to protect their daughter from treatments they fear will result in side effects that are more harmful than her actual disease.
Throughout the Werneckes' battle with CPS and the Texas legal system, the family has maintained a blog dedicated to their daughter and her condition at http://prayforkatie.blogspot.com. There, they post news articles, charity information, letters and prayers from people concerned for Katie and disturbed by the drastic actions taken by Texas officials to keep her out of her parents' care.
An Oct. 23 post on the site reads, "Katie has been left all alone in M.D. Anderson undergoing this fourth round of chemotherapy. CPS has not allowed the parents to be present in the hospital during this treatment. I don't have the right words and enough words to express how awful I feel about that. It is unbelievably cruel and just sickening that Katie would have to suffer through that ordeal all alone with no parent beside her. That is emotional abuse and child abuse on the part of CPS."
Although the Werneckes have stuck to their beliefs about what they feel is best for their daughter's health, they have been continuously met by the threats and scare tactics used by CPS. As a result, their daughter has not only suffered through treatment she does not want – and arguably does not need – but she has done so without her parents comfort and support.
On Oct. 31, Judge Hunter finally ruled that Katie should be returned to her family, saying, "CPS and the Werneckes are never, ever going to agree," according to the New York Times. Katie will be allowed to go home after a round of chemotherapy in Houston, but what course her treatment will take after that is unknown. However, her father said at Monday's hearing that the family "wanted to try other treatments for Katie before considering radiation as a last resort," the New York Times reported.
The good news is, Katie will be able to return to her family and receive their love and support, but the decision seems long overdue. The Werneckes' situation over the past months is a prime example of how modern medicine has gotten out of control in this country. It seems we now live in a terrifying world where medical professionals are able to enlist the help of government agencies in order to force people into medical treatments that can actually pose significant health dangers. It is a climate in which diagnosis and medical treatment may be accompanied by threats and legal action for those who dare to select an alternative path of healing for themselves or their loved ones. It is an atmosphere in which parents can actually lose their sick children to the system of modern conventional medicine.
A disease like cancer is traumatic enough; it does not need to be complicated with the stresses of custody battles and legal threats. What a child really needs when suffering through something as daunting as cancer is her parents. The Werneckes may have been fighting to block the treatment of their daughter with conventional cancer treatments that can cause severe health problems, but Texas authorities, in the past months, were playing a much more dangerous game by fighting to remove Katie from the love and support of her parents, which is some of the best medicine.
Note by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
The events reported in this story are true. If you thought you lived in a "free" society, think again. Right now, under the direct supervision of misguided oncologists and Big Pharma drug pushers, your children can be kidnapped at gunpoint (by the "authorities"), dragged into medical facilities, and poisoned with radiation and chemotherapy, all under the orders of a court judge.
And after all that's done, by the way, they'll send you the medical bills.
With this demonstration of grossly misplaced authority, organized medicine is no longer merely an outdated system of dangerous treatments, it is a direct threat to the fundamental freedoms of individuals, families and children. With forced vaccination programs that inject mercury into our childrens' bodies, the overdosing of our nation's youth with psychiatric drugs, and now forced radiation poisoning of teenage girls, the U.S. medical system has become the most cruel and harmful system of health care in the world.
Under what possible system of "healing" would a family be broken apart, arrested, kidnapped, and the parents be denied access to the bedside of their daughter as life-threatening chemical toxins are being dripped into her veins under the orders of medical "authorities?" By what insane justification can this be called a system of health care?
The answer is that this is not a system of health care at all, folks. It's a system of control. How do you control a population? Drug them, from cradle to grave. Keep 'em in a mental haze. Bewilder them with television images. Bankrupt them with medical bills. And if they don't comply, arrest them at gunpoint and terrorize their family to set an example. I call it state-sponsored medical terrorism. In this case, the state is Texas.
Personally, I think that in a just society, the Texas Child Protective Services personnel would be arrested and charged with kidnapping, and the oncologists who took part in this cancer conspiracy would be tried in an international court for crimes against humanity. Is it not a crime to inject a child with deadly chemicals against her will and against her parents' will? If I loaded a syringe with the exact same chemicals used on this girl, and injected them into your arm without your permission, I'd be (rightly) charged with attempted murder.
Where's the health in health care reform?
Don't stand for this. Spread the word. Forward this article. Support the Wernecke family's battle against organized medicine. If we don't stand up to this, then we surrender any semblance of health freedom left in this country. Let the Texas CPS and health authorities know that we, the free-thinking citizens of this nation, won't stand by idly while our children are taken from us and chemically assaulted by men who lead a dangerous, for-profit industry of so-called cancer "treatments." This madness must be stopped.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Back from Hawaii
We learned a lot of stuff about fighting cancer nutritionally and detoxing the body, and will continue to use what we learned at home. We are also continuing with the intravenous Vit C treatments.
Katie's hair is growing back and is almost a half inch long now. She continues in public school. She got all A's and just one B in keyboarding. Her joints still suffer from the effects of the chemo. She was disappointed about the B. We are very proud of her. Katie is very energetic and is feeling good.
Thank you for your prayers, emails, and concerns. With good nutritional support, the IV Vit C and your prayers I believe we can beat this cancer.
Sunday, January 01, 2006
Vitamin D Lowers Risk of Cancer by 50%
Could something as simple as getting enough vitamin D, which is found in milk, eggs, salmon and sunlight, really protect you from cancer? Researchers, after reviewing 63 studies, say "yes." They found taking large amounts of vitamin D can lower cancer risk by as much as 50 percent.
Researchers say a person needs about 1,000 international units (IU) daily. There are only 100 units in an 8-ounce glass of milk, so you would need to consume ten 8-ounce glasses of milk to meet the requirement. However, doctors temper this by advising that downing a gallon of milk is not going to stop you from getting cancer. Sunshine is a good source for vitamin D, but it has its own risks.
Foods rich in vitamin D include cod liver oil, eggs, milk and vitamin D supplemented processed foods. Researchers recommend that vitamin D supplements may be needed because the food sources of vitamin D are not likely to provide the recommended 1,000 IU daily allowance.
"I think vitamin D is a component of a healthy diet that will have potential benefit," says Dr. David Fishman, who runs the National Ovarian Cancer Early Detection Program at New York University. "I wish it was as simple as saying 'If you take vitamin D, cancer will be cured.' I don't think it's that simple."
Although the role of vitamin D in cancer prevention is not largely understood, a vitamin D deficiency can lead to health problems. Certain groups of people are at a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency. The risk factors include women breastfeeding, dark skin, fat malabsorption syndromes, inflammatory bowel disease and obesity.
