Gerson Therapy is a popular treatment for individuals affected by cancer and autoimmune diseases. Beginning in the 1930s, Max B. Gerson used his method to treat both migraines and tuberculosis. Gerson is a metabolic therapy; its proponents believe that the body’s collection of toxic substances (like fertilizers and chemicals) leads to disease (National Cancer Institute).
Dietary restrictions are essential to Gerson Therapy–The Gerson Institute even recommends its patients purchase second refrigerators to store organic produce and juices. In addition to adopting a vegetarian diet and cooking without salts or spices, patients drink up to thirteen glasses of juice daily and take a variety of supplements. Gerson Therapy’s goal is to correct the liver’s chemical imbalance, subsequently boosting immune function so the body can effectively fight cancer (American Cancer Society).
Gerson Therapy is not approved by the FDA to treat diseases and therefore its proponents must pay for treatments out-of-pocket. The Gerson Institute states that “unfortunately, most HMO’s and Medicare/Medicaid do not cover any part of treatment at the Gerson clinics” (Gerson Institute). In order to cover the costs and challenges of therapy, many patients seek financial and emotional support through GiveForward fundraising pages.
Fundraisers Involving Gerson Therapy
Melita Walker bravely fought cancer as a ten-year-old girl and suffered through two years of chemotherapy. Twenty-six years later, her doctor diagnosed her with breast cancer. Melita writes, “At this stage in my life I am against pouring chemo into my body. It guarantees MORE adverse side effects and very likely to accelerate the end of my life!” Thus, she seeks alternative treatments at the Burzynski and Gerson clinics.
Mike McKay received a Small Cell Lung Cancer diagnosis in February 2013. As he faces his second fight with the disease, “Mike decided that he wants to confront this deadly disease, using alternative therapies, including a special diet based on the Gerson Method, as well as acupuncture, the care of an excellent naturopath.”
As she battles a rare and aggressive form of cancer called adenocarcinoma in situ, Ellen Irons Perez is also following Gerson Therapy. A portion of her fundraising goal is to cover the cost of a juicer juicer that can meet the demands of her new diet. As she writes, Gerson “requires up to 13 glasses of juice a day, or, the equivalent of 15 pounds of vegetables! That is A LOT of produce! And it must all be organic!”
Mandy’s mother, Laurie Elizares, is fighting Systemic Lupus Erythematosis, or SLE. Although her traditional medication helped control her symptoms, Laurie “decided that she does not want a lifelong dependence on chemicals with potentially dangerous side effects.” After months of research, she found Gerson Therapy and was eager to start; unfortunately, her insurance does not cover the cost of the natural treatment–$48,000.
Even without the support of insurance companies, these four people are empowered to fight diseases using treatments with which they are comfortable.