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Cancer Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Pseudoscience Quackery Science Skepticism/critical thinking

The Wellness Warrior, Jess Ainscough, has passed away

Two months ago, I took note of a somewhat cryptic blog post by a young woman named Jess Ainscough. In Australia and much of the world, Ainscough was known as the Wellness Warrior. She was a young woman who developed an epithelioid sarcoma in 2008 and ended up choosing “natural healing” to treat her cancer. Among the “natural healing” modalities touted by the Wellness Warrior included that quackery of quackeries, the Gerson protocol, complete with coffee enemas and everything. She even did videos explaining how to administer coffee enemas and posted them on YouTube, although that video is now private. In fact, most of her videos appear to have disappeared from her YouTube channel as private, and there is nothing but a notice on her website announcing this:

Banner announcing Jess Ainscough's death

Sadly, yesterday Jess Ainscough passed away. There’s no information on what took her life, but it’s hard not to assume that it was her cancer. Given this development, Ainscough’s words from two months ago make more sense:

When I left you back in June to begin a period of self-care hibernation, my plan was to get my health back in tip top shape and then spend some time creating some awesome new stuff for you. The reality, however, is that I’ve spent the whole time focused on my health. For the last few months, I’ve been pretty much bedridden. Let me fill you in on what’s been going on with me …

This year absolutely brought me to my knees. I’ve been challenged, frightened, and cracked open in ways I never had before. After my mum died at the end of last year, my heart was shattered and it’s still in a million pieces. I had no idea how to function without her, and it turns out my body didn’t either. For the first time in my almost seven year journey with cancer, this year I’ve been really unwell. I’ve lived with cancer since 2008 and for most of those years my condition was totally stable. When my mum became really ill, my cancer started to become aggressive again. After she died, things really started flaring up.

I’ve had scans to detect what’s going on in my body, and I can report that the disease is still contained to my left arm and shoulder, however I do have a big fungating tumour mass in that shoulder that’s causing me dramas. Over 10 months of non-stop bleeding from the armpit has rendered me really weak (and uncomfortable) and as a result I’ve had no choice but to stop absolutely everything and rest. Tallon, my freaking hero, has had to step up and help me with everything from making food and juices, doing all of our housework and laundry to doing my hair.

At the time, I noted that Ainscough’s health had clearly taken a turn for the worse and couldn’t help but wonder whether she was doing even worse than she was letting on. Indeed, at the time, her admission seemed rather amazing, given how jealously she had guarded any hint that she wasn’t doing very well and how careful she was to hide her arm in publicity photos. Of course, this being the age of smartphone cameras, where almost everyone has a camera on herself at nearly all times, she couldn’t always succeed, and photos of her showing how bad her arm was did appear. I also speculated at the time that maybe Ainscough had finally decided to return to “conventional” treatment, possibly even an amputation. In retrospect, I now have to wonder whether when Ainscough posted this she knew that she was dying and that nothing more could be done. For example:

I believe that as a result of my willingness to stop controlling my healing path and surrender to whatever the universe has up its sleeves to help me, I’ve attracted the most amazing healing team. I’m working with an oncologist who is kind, caring and non-judgemental – completely unlike any of the specialists I worked with in the early days of my journey. When we are open and in a state of surrender, the right people/situations/tools will appear. Final decisions and plans are now in process and I’ll keep you in the loop in the new year.

This was so sad then. It’s even sadder now.

I first encountered the Wellness Warrior a year and a half ago when her mother, Sharyn Ainscough, died tragically of breast cancer. Her mother, it turns out, had treated her breast cancer with the same sorts of useless treatments as her daughter treated her sarcoma. Now, I can understand why Jess would choose woo. She was unfortunate enough to develop a cancer that was, paradoxically, both very nasty and very indolent. (After all, she survived seven years with it.) Moreover, because her tumor involved her shoulder, the first line treatment recommended consisted of a very disfiguring amputation that sounded like a forequarter amputation. It’s an amputation that involves removing not just the arm, but removing the entire shoulder joint and the shoulder blade. It would have left her not just without an arm, but without a shoulder as well. It’s a seldom-performed operation these days (indeed, I’ve never done one or even seen one performed in my entire career stretching back to my residency beginning in the late 1980s), and with good reason. Still, sometimes it is necessary. It’s hard not to feel for Ainscough, who, at age 22 was facing such an awful choice.

In my original account I noted that Ainscough actually reported herself to have steeled herself up to undergo the surgery, but apparently her doctors came to her at the last minute with an alternative, which was to do isolated limb perfusion. Basically, this is a technique sometimes used for soft tissue sarcomas of the extremity or multifocal melanoma that can’t be resected without amputation to try to destroy the tumor. As its name implies, isolated limb perfusion involves isolating the limb from the body’s circulation and infusing it with very (and I do mean very) high doses of chemotherapy. That’s what necessitates the isolation of the limb’s circulation; the dose of chemotherapy is so high that if it leaked back into the rest of the circulation the consequences could be disastrous. Isolated limb perfusion can often cause seemingly near miraculous results, and apparently that was the case for Ainscough. Unfortunately, tumors tend to recur, and that’s exactly what happened to Ainscough about a year later, which led to the doctors recommending an amputation of her arm at the shoulder again.

It was at that point that Ainscough rejected that option and was reborn as the Wellness Warrior. Over the years, she became quite the media figure in Australia, based on her many advantages for a media career. She was young. She was telegenic. She was very likable and soon became very media-savvy. Over seven years, she built up an impressive empire of “natural healing” modalities, enabled, of course, by credulous reporting. She wrote books. She appeared on television. She sold cookbooks, cooking supplies, and various other implements necessary for a “natural” lifestyle. She promoted, as I said, that cancer quackeries of cancer quackeries, the Gerson therapy. Indeed, she even listed the various supplements she took as part of the Gerson therapy (and in addition to the at least daily coffee enemas), which she described thusly:

Some of you might think the list is a bit extreme, but I assure you that it is totally manageable. It’s nowhere near as much of a pain in the ass to get through as the medicine cabinet full of pills and potions I was taking prior to Gerson. I swear, as soon as we heard that a supplement had anti-cancer properties, I was all over it. I’ve taken everything from sea cucumbers to bovine cartilage. This list is like a trip to the beach in comparison.

The supplements a Gerson patient must take generally varies to suit the individual. But all the medications are designed to support the diet therapy by increasing the energy capacity of the cell and by increasing the rate of detoxification.