American Journal of Public Health
University of California at San Diego Moores Cancer Center
MY COMMENTS: Vitamin D and iodine are two nutrients often missing. As for Vit D, our kids might get two pints of milk at school and most never get outside for any sunshine during prime time 10-2 for vitamin D, as sports are played in the gym. Consider supplementing with Vit D and Cod Liver Oil. Poor nutrition lets cancer take hold. Lack of Vitamin D and sunshine in the winter is one reason why flu viruses are worse at this time of year. Also consider taking about 12 mg of Iodine and 4 grams of Vit C a day.
Saturday, December 31, 2005
Katie in Hawaii
Texas Monthly ran an article on Katie and the whole ordeal in the January 2006 issue. Check it out below. I am sorry there have not been more updates but evil eyes are watching everything we do. Katie is doing well and feeling good. We will have some more tests done in January after we return. Then we should know more.
We are still accepting donations to help with the legal and medical bills at http://www.saveakid.us. Thanks to Tony and Laureen at Compassion Children for providing this service.
Happy New Year to all.
Monday, December 26, 2005
Whose Life Is It Anyway? - Texas Monthly Magazine
Whose Life Is It Anyway?
When Edward and Michele Wernecke rejected standard medical treatment for their cancer-stricken daughter, the state took twelve-year-old Katie out of their custody—and set off a nationwide debate over the meaning of parents’ rights.
ON THE SATURDAY BEFORE HALLOWEEN, Edward Wernecke stood in his kitchen, thumbing through a stack of file folders filled with photocopies and Internet printouts of medical articles. The solemn 53-year-old rancher was indifferent to the flies that buzzed around the room and landed once in a while on his face and white Resistol. Edward’s wife, 37-year-old Michele, stood nearby. Despite the cheering crescendos of the couple’s 3-, 5-, and 14-year-old sons, who chased a toy monster truck through the hallways, Michele and Edward seemed unruffled. It was hard to know whether they were intensely focused or simply dazed.
Speaking in a methodical, relaxed monotone, Edward laid out his family’s ten-month-long ordeal, a story made famous by TV reports and newspaper headlines. It had all started the previous December, when Edward and Michele’s twelve-year-old daughter, Katie, had developed a severe cough. It had seemed like bronchitis, but on January 7, when her breathing grew labored, Edward took Katie to the emergency room. The news he received was devastating: A fifteen-by-eighteen-centimeter mass in Katie’s chest was choking her. By eight o’clock that night, she had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease, a cancer of the lymph nodes. “Talk about your world stopping,” Michele said. “All I could think is that my baby has cancer and she’s dying.”
The Werneckes would barely have time for heartache. Instead, they soon found themselves entrenched in a prolonged legal battle. When they refused doctor-recommended radiation treatment for Katie, fearing its toxic side effects, she was removed from their custody by Child Protective Services. Taken from their ranch in Banquete, thirty miles west of Corpus Christi, their daughter spent the summer being shuttled between M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston, and a nearby foster home. In early fall, when doctors worried that Edward was still impeding Katie’s treatment, a judge in Corpus Christi severed Edward’s communication with her altogether.
The case garnered national attention. Parents around the country were surprised to learn that if they dismissed a doctor’s recommendation, their child could be taken from them. But that is indeed the case. In Texas, losing custody of a child in such situations is unusual but not unheard of. While the most-common instances involve religious objections, such as the refusal of blood transfusions by Christian Scientists or Jehovah’s Witnesses—which legally constitutes medical neglect—the state has also intervened when religion has played no part in the failure to comply with the prescribed care for a minor. In a well-publicized case in 1996, for example, Fort Worth ten-year-old Rachel Stout found herself at the center of a custody battle with CPS when her family whisked her off to Canada for alternative treatment to a life-saving colectomy. Ultimately, Rachel was given court-ordered surgery and returned to her parents. University of Texas at Austin law professor Jack Sampson says that this is typical of cases he has seen, though he doesn’t see as many as he used to. Often, he says, “if the parents have talked to a lawyer, they know they’ll lose.”
In the case of the Werneckes, the question of medical neglect was perhaps the murkiest the state had seen. F. Scott McCown, the executive director for Austin’s Center for Public Policy Priorities and a retired state district court judge who has handled more than two thousand child abuse cases, says, “You either say children are the property of the parents, or you say there is a point at which parents don’t get to make decisions. If you go the second route, you have to leave it up to judges to decide the child’s fate. It’s almost impossible from a distance to find out whether the decision is right or not. Even when you have the facts, sometimes it’s difficult to say what’s the right thing to do.”
In October the Texas Supreme Court had finally restored supervised meetings, and Edward was excited now to have scheduled a reunion for October 30, his first chance to see his daughter in six weeks. When Michele received a call on her cell phone to confirm the appointment, Edward watched as she paced the kitchen. Their five-year-old had come down with strep throat, which they knew might complicate their meeting with Katie. Michele put the phone to her shoulder to consult with Edward.
“This is the social worker,” she said matter-of-factly. “She wants to know if we’re coming. I told them we might not be able to, and now Katie is crying. What do I tell her?”
“Any trace of strep could kill her after her chemo treatment,” Edward replied.
“Should I say that?” she asked.
Edward stared silently at the kitchen counter for a minute, then said, “My parents could take the boys, but they’re so old the strep could kill them too.”
“Well, the social worker needs to know if we’re coming. Should I call them back?”
He nodded yes.
THE WERNECKES HAD ALWAYS been a busy family, and the kids had had the run of the ranch while Michele managed a feed store in nearby Kingsville and Edward worked cattle. Once in a while, Edward and Michele’s lax supervision caused concern, like the time a CPS worker found Katie and her older brother wandering near a road. But Edward and Michele considered their children independent, not like smothered city kids. Katie was a precocious, freckle-faced Bible-drill champ, the valedictorian of her seventh-grade class, and when her hacking cough had worsened around New Year’s Day, she’d done her best to ignore it, reluctant to ruin her perfect school-attendance record with a trip to the clinic. When Edward finally took her to Driscoll Children’s Hospital, in Corpus Christi, he wasn’t surprised by her confident response to the diagnosis. “This is just a bump in the road,” she reassured her family. “It’s only cancer.”
Edward was less optimistic. He staggered through the halls of the hospital in tears after Dr. Nejemie Alter, Katie’s pediatric hematologist-oncologist, told him that she might have died of suffocation within 24 hours had she not come in. Given the right treatment, however, she would have an 80 to 95 percent chance of recovery. Edward called Michele that night from the hospital to explain the treatment options for a child with Hodgkin’s disease: either four rounds of chemotherapy or two rounds of chemotherapy followed by radiation.
In late April, there was good news. After four rounds of chemo, Katie’s PET scan showed no active cancer. Edward felt victorious. So when Alter suggested following up with radiation from Katie’s neck to her diaphragm to ensure the cancer’s eradication, Edward hesitated. Since his daughter’s diagnosis, he’d been combing the Internet for articles on Hodgkin’s and its cures, and what he’d learned about radiation disturbed him. With a doctorate in agriculture from Texas A&M University, he prided himself on being an independent thinker. One article in the New England Journal of Medicine, written by Vincent DeVita, the former director of the National Cancer Institute, said that radiotherapy “by itself increases the risk of late second solid tumors in the irradiated field and the incidence rises steeply when radiotherapy and chemotherapy are combined.” Radiation, it turned out, could stunt Katie’s growth, make her sterile, and increase her chances of getting breast cancer.
