Teen Tells Her Story on Vitamin C Treatments - Wichita Eagle
Teen tells her story on vitamin C treatments
BY KAREN SHIDELER
The Wichita Eagle
Katie Wernecke is ready to quit being the center of attention and get back to being a typical Texas 13-year-old.
Katie has had three intravenous vitamin C treatments at Wichita's Center for the Improvement of Human Functioning International and may have one or two more before she and her dad, Edward Wernecke, return to the family's ranch near Corpus Christi, they said Wednesday.
The treatments are a controversial approach to attacking cancer -- Hodgkin's disease, in Katie's case.
Katie said the treatments had been painless, given through the port in her chest that was used to deliver powerful chemotherapy drugs earlier this year.
Intravenous vitamin C is intended as a supplemental treatment. Physician Ron Hunninghake, medical director at the center near K-96 and Hillside, has said vitamin C, in large enough doses, is converted to peroxide, which is toxic to cancer cells.
At a news conference earlier today, Hunninghake said he was pleased with preliminary results of Katie's treatment.
"She has a good foundation... a better than average prognosis from our perspective," he said.
Edward Wernecke chose the vitamin C after exploring several alternative treatments. He said he wasn't sure what would happen after he and Katie return to Texas, though the family's legal fight with that state's Child Protective Services will continue. He wants the Texas Supreme Court to say the family, not CPS, was right in its actions.
CPS stepped into the picture in May, after doctors said Katie needed radiation and more chemotherapy to keep her cancer from returning.
Wernecke and Katie said her symptoms began late last year, with night sweats. In early January, she had a dry, hacking cough and her chest looked a little swollen. An X-ray showed a mass; a doctor said it looked like stage 4 -- advanced -- Hodgkin's disease, a cancer of the lymph nodes.
"It really wasn't, though," said Katie, whose powder blue and white sweat shirt bore what seemed an appropriate message: "It's all about me. Deal with it."
In fact, a biopsy after a healing group prayed over Katie showed she had stage 2 Hodgkin's. Wernecke believed the prayers made the difference.
"We do believe in the power of prayer," he said. But, "We don't rely on it entirely -- we're not against medicine."
Katie's story is on her blog site, http://prayforkatie.blogspot.com/
Her father said the family's legal bills stand at more than $125,000 and many of her medical expenses, including the treatment in Wichita, aren't covered by expenses. The family is accepting donations at www.compassionchildren.org.
For more on this story, see Thursday's Eagle.