She also advocated eating clay to “detoxify” herself:

When we eat clay, the positively charged toxins are attracted by the negatively charged edges of the clay mineral. An exchange reaction occurs where the clay swaps its ions for those of the other substance. Electrically satisfied, it holds the toxin in suspension until the body can eliminate both.

You get the idea. Jess Ainscough was a seemingly unending fountain of woo, making Food Babe-like appeals to the “natural” over the “synthetic” and promoting her version of “wellness.” Meanwhile, over the last year or two, her condition was clearly deteriorating.

So what happened? As I explained before, epithelioid sarcoma is a rare sarcoma, with an incidence on the order of 0.1 to 0.4 per million. It’s primarily a tumor of young adults, and it nearly always appears on the upper extremities, and wide surgical excision is the only known effective treatment. It also tends to be indolent as well. Its ten year survival overall is on the order of 61%, and for patients between 17 and 30 years (i.e., patients like Jessica Ainscough), it’s approximately 72%. Of course, that is with treatment with surgery; without surgery, five year survival is 35% and ten year survival is 33%. Sadly, Jess Ainscough’s survival of seven years with her disease in essence untreated is thus within the expected range of survival time based on her disease that I discussed the last time I discussed her.

I have no idea what finally took her life. Overall, it must have been the cancer, of course. Given her description of frequent bleeding from her tumor mass to the point where she was anemic suggested to me that the tumor was fungating, eating through the skin. At the time, she said her scans indicated that the cancer hadn’t spread beyond the arm, but that didn’t mean it still couldn’t kill her. I’d suspect a combination of unrelenting chronic blood loss and perhaps necrotic tumor becoming infected and leading to sepsis. If such sepsis were not recognized and treated promptly it could certainly have killed her in her weakened state. But this is just speculation, an educated guess. I have no idea what the immediate cause of Jess Ainscough’s death was. Whatever her immediate cause of death was, though, it was almost certainly the cancer that killed her.

Cancer deaths like this always sadden me. Jess Ainscough had a shot, one shot. She didn’t take it. What saddens me even more is that I can understand why she didn’t take it, as, through a horrible quirk of fate, her one shot involved incredibly disfiguring surgery and the loss of her arm. Still, I wish she had taken it and hadn’t instead decided to become an icon of “natural healing.” (If she had, there’s about a 70% chance she’d still be alive today.) In her role as the Wellness Warrior, and in her promotion of Gerson quackery, Ainscough, with the noblest of motivations in the beginning, did harm and likely led some cancer patients down the path of quackery and preventable death. In this, Jess and Sharyn Ainscough were also just as much victims as any other cancer patient who chooses alternative medicine quackery. Unfortunately, she also promoted that same quackery, which made them complicit as well. Being simultaneously a victim and an enabler or promoter is frequently the case with believers in alt-med cancer “cures.”

All the more sad.

As outraged as we might have been over Ainscough’s promotion of the Gerson protocol in life, as we mourn, we should also remember that Jess Ainscough was also a victim of the very pseudoscience that she promoted. Now that she is gone, what I want to know is this: Who are the quacks who enabled her and egged her on? Who are the quacks who conned her into believing that Gerson therapy would save her life? Who are the quacks whose influence led her to become the Wellness Warrior in the first place? They helped create the Wellness Warrior, and Jess Ainscough has finally paid the price.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

316 replies on “The Wellness Warrior, Jess Ainscough, has passed away”

Tragic. For her, and those that followed her lead. Thank you for explaining this.

“…with the noblest of motivations in the beginning, did harm and likely led some cancer patients down the path of quackery and death.”. – WHAT A DISGUSTING THING TO SAY ABOUT SOMEONE WHO JUST LOST THEIR LIFE….. have a little respect and empathy.

What’s also really sad is that it hasn’t been 24 hours since her death, and this post is out.

With your assumptive, pseudo compassionate rhetoric that only mildly disguises your self-important and, dare I say, know it all attitude, you will most likely block this comment from being seen.

So consider – if even only for yourself – that a) yes. You don’t know why she died. b) there are many MANY cases of cancer survivors who did it specifically because they avoided much of the “approved” cancer medicine/treatment that has killed probably as many as it has saved.

And for the sake of decency, your self promoting article comes a bit early, don’t you think? A sense of taste would not be missed if you waited a week before promoting how much you think you know, discrediting something you yourself are only speculating about.

Her death is so sad. She lived life on her terms and made decisions that were a matter of life and death. People die everyday even though they had surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. The stats are grim. Don’t be a school of voracious paranas and tear her memory to bits. Cancer sucks and unless you have had it and lived through it you do not understand how truly difficult it is to navigate the waters of modern drug based medicine, nutritional therapy and alternative methods. No method of treatment is 100 percent for all types of cancers. Be thankful you do not yet have cancer and be kind to those who have lived through its ravages.

To those who suggest Orac wait one week before blogging about this; why one week? Why not one month? Why not one year? Given that he has written about this many times before, why should he ignore it until then? What would it accomplish?

Do you similarly suggest that alt-med woo-pushers not write about bad outcomes in conventional medicine until an arbitrary time period has passed?

I am deeply sorrowed by this sad news. Such a young life take away. God Bless her soul and that of her late Mom, family, and friends. Prayers!

To call it a ‘quackery’ constantly – shows your defense. And why? Because you fear. Fear the truth maybe? Jess may have lived a short life, but one that has impacted thousands and many for the better rather than shortening the lives of hundreds of patients by fueling their bodies with an endless amount of poisons. This was her path. How close minded of you and how so heartless – have your opinion, but to display it with such haste? I can feel the jealously. And in Jess’ eyes she would only bless your poor soul for looking upon her in such a way. I am mortified that someone from your background could speak of someone in such a manner and to me, it is evident you see natural therapies as a pure threat. You wouldn’t state how many have passed from aggressive chemotherapy or radiation treatments – you would just blame it on the state of the cancer patient itself. Jess was here to bring something to this world, to open up people’s eyes and allow them to see through the victimizing options our so called caring system gives the world. I didn’t know Jess personally but I am so proud of a young woman who did it her way – a short life, but wow, what a sweet, full and passionate one, living her dream. It would be great if western medicine would incorporate half of what Jess advocated but we all know why.. There is no money in natural therapies – the ‘system’ enjoys keeping people in these endless cycles of pain. Maybe you should start living your purpose like Jessica did. At least she lived her truth.