Requests to avoid radiation, Edward learned, are not unusual when there are viable alternatives. When cyclist Lance Armstrong, for example, was diagnosed with testicular cancer, he decided against conventional radiation in favor of customized therapy. Emboldened by his research, Edward requested another oncologist’s opinion. Alter referred Katie to a pediatric oncologist in Corpus Christi, then suggested oncologists in McAllen, San Antonio, and Houston. But Edward was skeptical, worried that anyone whom Alter referred would of course parrot the standard treatment.
The Werneckes dragged their feet. It was hard to justify subjecting their daughter to radiation if the cancer was inactive. Alter’s worries, meanwhile, escalated with each idle day. In his mind, the Werneckes’ hesitancy was not only disastrous; according to state law, it constituted medical neglect, as defined by the Texas Family Code: “the failure to seek, obtain, or follow through with medical care for the child, with the failure resulting in or presenting a substantial risk of death, disfigurement, or bodily injury or with the failure resulting in an observable and material impairment to the growth, development, or functioning of the child.” In early May Alter called CPS. “[Edward] was reluctant to take his daughter for radiation treatment,” he would later testify in court. “That’s when I had to call [the state].”
CPS investigator Kim Garcia, hearing that the Werneckes showed no intention of making a radiation appointment, issued an ultimatum: Make the appointment by May 31 or the state will remove Katie from your custody. On June 1, when the Werneckes had still not scheduled an appointment, Garcia drove out to Banquete for Katie. But she was too late. Michele and Katie were already roaming the coast in search of a hiding place.
When Garcia pulled up to the house with two police officers, Edward tried to bar the door, but they forced him aside. “She’s not here,” he insisted as they checked rooms and closets. Garcia took note of the house: Stacks of paper from that year’s tax returns were piled around the living room. Unwashed dishes and Katie’s medicine sat on the kitchen counter alongside livestock syringes (Edward claims they were sealed with plastic caps). Before leaving, she filled out a report stating that the house was a safety hazard. As Edward read the paperwork, officers loaded his stunned boys into a car and issued an Amber Alert for Katie. He paced his empty house for days. “It was a completely devastating feeling,” he said.
Within two weeks, CPS had found Katie hiding at a relative’s ranch and taken her into state custody; the boys were returned home. As Katie spent the summer at M.D. Anderson, Edward and Michele went to court repeatedly to fight the state and get her back. They also worked to publicize their cause, igniting debates nationwide over parents’ rights and medical decisions. Talking to Katie Couric on the Today show, Michele said, “Treat her for what her body calls for and not standard protocol.” Edward’s blog, prayforkatie.blogspot.com, received thousands of hits. Letters poured in to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, some giving voice to the question that was on every parent’s mind. As one Washington woman put it, “Does this mean that all of us must now abdicate our rights to decide our own methods of medical treatment and let the state decide?” Soon the Werneckes would be petitioning Governor Rick Perry for a meeting, broadcasting their plea on area billboards: “Katie Wernecke wants to go home to her parents.”
ON JUNE 10 THE WERNECKES listened in shock as a radiologist reported in court that Katie’s cancer had returned, her chances of recovery now down to 50 percent. Though Katie needed her parents’ support more than ever, their access continued to be monitored; when they visited at M.D. Anderson, guards followed them everywhere. The presiding judge in Corpus Christi, Carl Lewis, was torn. Medical neglect cases rely heavily on a judge’s discretion, and his information on Katie was constantly changing. At the court hearings throughout the following weeks, CPS argued for radiation based on the opinions of Katie’s M.D. Anderson doctors, including pediatric oncologist Robert Wells. Sometimes radiation can be avoided, he explained in court testimony, but “with patients like Katie, with [a] large mass, the relapse rate is fifty percent. That’s why chemo-only wasn’t considered.” While it was a sound argument, Lewis was eager to hear the Werneckes’ proposal. But even though they had been campaigning against radiation—going so far as to threaten Katie’s radiologist with a lawsuit—they offered few alternatives in the courtroom. Still, Lewis remained open-minded: He would let two independent Hodgkin’s disease specialists review Katie’s medical records for a hearing in early September before making a decision.
By the time of the hearing, however, the family’s lawyers didn’t have the necessary opinions. “We couldn’t find a doctor to testify on our behalf,” Luis Corona, the Werneckes’ local counsel, would explain later. “The problem was, we couldn’t have her examined because she was in state custody. A lot of doctors don’t want to go against conventional treatments. They didn’t want to get involved in the controversy.” It was a costly holdup; the judge could not evaluate a nonexistent alternative. After almost half a dozen hearings, and with no viable options to consider, Lewis had had enough. “This isn’t poker,” he said. “I’m not waiting anymore. Every hour we wait is an hour that’s critical to this child’s life.”
Katie had had enough too. After months of hearing the side effects of high-dose chemo, she’d made a choice herself: She was not going to take the next scheduled round. Refusing to cooperate with nurses or doctors, she pulled the catheters out of her shoulder and drank a soda when she was told it would interfere with the procedure. Alarmed, Lewis met with Katie in person, alone. Three days later, on September 19, he told the Werneckes that their disapproval of standard protocol was affecting Katie’s cooperation. “How long are we going to do this...dance?” he pleaded. Lewis cut off all communication between Edward and Katie; Michele would be allowed visits provided she sign a contract in which she’d agree to encourage doctors’ recommendations. Immediately after the hearing, Lewis underwent open-heart surgery for a torn aorta. He signed the orders the next morning in his recovery bed.
ON OCTOBER 31 EDWARD CARRIED a box full of files into the courtroom. As he silently approached his place across the aisle from CPS workers and lawyers, he wore the same grave expression he had shown in newspaper photos. Michele smiled and bounced a little as she talked. She and Edward had found a way to visit Katie the previous day after all, and Katie had seemed to be in good spirits. With Lewis recovering from his surgery, a new judge, Jack Hunter, was presiding, and Michele was optimistic that she’d finally get Katie back for good.
Hunter had made it clear before the hearing that he wasn’t going to rehash who did what to whom, stating, “My job is to save this baby, and I’m going to do it.” He admonished the lawyers when they traded accusations about Katie’s condition. “Let’s say you’re right, and in nine months we find you’re right and the child has died,” he said. “Every hour [we argue] is one less she has to live.”