Cancer sucks and unless you have had it and lived through it you do not understand how truly difficult it is to navigate the waters of modern drug based medicine, nutritional therapy and alternative methods. No method of treatment is 100 percent for all types of cancers.

No one, least of all myself, argues conventional treatment is 100% effective. As a cancer surgeon myself, I know this not to be true. What I do know are what treatments have evidence to support them and what treatments do not. As I described above, I fully understand what a crappy hand the universe dealt Jess Ainscough. She was only 22 when she developed a very rare cancer for which the only known effective treatment involved a radical and disfiguring amputation of her arm. It’s quite understandable that she didn’t want that. Who would? In blogging about her case over the last year and a half or so, I’ve asked myself before whether I could tolerate such an amputation, even of my non-dominant arm, if it would save my life. (Certainly, such an operation would end my career as a surgeon and would also make my writing and blogging much more difficult.)

I also understand that her doctors offered her an alternative that, while it wasn’t proven for this cancer (very little is, other than wide excision, given how rare this cancer is), and she tried it. It worked at first, but then her tumor relapsed.

The saddest part of the story of Jess Ainscough is that she clearly had so much talent and drive, but she used it to promote Gerson quackery. I realize those who are so upset about this post won’t believe me, but I wouldn’t have minded nearly as much if she just promoted her “Wellness Warrior” lifestyle, vegan diet, exercise, etc., without the Gerson therapy. After all, a better diet coupled with exercise tends to be a good thing for most people. Gerson therapy, however, is pure cancer quackery, and she promoted it with as much gusto as she promoted other parts of her “Wellness Warrior” lifestyle. Although it’s been marked private now and can no longer be accessed, I remember a video in which she demonstrated how to mix up and administer a coffee enema as part of Gerson therapy. She made it look like the greatest thing since sliced bread with respect to her health.

So, yes, it’s very sad that she and her mother were both taken in by Gerson quackery. (Actually, her mother’s case is even more sad because she, unlike her daughter, had an eminently treatable cancer, breast cancer, and therefore probably wouldn’t have died if she undertook conventional therapy. Jess, on the other hand, probably had nothing that could be done for her other than radical amputation.) In this, Jess and Sharyn Ainscough were as much victims as any other cancer patient who chooses alternative medicine quackery. Unfortunately, she also promoted that same quackery, which made them perpetrators as well. That is frequently the case with believers in alt-med cancer “cures.”

It is not disrespectful to point that out.

With the greatest respect to you and your expertise, I feel this post should have waited a little while. Jess probably has not even had a memorial service held for her yet, therefore releasing this post so quickly is rather insensitive.

To call it a ‘quackery’ constantly – shows your defense.

No, I call Gerson therapy “quackery” because it is quackery. It doesn’t work, and there’s no reason to think it should work.

No method of treatment is 100 percent for all types of cancers.

Nobody here is claiming a treatment would be. But not all methods of treatment are equal, either. We know the average survival rates for various combinations of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery because there have been numerous studies made, patients followed and any complications noted and investigated. We know chemotherapy has side effects, because it has been studied. Doctors by and large explain these results when discussing therapies.

The same can’t usually be said for those proposing alternative treatments – they rarely cite studies involving survival rates, but rely on testimonials (sometimes from people who have since succumbed to the disease they had thought cured, even). What case studies the advocates present are usually limited, contain few cherry picked subjects rather than large groups of people. In almost all cases, the more rigorous a study, the less effective the treatments seem to be.

While some may dismiss these as bought-and-paid for by Big Pharma or whatever nefarious group they choose, what I find most telling is the lack of large, well controlled studies showcased by the proponents – they are either not doing those studies (while still marketing the therapy) or not publishing those studies, and I can’t figure out any other reason than they not showing what you’d like. If they had a cancer cure surely it would be beneficial for both cancer patients and their personal pocket book to prove that their protocol works.

But judging by the available, well-designed evidence we have, no alternative treatment comes close to replicating same survival rates as conventional treatment. Often, they don’t much differ from not treating the condition at all. And sometimes they do much much worse, like the Gonzalez protocol, where patients on it did worse than comparable patients without treatment, both in quality of life and in survival times.

That is the reason many on this forum and elsewhere promote conventional medical treatments – we know they can help because we’ve compared them to not treating. We know how they work, and And there is an easy way to change our minds – publishing the evidence, not just a handful of glowing testimonials. Shouldn’t be that hard, given the glowing praise and exuberant promises associated with alternative cancer treatments.

So. Closed. Minded.

Such a shame it has to be one or the other!. I’m pretty sure Jess was not as closed minded as you. Both western medicine and alternative medicine can work together. To think there is just one way… I will never understand that.

I too think this post is too soon. All was needed was some humility and condolences.

Isn’t this the perfect time to point out that while her disease was tragic and difficult, Gerson and quackery in general are never a good idea? Many people looking at this are clearly supporters and possibly acolytes of her folly. They should be warned.

I’m three years in remission for stage II(b) prostate cancer – Gleason score 7 (3+4), so I _do_ get to sound off. My job title is “Associate Professor of Human Anatomy and Physiology,” and I’ve done research on ultrasound imaging of breast diseases, specifically cancers, so I’m moderately familiar with the topic at hand.

What Ms. Ainscough did was understandable, but wrong. She did, in fact, contribute to her early demise by going for non-treatment over the best available therapy. She did, in fact, steer others to that same, erroneous path.

I have daughters her age, so I sympathize. Still doesn’t make what she did correct.

fusilier
James 2:24

While conventional Cancer treatments aren’t 100% effective, they are better than the 0% chance that these alternative treatments would be effective……

Jess didn’t live with Cancer for 7 years, she was dying of Cancer for 7 years (and quite horribly, it seems, at the end).

Ultimately Jess exercised her freedom as a human being to follow a treatment that she believed in as a human being. We all have that choice. And we all have the right to change our beliefs at any point in our journey as well. Jess was dying, and non of us know what it felt like to be on her personal journey. For the time she chose to follow her natural therapy, she believed in something and connected with something and possibly brought meaning to the life she had… despite it being short. She was completely entitled to this. And others who choose to follow the same therapies have every right to follow those desires if they wanted to. What’s wrong with putting hope into one treatment over another? Yes she died… but she may not have had a wonderful or long life on conventional therapy anyway. You would have never known who she was, you may have never seen her smile, you may have never seen the image of a young woman who seemed happy. How do you know she wasn’t happy? And something in her wanted to spread that happiness and hope. I am a medical doctor too… and I have seen how powerful a patient’s mind set and the hope that they have can effect their illness. She put a lot of effort into understanding her own illness and what it meant for her. She deserves support no matter what path she chose. There are many treatment success stories with conventional and alternative therapies. The same goes for stories of death. There is boundless evidence to support the case that a healthy diet can support healing. Sometimes it doesn’t work. But the deeper connection and peace this lifestyle creates can set up for a much better quality of life. She chose the way she wanted to live, and we all have the right to do that… and we should respect the choices others make. I have heard my colleagues in oncology and chronic disease say numerous times that the best thing a patient can do is pick a treatment, and stick to that treatment… commit to it. She committed to something. And when she was dying she experienced fear. I think that’s a normal reaction that even someone dying after conventional treatment would experience… maybe that person, when they realized they were dying, would regret not trying a natural approach and regret not having used their last few years eating good healthy food instead of being weak, sick and anorexic. She’s a human being. She made a choice for her own life. She committed to it. She saw some value in it. She promoted it. It’s up to us to make our own informed decisions as well. We are all going to die. And we can all choose how we want to live, and how we want to die. And we are allowed to make mistakes along the way. I think it’s sad that there is this shaming being projected onto a human being who lived a beautifu and fulll life. Dying is not easy for anybody.

You don’t halt the evacuation of a burning building for even a minute to mourn the dead. I see nothing wrong with writing a post this soon as a warning to others.

Many people looking at this are clearly supporters and possibly acolytes of her folly. They should be warned.

Indeed.

I suspect that the reaction to this post from her fans would have been just as hostile if I had waited until Monday or if I had waited for a week.

So well said nancy d! We all have a choice. Was she not free to make her own decisions about HER body?

I think the waiting re posting this is more about respect! People that have that “told you so” attitude have never been my favorite type… Shows so much arrogance and takes me back to the school yard!

Orac, you did the right thing by immediately blogging about this. This is too important to let lie; now is the time to talk about it. I am very, very sorry for Jessica’s dad who has lost both his wife and daughter to cancers that are often treatable through conventional medicine.

If your loved one decided to drive off a bridge, would you support them in their decision?

I’m seeing lots of criticism of Orac on this thread from handles I don’t recall seeing before. Yes, Ms. Ainscough had the freedom to pursue the treatment path she chose. But she chose … poorly.

The people who criticize Orac for posting about Ms. Aisncough so soon after her death sound like people who say we shouldn’t discuss certain current events: we shouldn’t discuss it immediately after it happens, because the family is grieving, and by the time a decent interval has elapsed, we shouldn’t discuss it because it’s old news. I’d call such views bovine excrement, but that wouldn’t be fair to bovine excrement, which has legitimate use as a fertilizer. If it was quackery last year, and will still be quackery next year, then it’s quackery today, and Orac is entirely correct to call it quackery. And while it may be a bit much to hope that this will happen, maybe somebody will learn from Ms. Ainscough’s story, and at least not make the same mistakes Ms. Aincough made.

I take this as a reminder of why rationalists, skeptics and science communicators need empathy. These are very human problems we may all face, and as much as possible, we have to allow that hope is precious, but sometimes irrational.

My sincere condolences to the family and friends of Jess.

As you pointed out, it’s very sad and tragic that Jess died at such a young age. From pictures, she was a beautiful and vibrant young woman who was dealt a rotten hand from life. Much sympathy to her friends and family who knew and loved her. Much sorrow to the followers of her woo who are headed down the same path.

“… Cancer sucks and unless you have had it and lived through it you do not understand how truly difficult it is to navigate the waters of modern drug based medicine, nutritional therapy and alternative methods…”

I have had it. I have lived through it. I am fully aware of how difficult it is. And I, unfortunately, became very aware of how much misleading information there is out there about “alternatives” and alternative therapies that just don’t work when I developed cancer.

“… You wouldn’t state how many have passed from aggressive chemotherapy or radiation treatments – you would just blame it on the state of the cancer patient itself….”

Actually, no. CANCER is to blame. It’s nasty that way.

“… it is evident you see natural therapies as a pure threat…”

“Natural” therapies are not the threat. but people advocating for untried, untrue and completely unsubstantiated treatments and “cures” are concerning. So, too, is their assumption that because it’s “natural”, it’s better. However, “natural treatments” throughout all the course of human history have never, ever cured cancer.

As someone who has had cancer, I completely understand that – at some point as the disease progresses – you want to focus on quality of life and the life that you have left. And it is entirely a personal decision when someone has reached that point and wishes to quit all treatment. However, it’s one thing to make that decision for YOURSELF and it’s quite another to portray that decision as something that others should emulate and embrace.

I will always support personal choice based on quality of life and informed consent. But what I cannot condone as a former cancer patient, are those people who – for whatever reason, be it personal choice, belief, whatever – encourage others to follow them, to trust them and to emulate them when, time and time again, it’s been shown that such therapies simply do not work. Because, believe you me, if scientific research proves without a doubt that drinking honey badger pee would prevent my cancer from coming back, I’d be first in line. But science have proven a much better success rate for conventional, science-based treatment for cancer.

I never knew Jess Ainscough; however she seemed like a lovely, personable, beautiful young woman and her loss is deeply regrettable. Cancer sucks. My heart goes out to her family and friends.

I am offended reading this article and embarrassed that it has been published for all to see.

We cannot judge someone else’s choices. For all you know, to many, the choice of chopping of one’s arm is ‘quackery’. Chemotherapy is a very debilitating treatment that does not have a 100% success rate:

The gerson therapy has been kneon to be very effective for certain cancers and if that’s the therapy choice one chooses, we cannot judge. You don’t know that had jess chosen another kind of treatment she would have lived a healthier or happier life.
Be sensitive to others choices and other wisdoms that you do not know much about.

So well said nancy d! We all have a choice. Was she not free to make her own decisions about HER body?

Except it wasn’t just a personal choice she made regarding her body. She made that choice for herself, and chose to promote it and lead other people astray, who will die because they opted to believe it.

I’m sorry a human being lost her life. But that won’t stop me from pointing out the folly in her decision, as OTHER PEOPLE have been negatively influenced by it and are heading down this same path.