Katie’s chances of beating Hodgkin’s had now slipped to 20 percent. Although she had resumed chemotherapy, her doctors attributed the relapse to her unwillingness to stay on their treatment schedule. Edward and Michele, who blamed the doctors for her deteriorating condition, had an alternative to suggest. A doctor in Wichita, Kansas, at the Center for the Improvement of Human Functioning International, would give Katie vitamin C treatments as a next step. After lengthy arguments by the lawyers about guarantees and “true treatment plans,” Dr. Wells testified via speakerphone, urging Katie’s continued treatment at M.D. Anderson. “Two times when the therapy stopped, the disease has come back within a month,” he said. “If Katie leaves for a month...I’m afraid she’ll have a recurrence, and I don’t know if I’d have any therapies that can help her...At some point you run out of time...At some point this disease will be incurable.”
Finally, Hunter asked for Katie on speakerphone. Her voice was weak, and she sounded tired. “Do you feel like everyone is pulling on you?” he asked.
“Kinda,” she said.
“What do you want to do?”
“I want to go home.”
“Do you want to talk to a doctor in Wichita?”
“We’ve all gotten off whack,” Hunter said after the final arguments. “The court is of the opinion to dismiss the department.” Katie could return home.
EMERGING FROM THE HOSPITAL on November 3, Katie shrunk from the press as she stood between her parents, looking pale in the bright sun. She stared at the ground and answered only a few questions. “I’m feeling better,” she told the Caller-Times. “It was very boring and kind of lonely without my parents.” Edward, for the first time in a while, was smiling. “Today,” his lawyer’s press release read, “all Texas parents have achieved a substantial victory protecting their rights to decide how their children will be cared for when a medical crisis occurs.”
It will be a while before anyone knows the measure of victory. Lingering questions about the wisdom of the CPS intervention, the doctors’ persistence, and the Werneckes’ determination can only be answered by Katie’s outcome. Given the many variables, any family-law attorneys hoping to learn hard-and-fast rules from a case like this will be disappointed.
Although Judge Hunter had asked that Katie return to M.D. Anderson for follow-up treatment, Edward canceled all of Katie’s appointments at the facility. At home, Katie received vitamin C injections from a registered nurse, and that alone would be her treatment until further notice.
“Dr. Wells called me the other day,” Edward said in November, as Katie received her treatments in the next room. “He said that if Katie doesn’t get radiation, she’ll die. I told him we were in another doctor’s care. I said, ‘Why do you ask? Are you thinking of turning us in to CPS again?’”
The answer, Edward was surprised to hear, was yes.
Find this article at:
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Prayer Vigil for Katie Tonight
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Radiation Risk From CT Scans
Richard C. Semelka, MD Editor's Note:Richard Semelka, MD, is one of the preeminent practitioners of abdominal MRI in the United States and is a frequent contributor to Medscape Radiology..
Hippocrates is credited with the expression "First, do no harm" (ca 460-ca 377 B.C.), which has become the oath of all physicians in their doctoral graduation. The radiology community adheres to the fundamental precept of ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable) in order to limit patients' exposure to harmful radiation."First, Do No Harm": The Present-Day Fallacy.
In recent years, there has been an increased awareness of the rights of patients and their need for information and protection. Despite this, one egregious example in which patients are not provided sufficient information to make informed decisions on their healthcare involves the limited information provided to them on diagnostic imaging tools, including their merits and potential adverse effects. A recent article in the radiology literature describes how patients are generally not informed about the potential deleterious effects of radiation exposure related to undergoing computed tomographic (CT) investigation. Only 7% of patients stated that they were informed about the risks and benefits of the examination, and only 3% reported that they were informed about the increased lifetime cancer risk associated with CT. Referring emergency physicians were also largely unaware that there were any potential harmful effects from the radiation exposure, with only 9% aware of the increased cancer risk. Of even greater concern is the fact that the majority of the radiologists performing the CT examinations considered the radiation exposure of limited concern and were unaware of the amount of radiation delivered to the patient with CT. Only 47% of radiologists were cognizant of the increased risk for cancer associated with CT. The article stopped short of describing a further inadequacy of the information provided, in that the patients were not made aware that alternative, less harmful imaging techniques were available, notably, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).Why Perform CT When MRI Is Safer -- and Perhaps Better. MRI is an imaging modality that is considerably safer than CT on the basis of a number of factors, of which radiation exposure is perhaps the most serious. In addition, MRI may actually be much more accurate in describing disease. Although MRI is recognized to be superior to CT in a number of organ systems, a recent pivotal article also has shown that screening MRI of the entire body may be as accurate or more accurate than individual "gold-standard" diagnostic investigations of individual organ systems. The accuracy of modern MRI to evaluate the full range of organ systems should cause reevaluation of how different imaging investigations should be used to ensure the welfare of patients and optimize their care.CT Scanning: More Harm Than Good?It is beyond question that radiation delivered by x-ray-based imaging modalities has deleterious health effects.[3-7] The problem is that an exact quantification of these harmful effects is difficult to ascertain -- which explains why physicians in general have not been overly concerned about the radiation related to CT investigation. One prior study, however, described the increased risk of breast cancer in patients who are women who received serial spine x-rays for the investigation of scoliosis, and another study described the increased incidence of leukemia in patients who underwent serial radiographic examination during childhood. One of the most recent of these articles estimates that, per year, diagnostic x-ray use in the United States causes .9% of the cumulative risk of cancer to age 75 in men and women, equivalent to 5695 cases. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that a CT examination with an effective dose of 10 millisieverts (mSv), for example, 1 CT examination of the abdomen, may be associated with an increase in the possibility of fatal cancer of approximately 1 chance in 2000 (http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/ct/risks.html).This statistic becomes even more alarming if one considers the potential public health problem, when one contemplates that 60 million CT scans are performed per year in the United States. The pediatric population represents an especially vulnerable group of patients at increased risk for cancer development secondary to low-level ionizing radiation. Recent studies show that 600,000 abdominal and head CT examinations annually in children under the age of 15 years could result in 500 deaths from cancer attribute to CT radiation. These estimates are terrifying and particularly tragic if safe, alternative radiology modalities are available.Balancing Risks and BenefitsIt has been more than 50 years since physicians had direct physical evidence of the dangers of radiation exposure,[11,12] which is older than the career experience of even the most senior practicing physicians. The understandable excitement that current practicing radiologists experience with the increased imaging capability of modern multidetector CT is therefore not tempered with the direct experience of the harmful effects of excessive radiation exposure. Techniques that employ modern multidetector CT technology, multiphase contrast-enhanced CT of the liver or kidneys, and CT urography are generally performed with the intention of acquiring sufficient data to provide maximal image quality and diagnostic information, but often without enough attention paid to limiting radiation exposure. Attention has been directed in a number of reports to diminish the amount of radiation delivered by CT studies in settings, such as pediatric CT studies or lung screening studies. At the same time, it