@nancy d

Every person has the right to choose which path they will take, certainly. But that does not mean that they are free from having it pointed out where that path leads. And if their path is headed to a bad place, and they are convincing others to follow them down that same path to that same bad place, then do others not also have the right to point that out? To shine a light on it and say, “Hey, that’s probably a bad idea and here’s why.”?

We can have compassion for Jess for what she went through and where she ended up, while also talking about the choices she made and their consequences. There is no disrespect in that. In fact, I’d argue it is out of great respect for others who might otherwise follow Jess’s lead to try to help them see where they are headed, to help them find the path(s) that lead to a cure or greater life.

Except it wasn’t just a personal choice she made regarding her body. She made that choice for herself, and chose to promote it and lead other people astray, who will die because they opted to believe it.

Exactly. It would have been bad enough if she had just chosen the Gerson protocol for herself. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Any competent adult can choose any treatment she wants, as far as I’m concerned, as long as she knows what she’s getting herself into. (As regular readers know, it tends to be when parents impose such quackery on their children that I become very testy.) But Ainscough also promoted this quackery. As I said, she is both victim and perpetrator. I can understand how the unique circumstances of her cancer and the disfiguring nature of the surgery required to remove it might have led a woman in her early 20’s to look for other “alternatives,” but unfortunately Ainscough went beyond that.

If the publishing of this can protect just one person from being duped into undergoing fake treatments for a fatal condition then it will have been worth it.

It’s incredibly distasteful to post a ‘told you so’ commentary at this juncture. It was her path and her choice. If other people chose to listen to her along the way- then it was *drum toll* their choice. Religion has far more to answer for in the arena of ‘wrongly influencing people’ than this poor girl. Leave her be. You sound completely sanctimonious at this point in time, and true enough, there will come a time where you are wrong also. It happens to all of us. No matter how ‘smart’ you think you are. We’re all human, and fallible.

Jess… Someone who simply shared her story. People listen, learn and take what they wish. To suggest she is a perpetrator is too much. You don’t know her, you don’t know the team she worked with throughout her journey. She also shared this and how each played a crucial role throughout her journey. Some not so called “quacks”. Some who are a bit like you… Just not so closed minded. Some who see the need for different treatments to work together.
Will leave you to your many followers who will forever subscribe to one way! It would be so much easier to continue reading if you actually knew Jess and her full story. But truth is, you don’t. You probably know 5% of it.
Rest in peace beautiful Jess. You have inspired many to think. No harm in that.

I find it extraordinary that people are saying this post is too soon while her fans are still, on this day, promoting the quackery that she espoused as a good thing while eulogising her. Stop that and there would be no need for posts like this, until then how dare you criticise those whose aim is to stop other people being taken in by these abhorrent scams. This stuff KILLS.

An unfortunate loss for many reasons. No emotional conviction or “alternative” strategy, however inspirational or appealing, will reverse the pathological indifference of pseudoganulomatous formation with vascular invasion.

Lots of new faces here desperate to canonize Jess & preserve her “legacy” it seems…..because if her choices were wrong and contributed her death (which the most likely did), it means that Jess was wrong & that people who have decided to follow in her footsteps (on the belief that somehow Jess was beating her Cancer) are also wrong.

Again, it was her choice, but the fact that she created this large following of people & ultimately mislead them as to the state of her illness, means that she did bear responsibility….it is extremely sad that she passed away, but contributing to leading other down the primrose path is not the kind of legacy that a person should be proud of.

It is utter nonsense, all this ‘wait a week’, ‘wait a month’, ‘wait until I say you can’ comment business… The tragedy of this gorgeous and intelligent if deluded young woman is heartbreaking. The pain her family feels can only be intense.

Do not forget however, her very actions; the subversion of her considerable intellect and energy into promoting such an irredeemable farrago as the ‘Gershon Therapy’ may very well have caused another family, another husband/partner of another beautiful and intelligent wife to suffer the same endless pain and the same indescribable loss. Except… in many cases THEIR loved one may very well have been curable, could very well be alive and happy today if they had followed the path of logic and reason and NOT the path of the coffee enema which ‘Wellness Warrior’ spent so many of her final days promoting.

Do not speak of this? Leave this a week/month/year? NO. Now is the exact time to speak of it when the pain and horror are still fresh in everyone’s mind; when we can still see so clearly how ghastly the end is which comes for those who do not choose actual, working medicine for cancer.

All of her alternative ‘strategy’, her illiteracy in chemistry, her ignorance of biology and physiology, her blind confidence in sheerest woo categorically did NOT work. Obviously – or we would not be discussing this now. She was wrong, her beliefs were wrong, her enthusiasm was misplaced and the results are unspeakably tragic. Yet, when one encourages another to do the same ‘wrong’ things then you bear some of the guilt when the inevitable, matching tragedy strikes.

To refuse treatment for oneself is entirely your decision to make. Only YOU know the true cost and risks you are taking. I am convinced not a single poster here would take away the ability of an adult of sound mind to make that misguided choice – and whatever the case I personally would not. Ever. Yet, to encourage others to make the same choice – when you clearly can see – and feel – the consequences of your decisions even as you promote them… That is unforgivable.

And THAT is also an integral part of the tragedy of ‘The Wellness Warrior’. It should not be forgotten nor mollified by the passage of time.

I am tremendously sorry for her family. I am also tremendously sorry for those who followed her unwise advice.

Having experienced people close to me dying young, I know how tragic Jessica’s death would be to those who loved her. I thought this post was respectful of that. Rather, I see it as an indictment of the Gerson “treatment”, which should be called out for what it is – a useless, lethal fraud.
To all the newbies approving the “different path”, read this:
https://rosaliehilleman.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/the-wellness-warrior-denial-delusion-or-dishonesty/
– along with Orac’s previous posts about the Wellness Warrior.

I have no problem criticizing a different path when it involves going over a cliff.

To all the woo-head tone trolls:
Do not presume to give orders to the person in charge.
Do not spread your destructive, hateful ideas here.
Do not act as though a fool should be shielded from being pointed out as an example of foolish behavior.

Leave.
You are not welcome here.
Do not return.

To be honest, the more I see of these “not now, not yet” comments, the more I have to ask: If not now, then when, specifically? I’m very serious, and if anyone making such comments castigating me for having posted this today can answer that question, please do. If you can persuade me, maybe the next time this sort of thing happens I will wait. Is anyone up for this challenge?

Re #32:
“For all you know, to many, the choice of chopping of one’s arm is ‘quackery’. ”

That isn’t how this works. Whether something is quackery is not relative nor is it a subjective question. Is there science behind a proposed treatment or not? That is the question that determines whether something is or is not quackery.

“The gerson therapy has been kneon to be very effective for certain cancers and if that’s the therapy choice one chooses, we cannot judge. ”

No, it has not. The gerson “therapy” is pure unadulterated bovine excrement which has never been effective at anything other than separating fools from their money.

Congratulations Jessica for doing what you believe in 100 percent. Everyone that met her loved her and she brightened up the Sunshine Coast. It is a fine line between when to give up on the natural medicine and go with the other option. She had a great life and has made alot of people happier in their lives. I would rather quack like a duck then follow like a boring sheep. Great work Jessica!!! RIP

To the sanctimonious holier than thou sonofabishes here who are quick to demonize her and her choices, I wish it was y’all instead of her who died.

Truly the good die young.

@ Todd W.

Sure Todd. I agree with you. The tone of the general conversation is not as you say though. Not talking about the Gerson therapy specifically, but there is a magnitude of evidence to suggest that treating disease with food and lifestyle can have a profound effect. And it is not a bad path, and there is scientific backing for this. In your opinion it may be a bad path. And even though many have stated the therapy she chose as ‘quackery’, the concept of using vegetables and fruit as therapy is an ageless trusted and true method of help, and has scientific legitimacy. It’s not like she was sacrificing donkeys and dancing around in a pentagram at midnight. She chose to nourish her body with vegetables… and work with optimizing the biochemical processes that keep the body working as it should. Take the word ‘gerson’ out of it, and she chose a nutritional and body conscious approach to her healing. That’s a very respectful choice in my opinion as a doctor. As is choosing to administer help from the outside.

Back to your point, yes its great to be able to have conversation. But the tone to me on a lot of this board seems unfairly condescending.

Confronting the consequences of quackery, I would argue, is best done at these moments. That she, so very unfortunately passed away, provides an opportunity to point out the folly of quackery that very likely led to her mother’s early death and that DID NOT improve her quality of life during her struggle with cancer. At this emotional time many will search for information about this story and some will find this post. Any swayed by facts is well worth the offense to the offended.

Not talking about the Gerson therapy specifically, but there is a magnitude of evidence to suggest that treating disease with food and lifestyle can have a profound effect.

However, although there is evidence that food and lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of cancer, there currently is no good evidence that food and lifestyle will reverse an already existing cancer.

And even though many have stated the therapy she chose as ‘quackery’, the concept of using vegetables and fruit as therapy is an ageless trusted and true method of help, and has scientific legitimacy.

Nice conflation of two different things there. The quackery was (and is) the Gerson protocol and related “detoxification” treatments that Jess Ainscough recommended. The green smoothies, etc., were not really quackery but they weren’t really going to do much for her cancer either.

Take the word ‘gerson’ out of it, and she chose a nutritional and body conscious approach to her healing.

Nope. The Gerson protocol was part and parcel of the whole package that was The Wellness Warrior. You don’t get to expunge it selectively. And the Gerson protocol was not the only quackery Ainscough promoted, only the most egregious and famous.

@nancy d

Not talking about the Gerson therapy specifically

Did you read Orac’s post? That was the primary criticism he had, and that Jess led others to choose Gerson. In fact, he specifically notes that if she had removed the Gerson bit from her Wellness Warrior persona, he probably would’ve left the whole thing alone.

Take the word ‘gerson’ out of it, and she chose a nutritional and body conscious approach to her healing.

Again, Orac already noted this. The rest of his post was respectful to Jess and her memory. The point of the original post is to help shine a light on this so that others will see what Jess chose and where it led. The comments from the regulars here, too, have been respectful to Jess and, appropriately, critical of the quackery that led her astray and which she promoted herself. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Not only did she promote her treatments, she did so in such a way as to mislead people. Her photographs appear to have been deliberately posed in order to conceal the actual state of her cancer wounds, preserving the illusion that her alternative treatments were working just great.

@Orac – would this classify as “RetCon” in your book?

Trying to minimize or scrub Gerson from the narrative entirely?

I don’t really understand the logic behind the argument “it was her own choice of what to do with her own body”. Disregarding the promotion of Gerson’s protocol (for the sake of argument) and assuming that it was only about Jess’ choice the article is still a valid warning.

Yes, it was her choice and she hard right to choose whatever therapy she want. This does not make it exempt from criticism. If I stand up right now and leap through the window because maybe suddenly it’ll turn I can fly it will be my choice. Still, it will not make anyone who’d say it was a very dumb choice any less right. And it will not make an advice not to try to do this any less legit.

Death of Jess Ainscough is a tragedy. But it is tragedy, that was probably avoidable. As evidenced by the very reactions to this article there are probably people out there on the same path as her. And even if Orac is direct and brutally honest in his writing, a chance that he’ll reach someone is worth it.

As much as it may seem as a callous “told you so” (and maybe there’s a bit of it there), the real important message is about avoiding the same fate.

I profoundly disagree with those who find it disrespectful for Orac to publish this blog post a day after this woman died.

Orac did the absolutely correct thing and is not violating any special funeral etiquette. He and his followers do not have any personal ties to the family and this is a public blog. Newspapers and op ed columns regularly spend the following day eulogizing a prominent figure who has passed.

This blog post brought tears to my eyes. It was sympathetic, dignified, and educated. To have to wait a few days to publish it out of a mistaken notion of respect would have taken away its immediacy, which packed quite a punch.

If anyone has received the message that Orac is exulting in this woman’s demise or cannibalizing her death to score points, they lack reading comprehension skills.

@Lawrence: Yes, absolutely. Notice how all of her YouTube videos have now been marked “private,” including the one in which she demonstrates how to mix up a coffee enema. Notice how her Facebook page is gone. Notice how her Twitter account has been suspended. I’m guessing that the people who run her website and blog will be seeking out and deleting references to the Gerson protocol.

However, they can’t get rid of everything. For instance, here’s an interview on another YouTube channel where Jess exults over the Gerson protocol:

http://youtu.be/sNoeaSTnDR4

And another interview where she enthusiastically endorses coffee enemas:

http://youtu.be/7ae9d6Xd6_0

I am truly saddened to learn of Jess’ passing she was a beautiful soul. Jess promoted health and wellness and her audience was far reaching. Much of her work was not specific to cancer but general well-being and for that she will be remembered positively.
As for her cancer, cancer is always sad, dying for cancer even sadder. For those saying this post is too soon, too critical, I’d imagine that even die/hard followers will be taking pause and now wondering about Gersons effectiveness.
Unfortunate, and extremely saddening

Orac’s post was not too soon: this is exactly the time to discuss Jess.