is clear that often radiation settings are not adjusted to lower levels for pediatric patients and small adults.The Case for MRI: Especially in ChildrenIn my opinion, an even better approach is to avoid radiation altogether by performing MRI. As mentioned previously, consideration is not often placed as to whether another technique may provide equivalent diagnostic information with no radiation risk. The fact that modern CT equipment provides highly collimated beams and adjustable milliamperes may serve to even further lower the level of concern of radiologists and referring physicians to the dangers of radiation, and create the sense that CT is risk-free. Serial CT examinations of patients with various long-standing disorders or chronic disease are especially worrisome.Of particular importance is the pediatric patient, a population in which the radiation exposure is directed to developing organs that are extremely radiosensitive, or breast tissue in women. Examples of this circumstance include patients with Crohn's disease or of childhood abdominal malignancies, such as Wilms' tumor or neuroblastoma.Up to now, MRI has often been thought of as an alternative to CT investigation, either in patients who have contraindications to CT (allergy to contrast agents or poor renal function) or in whom CT findings are considered inconclusive. The prudent approach for the future may be a change in the paradigm of imaging investigation to less harmful techniques, with the preferential use of ultrasound (US) or MRI when accuracy of these techniques is approximately equivalent to CT, and CT reserved as a problem-solving modality and for those indications in which CT is clearly superior. CT is clearly superior for the evaluation of primary lung disease, eg, interstitial lung disease, the majority of chest and abdominal trauma, the evaluation of tubes and catheters in postoperative or intensive care patients, and the search for renal calculi.The majority of benign, malignant, and inflammatory diseases are well shown on MRI, and in the hands of experienced practitioners are better elucidated than on CT, including diseases of the spleen, adrenals, kidneys, pancreas, and male and female pelvis. Patients should undergo CT for indications in which CT is clearly superior, including primary lung disease, acute chest and abdomen trauma, the evaluation of tubes and catheters in postoperative and intensive care patients, and the evaluation of urinary tract calculi.Putting Patients FirstPatients should be made aware of the potential harmful effects of CT, including cancer death, allergic events and renal functional impairment with contrast agents, and possible complications of subcutaneous injection and discomfort with large-bore intravenous catheter insertion. Furthermore, they should be made aware that there are safer alternatives, especially MRI, which may in fact be more accurate for the evaluation of many disease processes.[15,16] Image investigation should also be thought of in terms of and categorized as single-use situations, in which exposure to one CT study may not have substantial deleterious health effects, and those circumstances of which serial use is anticipated, in which case effort should be made to using an alternative imaging strategy, such as MRI. In my opinion, one of the greatest potential harms that exists in patient care today is the injudicious use of CT by many physicians, as they unwittingly subject patients to the untoward effects of ionizing radiation. This is especially unfortunate because often MRI may be employed instead, with greater diagnostic accuracy and greater patient comfort. In diagnostic situations in which the diagnostic information of CT is superior to MRI at the present moment, eg, coronary vessel imaging, CT should be treated as the temporary imaging method of choice, until technical improvements in MRI result in an image quality that approaches the consistent accurate information of CT, and at that time replacing CT with MRI as the primary tool for these imaging indications.If we as healthcare workers are truly effective in our roles as protectors and healers of patients, then we have the obligation to inform them of the risks of radiation exposure and other adverse aspects of CT, and provide them with the information that there are alternative imaging modalities that provide comparable or superior diagnostic information. A common sentiment expressed to me by radiologists is that they would do more MRI examinations for various indications, such as liver investigation, but that they do not have enough MRI scanners to serve all of their patients. My response to them is simple: Invest in more MRI systems for the benefit of patients.In summary, although the exact risks of radiation exposure are difficult to accurately quantify, it is inarguable that radiation exposure is dangerous and undesirable. The use of CT should be used judiciously, especially when safer alternatives, namely, MRI or US, exist for the diagnosis of certain disease processes.Whether MRI or US can replace CT for various indications should be continuously reevaluated, including circumstances in which CT is diagnostically more accurate. US or MRI may evolve to achieve similar diagnostic accuracy. For many neurologic and musculoskeletal applications, the evolution of MRI to replace CT has largely taken place. This same effort should be undertaken in other anatomic regions. In my opinion, the superiority of MRI has already been well established in the liver, to the extent that there is very little indication for the use of CT in liver investigation. In experienced radiologists' hands, many other abdominal and pelvic disease procedures are also better studied by MRI.[2,15,16]Toward a New Way of ImagingIn the present healthcare system, it is ironic that considerable energy and financial investment have been directed toward patient-protection practices, such as HIPPA, with little measurable benefit to the health of the patient, while the health risks of radiation from CT proceed unchecked and a lack of guidelines for physicians and information for patients goes unnoticed.
Medscape Radiology 6(1), 2005. © 2005 Medscape
Monday, December 19, 2005
Prayer Vigil for Katie on December 24th Across the Land
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Chemotherapy and Supplements
When CPS and M.D. Anderson had control of my daughter Katie for the next five months they wouldn't allow her to have any nutritional supplements.
There was a lot of damage done to Katie mentally and physically by the chemotherapy without the supplements during the last five months. Consider the following article:
If You're on Chemotherapy, You Should Avoid Supplements, Right? Wrong!
I don't want you to be the victims of junk science, and especially if you have cancer. Take the recent "report" published by the American Cancer Society (ACS). This organization dares to suggest that taking antioxidants might hurt cancer patients.
However, report is nothing more than unsupported opinion. It's the ACS that has given us the horrific slash (surgery), burn (radiation), and poison (chemotherapy) approach to cancer. Amazing! They dare to assert that antioxidants might interfere with therapies that kill. What an oxymoron.
Truth is, this attack on supplements is nothing new. In fact, Kenneth Conklin published a fine review on the subject five years ago.
Conklin reviewed several antioxidants including vitamin C, glutathione, vitamin E, NAC, selenium, and more. He did give a few precautions for specific antioxidants when taken with chemo agents. In particular, glutathione and NAC shouldn't be administered simultaneously with platinum agents.
However, the general report not only suggested protection from the ravages of chemo. The report went on to say that antioxidants actually increase the effectiveness of it!
Some agents, such as adriamycin and its family of chemicals, have well known and irreversible cardiac toxicity. CoQ10 can likely protect your heart against destruction wrought by this feared complication. I wonder how many chemo-induced heart attacks could have been prevented by CoQ10.
In scores of my own cancer patients, I consistently find a far higher quality of life in my patients who take antioxidants - with or without chemo. I've witnessed miraculous cancer reversals. Patients with even stage-4 cancer who undergo a major metabolic program of detoxification and nutritional supplementation have recovered!
As far as the alleged scientific studies showing antioxidants fail at expectations, we need to look at the methods of study. Typically, they're conducted with synthetic or refined nutrients. For example, most vitamin E studies are conducted with purified alpha tocopherol, not the more beneficial gamma tocopherol. Alpha tocopherol may actually displace what little good gamma tocopherol you have in your body.