It is tragic that she died so young BUT she did mislead others into accepting unviable treatment plans (In truth, she probably misled herself into thinking that she was improving for a long time).She suffered greatly: it is to her credit that she did begin to discuss her condition more realistically IN PART this past year. She didn’t go far enough though; I wish that she had.

Because she had so many followers, it is just possible that a few who accepted her advice and didn’t subscribe to SBM treatments might now be having second thoughts. Jess had a rare cancer that was treatable at an earlier stage with a terrifying operation whilst other patients- I’m thinking primarily of breast cancer- have far less difficult options and a better chance of cure. Orac is concerned about those people as am I.

With time passing, perhaps Jess’ tale will become hagiography- then, her long term survival and her active, uncompromised life ( at least for several years) will be stressed rather than her terrible suffering and the great loss that many now feel. People sometimes lull their doubts and fears in this manner by focusing on a deceased person’s strengths and enviable qualities not their declining.

Jess was herself misled by those who promote Gerson therapy: as I understand it, there is currently a Gerson clinic. In addition, there are alt med practitioners and writers who attest to the therapy’s efficacy and superiority over SBM. Jess is their victim as well because when she faced her frightening decision whether to have the surgery or not, she must have recalled something she read about alternative methods or someone actively encouraged her in this direction. This material is spread around the internet and deceives patients regularly. Books are written promoting various far-fetched ideas because the truth about cancer is difficult to accept .I hear and read these charlatans on a daily basis.

People who admired Jess might hope that no one else need endure her fate. That’s why Orac writes today.

@Janerella #54
This is exact reason for why Orac’s post is important and necessary. I am looking at the whole thing from the sidelines, so I can’t really understand the logical disconnect between witnessing Jess Ainscough death and redoubling the effort in therapies she promoted. But the chance that people will understand make Orac’s effort worth it.

Even if it really was disrespectful.

I’m very sorry to hear this young lady has died. I hope she was able to end her days at home, with family, in hospice care.

Having spent some time (thanks to a rabid antivaxxer who has now defriended me on FB) wandering around the various ‘Natural’ health sites, the accusations of condescension aimed at Orac and commenters are largely pot calling kettle black.

This poor girl had something she was going to die of. She died of it. Yes, it was her decision to die that way. However, it was also her decision to drag a whole lot of vulnerable people with her. This *is* her legacy, and Orac is right to comment on it, given her passing.

I am in agreement, as a cancer survivor myself, that a healthy lifestyle is of the utmost importance to aid and speed recovery from such a violation of the body that cancer causes. However, I am also adamant that one of my children would not be here and the other three would be motherless if I had chosen to follow the same path and eschewed conventional medicine as Jess did.

Sleep well, you beautiful young woman.

Again, my comments are generalized. I’m not trying to pick apart Orac’s post. I’m not arguing that it isn’t legitimate.

I’m saying that Jess’s choices were legitimate too. And with the wealth of information on the internet, including these conversations. People can make their own decisions about their health.

I don’t personally agree with certain sentiments of the Gerson method… like their advocacy against conventional medicine. But a lot of people, who are very sick or dying, find comfort under their umbrella. And have made up their minds to be there. Often an approach that lacks an attempt at understanding a patient will result in them turning away from the person who is shouting at them, telling them that their beliefs are wrong. For integration of conventional and alternative to occur and for people to be helped truly, there needs to be a level of respect and understanding of the beliefs of others. Why are they so opposed to doctors and how can doctors make them feel more comfortable integrating conventional medicine? Shouting at people and calling them quacks is just going to make them more defensive and resistant.

The reason I said to remove the word ‘Gerson’ was because if you do, it essentially is a practice of a healthful life… and sick and dying people have found a community that they feel safe in… and maybe if you removed the word you could see that. I was not directing this comment at Orac’s post, but as part of the conversation.

@Hollie,

Both western medicine and alternative medicine can work together.

If you want a real discussion of that, could you please be a little more specific? In particular:
What alternative medicine?
For what condition or conditions?
What benefits does it provide?
How do you know?

Thanks.

The reason I said to remove the word ‘Gerson’ was because if you do, it essentially is a practice of a healthful life

Well, not exactly. As I said before, Ainscough advocated more quackery than just the Gerson protocol. She was into all sorts of “detoxification” quackery and advocated eating clay. Gerson was just the most glaring and harmful example. So, no, just removing the “Gerson” label, as inappropriate and deceptive as that would be, is not enough to legitimize what Ainscough sold.

For example, check out this post by Jess about doing the Gerson protocol after getting home from the Gerson Clinic in Tijuana:

I’ve had a couple of people ask me to write out a “day in the life” type post outlining a day of the Gerson Therapy. Oh how sorry you will be! Just kidding. I guess this will give you an idea of what the program entails on an hourly basis – even if you do nod off just reading about the sheer monotony of my days.

When I first got home from the Gerson clinic, it was extremely overwhelming. At the clinic we had everything done for us by the lovely Mexican doctors, nurses and kitchen staff. Here at home, it’s all up to my family and I. Saying that, I am incredibly lucky to have such an amazing family. Mum gave up work so that she could be my full-time carer. She does all the shopping, food preparation and some of the juices. I seriously don’t know how she does it. On weekends my dad and boyfriend are usually home so we have extra help.

7am: drag myself out of bed and meditate
7.30am: first coffee enema for the day
8am: breakfast (orange juice and oats with honey, banana, raisins and kiwi fruit)
9am: green juice
9.30am: carrot and apple juice
10am: carrot and apple juice, work on blog and other writing bits and pieces
11am: carrot juice, work on blog and other writing bits and pieces
12pm: green juice, coffee enema #2
1pm: carrot and apple juice, lunch (soup, salad, veggies, potato), watch a bit of Oprah while we eat
2pm: green juice, do more writing
3pm: carrot juice, yoga
4pm: carrot juice, take my dog for a walk
5pm: carrot and apple juice, meditate
6pm: carrot and apple juice, coffee enema #3
7pm: green juice, dinner (soup, salad, veggies, potato)
8pm: watch a bit of TV or read in bed
10pm: sleep

Every day is exactly the same as the one before, except on Tuesday and Thursday morning I take castor oil. Until recently I was doing five coffee enemas a day. I fit them in at 7.30am, 10.30am, 2pm, 6pm and 9pm. Pretty exciting stuff, huh. The one thing that is pushing me through the therapy is the thought of how amazing it will be once I finish. I doubt I will know what to do with myself. I don’t even remember what it’s like to be able to leave the house for more than an hour without worrying about juices or enemas. That day will be here before I know it though. It’s hard to believe I’m already three months in to the program. I’ve got 15 to go. Come on 15th October 2011!

For more information about the Gerson Therapy go to http://www.gerson.org or follow them on Twitter @GersonInstitute

Positive affirmation for the day: I am at choice today. I accept the responsibility of my life with a new sense of maturity, confidence and excitement.

That’s right, five coffee enemas a day.

Alright, Gerson has its ( only) ” Health Centre” located outside of Budapest, Hungary where patients pay 6900 euros for a 2 week stay and are told to bring along a companion for support ( @ 500 euros).
The US branch is for “educational” purposes..

Yes, I could not agree more with the sentiment, “If not now, when?”

Saying her death was tragic, and mourning it because of all of her positive attributes that she brought to the world, is entirely consistent with condemning the anti-scientific choices that lead to her death, and trying to save others from making the same ones through misinformation.

It’s not like she was sacrificing donkeys and dancing around in a pentagram at midnight.

I don’t see how this is a meaningful distinction–after all, there’s just as reason to believe that animal sacrifice and sacred dance would be effective treatments for her cancer as there is to believe that the Gerson protocol would be: neither have any evidence in support of their efficacy.

” It is a fine line between when to give up on the natural medicine and go with the other option.”

No, all too often it is not a fine line and that one should stay the course of whatever alternative you choose and expect or demand that science-based medicine pull you back from the brink when you finally give in and go to the person who had the tools to save your life several years ago.

Often the choices made at the very beginning of the treatment journey are the ones that determine the end point. You can’t always just change tracks years later when you finally decided that maybe things aren’t going the way you thought they would.

Treating an early and treatable cancer is not just a hair’s breadth from waiting until you are being offered a space in hospice to attempt a hail Mary. They are miles apart in both thought process and results.

Science does say live as healthy a life as possible, eat your veggies, get your exercise, reduce stress, get your sleep, etc. It should delay when something is going to break. It will not prevent all breaks nor will it fix them all by itself.

Living as healthy as possible (see above) while getting appropriate treatment may be very helpful, but is not the same as getting the treatment at the appropriate time in the appropriate doses. Often the difference between who lives and who dies is who is strong enough to withstand the treatment needed to save your life. Can we get all the doses you need in, can you survive the surgery, etc.

If people focused on supporting the health of those getting the treatment they need instead of telling them you should wait as long as possible and try everything else first we’d probably have much better outcomes.

The main problem I have with too many promoging the “do it naturally until the line is crossed” is they specifically and deliberately direct people away from doing what is effective. They say you can wait. They tell you that supporting your health by natural means is completely null and void if you dare to take the treatment the doctor’s offer. Yes, even if you want to take what the doctor offers eating your veggies and getting sleep counts. It is not useless if you dare to let some of the effective treatment in.

Then when people crawl in at the end of life when all there is to do is ease their pain they complain how modern medicine is the only thing that failed them when they were told what they needed to do and when they needed to do it and thought they knew better.

Gosh I got a lot angrier as i went along than I intended when I started out.

And yes, I fully support your autonomy as a patient to do whatever you want to do to your body, mind and soul. Just don’t pretend that you can change your mind at any time and the results will be the same. How many people have to walk the same path with the same results before people are OK with putting up the “warning bridge out this way leads to death” sign up.

Jess came to live next door to me over two years ago and I observed her decline with sadness . Initially she was riding the crest of the wave of fame and fortune . I was often bemused to see film crews and stylists turn up for photo shoots creating a seemingly idyllic lifestyle for few hours . The reality was quite different .
I have been following this blog since the beginning but felt it inappropriate to comment until now .
kudos to oracs frank and informative posts .
point being too many people are being conned .. . Just about anybody can hang out a shingle saying healer these days asking a fortune for snake oil . . .
orac is quite right to state her professional opinion thank goodness someone cares enough to share the facts with us .
Jess was a lovely young women and my heart goes out to the family .
Such a complicated tradgedy .
In the end though I think a lot of people learned an awful lot and we can thank her for that .
She had courage .
Her charisma never faded , her love and light shone right to the end . . .
Bless jess . .

nancy d,

She made money off selling and promoting Gerson therapy–amongst other nonsense–to hopeless people desperate for a cure.

She made money off of publicity tours in which she denied the fungating tumors on her rapidly growing disfigured arm where because her cancer was progressing.

There is no comfort here. If it was for herself, FINE. You don’t seem to get that. She made money off of promoting what is essentially expensive torture to dying people. Oh, and the best part? When it doesn’t work, the promoters of this nonsense state that it was YOUR fault. You did something wrong. So add in guilt to that.

Don’t claim autonomy then try and say we’re misunderstanding when the flaws in that statement are pointed out. Jess was taken advantage of, but then turned around and took advantage of others, then HID when she started to progress and had to turn to doctors.

Here’s some interesting reading: https://rosaliehilleman.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/the-wellness-warrior-denial-delusion-or-dishonesty/

I am willing to chalk it up to desperation and delusion, however she didn’t need to sell that to other people, and the people who had her so hopelessly convinced need to be taken to task.

Someone wrote: “And for the sake of decency, your self promoting article comes a bit early, don’t you think? A sense of taste would not be missed if you waited a week before promoting how much you think you know”

I am not sure who/how decided that a week is the right waiting time. What about 10 days? Or 5. Or 1000 hours for that matter. Facts are facts, 5 minutes or 5 years after her death. The earlier people find out about it, the better … those with cancer will know to avoid quacks/crooks.

I am the widow of a breast cancer victim. As my wifes’ advocate, we looked at alternative therapies…for about ten seconds. Conventional therapy was grueling, but it did give my wife a few more very good years.

I think Orac is correct with the timing of this blog. I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg. I believe thousands of others suffer the same fate as Jessica every year- we just don’t hear about them. And we should. A lot more lives would be saved.

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