I say you can't beat nature. So your best bet to prevent cancer is to eat an organic diet as fresh and living as possible. Supplements are just that - supplements. And you should buy only quality brands. Even some supplements are synthetic and devoid of the biological cofactors God put together in a whole living food.
Robert J. Rowen, MD
Ref: Conklin, Kenneth A. "Dietary Antioxidants During Cancer Chemotherapy: Impact on Chemotherapeutic Effectiveness and Development of Side Effects," Nutrition and Cancer 37(1):1-18, 2000
Friday, December 16, 2005
Attacking Cancer's Secret Weakness
Article from Second Opinion Health Alert:
Herbal "Smart Bomb" Tricks Cancer
Donald, a 47-year-old mechanic, had just been
diagnosed by an oncologist with an ugly egg-sized
tumor on the left side of his head.
I gave him a new cancer-fighting supplement derived
from a plant that grows in Southeast Asia.
After two weeks, there was a slight depression in
the center of the lump. And a month later, the tumor
was totally gone! The skin where it had been was
Donald was one of my first cases using this new
therapy. After many more, I now believe this may be
the future of cancer treatment - and the breakthrough
of our lifetime.
It works by attacking cancer's secret weakness.
You see, most doctors attack cancer head-on. They
poison it with chemotherapy. Burn it with radiation.
Cut it out with surgery. Any of which can have a
devastating effect on the patient's health.
But I prefer to take advantage of cancer's hidden
weaknesses - like its need for iron.
All cells need iron to reproduce. But since cancer
cells multiply very rapidly, they need lots of iron.
In fact, they actually hoard iron.
That's the key to this amazing cancer-fighting
supplement. Called artemisinin (from Artesmesia annua),
it has an amazing effect on iron. When it comes in
contact with it, the iron releases a huge burst of
highly reactive free radicals - a "smart bomb" that
literally blows up the deadly cancer cell.
In laboratory experiments, the doctor who first
reported this phenomenon documented an amazing 100%
kill rate in cancer cells in just hours.
Just as importantly, artemisinin left normal cells
Recently, a study published in a major cancer journal
found artemisinin showed significant anti-cancer
activity against many different types of cancer cells.
And even cancers resistant to chemotherapy drugs
showed no such resistance to this herb!
Take Diane for example. She was 47 years old when she
came to me with breast cancer that had spread to her
All doctors could offer her was full dose chemotherapy -
but not a drop of hope.
She even tried various alternative therapies. But the
cancer refused to budge. Yet after being treated with
artemisinin, she felt totally well. Her latest CT scan
indicates she may well be cancer free.
One physician I know has been using this amazing
supplement for over a decade. He tells me he has seen
hundreds of long-term remissions - including many
patients who had been declared "terminal."
In fact, with the exception of patients who were
already very near death, artemisinin has stabilized,
improved, or cured every cancer patient I have
Unfortunately, most health food stores do not sell
the concentrated form of artemisinin that stopped
cancer in clinical trials.
In fact, most artemisinin products usually contain
less than 10 to 20 percent of the anti-cancer
The only artemisinin product I recommend is distributed
by Allergy Research Group. It's a high-grade product,
and its potency is confirmed by independent lab
Artemisinin is truly a revolution in the treatment of
cancer. In studies, it's been shown to be nontoxic
and free of side effects.
However, if you or a loved one intends to use it, I
strongly suggest supervision by a medical professional
familiar with its use. Please have your blood count
and liver function monitored while on the therapy
to be as safe as possible.
Yours for better health and medical freedom,
Robert Jay Rowen, MD
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Any One Have Experience With Cancer Metabolic?
DR JULIAN F MEJIA
HOSPITAL SAINT MARK
Blvd. Playas # 401 Playas
TIJUANA B. C. MEXICO
619 251 7233
• Metabolic Therapy -First described by Dr .Manner at Harold Manner Memorial Hospital, this, along with the Manner Cocktail, forms the foundation of our approach. Essentially, Metabolic Therapy is a re- balancing of the entire body's system through the use of natural and nutritional approaches (including vitamins, minerals, supplements and herbs). Once the body's system is re-balanced, the body is capable of a stronger and more effective immune response.
• The Manner Cocktail -Dr. Harold Manner designed what has been called the "Manner Cocktail". It contains 9 to 18 grams of Laetrile, 25 to 50cc of DMSO, and up to 25 to 50 grams of Vitamin C. The Cocktail is administered by intravenous drip over a period of three to four hours every day during the patient's stay at Manner Hospital. The Cocktail's major ingredients are:
1. Laetrile: Also called amygdalin or Vitamin B 17, its function is to attack malignant cells specifically without hurting healthy, normal cells. Laetrile also has an analgesic effect, but it does not depress the immune system.
2. Macrodoses of Vitamin C: Vitamin C is well known as an antioxidant but in macrodoses is also an excellent way of stimulating our body's production of interferon a strong immune system stimulant.
3. DMSO: This has no specific action against cancer, but it is used as a carrier for laetrile, due to its ability to cross all of the body's tissue barriers (including the central nervous system).
I emailed this center and got this reply below and information above from Dr. Julian Mejia:
Please find attach files which explain in more details all of he treatments we offer at our hospital, All of this therapies has demonstrated to be successful and non-toxic, with very minimum side effects.
In my personal experience we have treated over 500 cases of lymphomas on different stages, we have been successful in over 90% stages I-III and 75-80% on stage IV with bone marrow or liver metastasis.
Please read carefully our program on attach file and if further questions please do not hesitate to contact us again.
Your in health
Dr Julian Mejia
If you have had any personal experience with Cancer Metabolic than please email me and tell me about it at email@example.com or leave a comment below. I would like to reseach other alternative cancer treatments available. And I want to know people who have used them. Thanks, Edward.
Monday, December 12, 2005
Katie Is Doing Well - Keep Her in Your Prayers
God Bless You,
Texas CPS Admits to Using Phony Story to Boost Holiday Donations
Updated Dec. 9, 2005, 4:56 p.m. ET
HOUSTON (AP) — It was a heart-wrenching story: A 10-year-old boy named John, separated from his mother since the hurricane, was living with other foster children in an emergency shelter, and he had one Christmas wish — to go home.
"But there's no way I'll get gifts for Christmas. I don't even believe in Santa anymore," he was quoted as saying.
The Brazosport Facts ran the profile on its front page Nov. 29 as part of its Fill-a-Stocking series, which features a different foster child each day from Thanksgiving through Christmas and solicits donations for a local charity to help fulfill the child's holiday wish.
But the story was a work of fiction.
State caseworkers apparently made it up to tug at readers' heartstrings.
Dan Lauck, a reporter with KHOU-TV in Houston, discovered the story was phony after calling state officials to request an interview with the child. He believed that if the boy's story was told on television, the youngster might find his mother.
Lauck said his requests were repeatedly denied because of what he was told were privacy concerns. Eventually he was told that the boy was living with relatives. Finally, an agency spokesman told him the profile had been made up.
Caseworkers with state Child Protective Services in Brazoria County, outside Houston, were responsible for writing the profiles for the newspaper's charity drive, which has been a holiday fixture in the 19,000-circulation paper since 1982.
CPS has apologized to the paper, which immediately suspended its series and returned the $1,070 collected so far this year from donors.
Bill Cornwell, publisher of The Facts, said the newspaper trusted the agency to present accurate stories, and believed only minor changes — such as names and ages — were made to protect the children's privacy. Given privacy issues related to foster children, Cornwell said there was only so much verification the newspaper could do.
CPS is investigating how it all happened, spokesman Patrick Crimmins said.
Lauck said it does not appear the CPS caseworkers had any bad intentions.
"They were just trying to tell stories that would clearly tug at the heart, capture the emotions of the readers and inspire them to give more money," the TV reporter said. "But they did it in a way that misled the public."
Bob Steele, a former TV news director who teaches ethics at the Poynter Institute, a school for journalists, said the problem could have been averted if the profiles had been done by reporters rather than caseworkers.
"The integrity of the paper is damaged, the good cause that was intended is eroded and those in need are then not served as they should be," Steele said.
Cornwell said his newspaper is now trying to determine whether previous stories were falsified, too. He said he does not understand why a caseworker would resort to fiction, since foster children's real stories that are compelling enough.
Meanwhile, he said some readers are frustrated with the newspaper for canceling the series and think The Facts abandoned the children.
"We are not going to walk away from the kids' needs monetarily," Cornwell said. But he said: "We are out to get to the bottom of the situation so people can trust what they read."
Saturday, December 10, 2005
When Life is Too Much To Handle
When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a
day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee.
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of
him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty
mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the
students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then
picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar
lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He
then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The
professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of
course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar
was full. The students responded with a unanimous "yes."
The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and
poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space
between the sand.
The students laughed.
"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to
recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the
important things - God, family, children, health, friends, and favorite
passions -- things that if everything else was lost and only they remained,
your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, house, and car.
The sand is everything else -- the small stuff.
"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room
for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all
your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the
things that are important to you.
Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play With
your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to
Play another 18. There will always be time ! to clean the house and fix the
"Take care of the golf balls first -- the things that really matter. Set
your priorities. The rest is just sand."
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee
represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show
you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a
couple of cups of coffee with a friend."
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Parents of Kids Have No Choice of Medical Care in Texas
Kids today - what are they thinking?
According to researchers at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, kids come up with some pretty impressive and surprising ideas when faced with life and death decisions about their own cancer care.
Pamela Hinds (the head of nursing research at St. Jude) lead a recent study of terminally ill children. Describing the results to ABC News she said her team was "stunned" to find that children are not only up to the task of participating in end-of-life decisions, they're also good at it.
This is in stark contrast to how it's done in Texas. Consult with children? Not a chance. Consult with parents? Sure, as long as the parents completely surrender their right to have any say at all in their own child's course of treatment. Otherwise, Texas parents should prepare to be treated like criminals.
Can kids participate?
Pamela Hinds' St. Jude team recruited twenty patients who ranged in age from 10 to 20 (the average age of the group was 17). All of the young subjects had advanced stages of cancer, and all of them participated in three types of end-of-life decisions: initiation of terminal care, agreeing to a do-not-resuscitate order, or enrollment in a cancer drug trial.
Each of the subjects was interviewed one week after meeting with parents and doctors to decide on a course of action. Eighteen patients accurately recalled all of the treatment options available to them, and each of the patients in this group recognized that the decision they made would most likely result in their own death.
According to child developmental theories, children in this age group should be somewhat narcissistic about their personal desires. But the St. Jude research found that the children were primarily concerned for others. For instance, the ABC report notes that a patient named Samantha agreed to participate in a trial for a new drug because it might lead to a cure for someone else. Another patient - 17-year-old Jaleesa - also signed on for a drug trial. "I would want someone to do the same for me," she said.
Ironically, it's the prospect of death that seems to give these kids a positive perspective. St. Jude Chaplin Lisa Anderson told ABC that the young patients have "a very strong sense of finding meaning in this experience."
Stacking the deck
Imagine how comforting the feeling of support must be when a child with a life-threatening disease participates with doctors and parents in making treatment decisions.
Now imagine just the opposite. Imagine what the negative health consequences might be if an adolescent cancer patient was given no say at all, forcibly removed from her home and family, and given a treatment she and her parents were adamantly opposed to.
That's exactly what happened to 12-year-old cancer patient Katie Wernecke of Agua Dulce, Texas. (You can read the details about Katie's case in the e-Alert "Heart of Texas" 10/17/05.) In October, Katie was finally returned to her parents after months of separation. The Wernecke's immediately took their daughter to a Kansas clinic where she underwent intravenous vitamin C therapy.
Last month, the Texas Supreme Court dismissed the Wernecke's request to absolve them from charges of medical neglect. Edward Wernecke responded with a powerful and angry statement posted on the Wernecke's blog (prayforkatie.blogspot.com). Written as an open letter to all parents in Texas, it also serves as a sort of Amber Alert regarding Texas Child Protection Services (CPS).
Mr. Wernecke insists that the issue put before the Texas Supreme Court was not just an attempt to clear himself and his wife of medical neglect charges. The larger issue is "the right of fit parents to make the medical decisions for their children." In chilling detail, Mr. Wernecke describes the broad powers of CPS - powers for which he says there is no oversight or accountability.
Mr. Wernecke writes: "We didn't sign anything refusing treatment. The next thing we knew CPS was knocking on our door with two police officers to take our daughter Katie. There was no discussion, no hearing before a judge, nothing at all."
"Just so wrong"
The Werneckes have accumulated more than $150,000 in legal expenses, most of it unpaid. "Here we are with a child with cancer," he says, "and every dime should have went into caring for and finding a cure for that child's cancer."
Could it get any worse? It almost did, according to the Wernecke's attorney. He told them that at one point CPS filed for complete termination of the Wernecke's parental rights over Katie.
In addition to their daughter's cancer care and mounting legal and medical bills, the Werneckes now have another concern. In the wake of the Texas Supreme Court decision refusing to clear them of medical neglect, Mr. Wernecke anticipates that he and his wife could be vulnerable to prosecution if Katie dies in their care. He writes: "This is just so wrong and just so unnecessary and just makes me sick to my stomach."
I feel sick to my stomach too when I read the St. Jude study and think of how different this situation would be if Katie and her parents had been allowed to participate in treatment decisions right from the beginning.
An organization called Compassion Children's Foundation has set up a special fund to help Katie's family pay medical and legal expenses: compassionchildren.org.
From: http://www.hsibaltimore.com/ealerts/ea200512/ea20051206.html Health Science Institue e-Alert
From Our E-Mail
Greetings. That is great news to hear that Katie is doing well. Thanks for the information on IVC.
If Intavenous Vitamin C is as worthless as M.D. Anderson says it is, then you wonder why the National Institutes of Health are currently running clinical trials on it.
I am sorry to hear that MD Anderson and CPS are still harassing you, but with that much money and ego involved it doesn’t surprise me. I think they realize they are in a win/win situation if they take Katie. If she survives they can claim credit, if she dies in their care, they simply blame you and the Bright Spot Clinic. Insidious, to say the least. If worst comes to worst you may seriously want to consider moving to Utah. When the Parker Jensen fiasco finally played itself out, the Utah Legislature passed a law (SB 83) to protect parents in your situation, not to mention the fact that Utah DoCS took such a beating over the Jensen case that it’s unlikely they would attempt anything like it again.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Children With Cancer Can Plan Own Treatment
'They Tell Me Everything,' 13-Year-Old Says, 'And I Tell Them What I Think'
By NILS KONGSHAUG
Nov. 20, 2005 — - Samantha Weber knows what she's missing. She is 13. Her friends are starting to talk about boys, about school, to worry about the future.
"I'm supposed to be there," she says.
Instead, she is at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
A year ago, she learned the pain in her knee was cancer. She wears a brace that doctors hope will save her leg. She carries an intravenous feeding device in a bag on her shoulder, trying to regain some of the 20 pounds she has lost.
But she is smiling and sunny, even when she talks about the chemotherapy.
"The last chemotherapy I had, it just knocked me down," she says. "It was horrible."
Samantha just learned the cancer has spread to her lungs. She is realistic about what that means.
"It can kill me and I know that," she says. "This might be my last year or so here with my family. You just have to live it day by day."
'Tell Me Everything'
Samantha's mother traveled with her to Memphis, but it is Samantha herself who is making the decisions with her doctors about her care.
"They tell me everything," she says. "They're not keeping anything from me, and I tell them what I think."
Samantha is not unusual. Researchers at St. Jude say even very young children can understand and participate in difficult end-of-life decisions.
Pamela Hinds, head of nursing research at St. Jude, was the first to ask the question, and she authored a study that appeared in the Sept. 19 online issue of Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Hinds says existing research in pediatric oncology focused on caregivers and on parents. She decided clinicians needed to understand more about the patients themselves.
Her study followed 20 terminally ill children between 10 and 20 years old to find out just how much they understood and how much they could participate in their own care.
"It's very common in health care for us to worry that a child would be too burdened by being involved in such serious decision making," she says. "We were stunned in this study to learn [that] not only are they quite able to participate, they're good at it. They know the options they have to consider, and they know the consequences."
Concern for Others
The most striking finding, says Hinds, is that the main concern of the children was for others.
Children, "particularly adolescents, are thought to be quite narcissistic -- self-centered -- about their own desires," she says. "But our findings clearly counter that, and suggest that children and adolescents who have been ill for quite a while are making decisions in consideration of others, and at times at their own personal expense."
Samantha, for example, has agreed to try an experimental chemotherapy drug, even though she knows it will not cure her.
"They may not find a cure for me just yet with that," she says, "but they might find it for somebody else, save somebody else."
Jaleesa Williams, a 17-year-old patient at St. Jude, has made the same decision.
"I'm really glad to be able to help somebody," she says, even though the drug makes her sick. "Because if it was me, I would want somebody to do the same for me."
Lisa Anderson, the chaplain at St. Jude who knows Samantha and Jaleesa and countless other children like them, thinks she understands something of what drives their altruism.
"They have a very strong sense of finding meaning in this experience," she says, "and sometimes that meaning comes from being able to help others, in research especially."
In other words, children have as much desire to leave a legacy as the rest of us. These children are simply forced to learn that too early.
Correspondent Laura Marquez and producer Nils Kongshaug originally reported this story for "World News Tonight."
Copyright © 2005 ABC News Internet Ventures
Thursday, December 01, 2005
TDFPS CLOSES CASE
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
December 1, 2005
James A. Pikl
Attorney at Law
McKinney, Tx 75070
RE: Katie Wernecke
Dear Mr. Pikl:
Enclosed please find the information you requested regarding the closure of the referal involving Katie Wernecke.
Attached was a case file coversheet showing the dispostion of the case as below:
In accordance with CPS Handbook Policy Section 2224.42 regarding closure of preliminary investigations, this case will be closed adminstratively. Based on the information gathered from collateral witnesses, including the letter signed by Dr. XXXX, Ph.D., M.D., stating that he is involved in Katie's cae, there is information that refutes the allegations.
(I deleted the Dr.'s name for privacy issues. Edward)
Attorney's Letter Requesting Closure of Case
Ms. Kathleen Phillips
CPS - Corpus Christi, Tx
RE: Concerning:Katie Wernecke Closing of Case
Dear Ms. Phillips:
In accordance with your letter of today, enclosed is the letter from Dr. XXXX regarding Katie Wernecke. Also in accordance with our conversations, please be advised that we consider the recent referral to your office to be frivolous, in bad faith, and done for purposes of harassment. There is absolutely no merit to it, as shown by the attached letter. ...
I think your office should do a much better job exercising its discretion in these matters before you hassle any family about such a hopelessly-frivolous complaint, especialy a family like the Werneckes who have just been though 5 months of hell at the hands of the DFPS. If I worked for your department, I would be ashamed of myself.
Please fax to me, no later than 2:00 p.m. TODAY, a copy of the document showing this referral is now closed. As you know, I only have until tommorrow to petition Judge Hunter for his assistance should that be necessary. so I do not have the luxury of waiting any additional time to receive your formal notice of dismissal. Unless I receive the dismissal confirmation by this time, I will have to file a motion with Judge Hunter for modification of the November 2, 2005 judgment latter this afternoon. I trust you understand my positon on this.
Very truly yours,
James A. Pikl
CPS Wants Letter From Oncologist Treating Katie
Who made the rule that only an oncologist is qualifed to treat cancer? Yes, an oncologist is specially trained to treat cancer with chemotherapy and/or radiation, but there are other effective treatments out there. An oncologist limits his treatments to chemotherapy and radiation. I believe that as long as Katie is being treated by a licensed physican that should suffice. Who is to say that one doctor is more qualified than another as both pass the same state exam. Advances in medicine would never happen if it weren't for free thinking and researching doctors who think outside of the box and find solutions and cures for disease. Again we see the bureaucracy limiting the choices of doctors we can choose for our kids in fighting cancer to oncologists only. And when standard treatments do not hold the answer or provide a cure for the child's cancer parents are faced with watching their child die in front of their face and feel hopeless, while there are alternative treatments out there that might have provided some hope and maybe that cure. Many children before ours have died needlessly because the courts and hospitals refused to allow them the freedom to seek alternative cures for their child. This must stop. WE NEED MEDICAL FREEDOM FOR OUR CHILDREN!