Update on Starchild Abraham Cherrix

Compared to the usual topics discussed during the week, I normally like to try to keep the weekend fare on the ol’ blog relatively light and fluffy (mainly because traffic usually falls around 50% and I like to post my serious material on skepticism and science on days when I tend to have the most readers), but to me this can’t wait until Monday. As you may recall, a couple of days ago, I wrote about Abraham Starchild Cherrix, a 15-year old who, with his father, has rejected conventional therapy for his Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. It now looks as though he will get to go to Mexico:

ACCOMAC, Va. (AP) – A judge agreed to let a 15-year-old cancer patient return to a Mexican clinic to continue an alternative medical treatment, as long as he has a diagnostic X-ray first.

Abraham Cherrix, who has Hodgkin’s disease, also was ordered to return to court June 29 for a hearing to determine whether he can make his own medical decisions.

The case landed in court in March after the Chincoteague teenager, whose disease remained active despite three months of chemotherapy last year, refused to go forward with a doctor’s plan for more chemotherapy and radiation.

Last week, Judge Jesse E. Demps filed a temporary order finding parents Jay and Rose Cherrix neglectful and requiring them and the county social services department to share custody of Abraham.

The judge also forbid the family to leave the state and ordered Abraham to undergo any diagnostic testing deemed necessary by doctors at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters in Norfolk.

Last Friday (before Memorial Day), as you may recall, Cherrix showed up at a hospital to have imaging studies done to assess the status of his disease but refused to undergo them. I just hope that the “single X-ray” that he’s been ordered to undergo is a CT scan of the neck, chest, abdomen, and pelvis, as that’s the only test that will fully stage his disease. Of course, my question to the judge would be: What on earth makes you think that Abraham, once safely across the border in Mexico, will come back to Virginia any time soon or will show up for that June 29 hearing?

In any case, unless he and his father come to their senses, it looks as though Abraham Cherrix, like Katie Wernecke before him, is doomed.


  1. #1 DonS
    June 3, 2006

    And when this poor kid is on his way to certain death I wonder if his parents will then turn around and blame the court system like Katie’s dad did.

  2. #2 Sailorman
    June 4, 2006

    OTPH this seems insane.

    But 15 is getting fairly old. It’s certainly old enough to be theoretically able to make your own decisions. When I was 15 I was living in boarding school, travelling a lot by myself, reading pretty serious stuff, and pretty capable of making my own decisions regarding my own body. Not so long ago, 15 year olds were often fully emancipated; in many countries they act like adults.

    And while I think the procedure in question is nutso, balls-up, bad… I confess that I think it’s even WORSE if we start enforcing our views of what “should” happen on an intelligent person with a normal IQ.

    I fully support enforcing information in cases like these where his age shows he’s more likely to be making a bad decision. So I think it is proper to make him hear about success rates, or maybe have a single Xray.

    But it makes me very squeamish to think that I, or anyone, would entirely and irreversibly block his ability to choose his own treatment, even if it means he’ll die from it.

    I mean come on: this kid is probably much more lucid than a lot of 80 year olds, and if THEY want to die nobody gives them flak. He’s not 7. He’s not 2. He’s 15–and that should matter.

  3. #3 Orac
    June 4, 2006

    mean come on: this kid is probably much more lucid than a lot of 80 year olds, and if THEY want to die nobody gives them flak. He’s not 7. He’s not 2. He’s 15–and that should matter.

    There is plenty of evidence out there that 15-year-olds do not yet have the mental maturity to make decisions like that. It is almost certain that Abraham has already heard all the data and been told the odds of survival with conventional therapy. It is almost equally certain that the quacks who are pushing him towards taking the Hoxsey treatment are giving him incorrect information and telling him he has an 80% chance of surviving if he goes with them, and–by the way–he could do it without the nasty side effects of chemotherapy and radiation.

    Would it were so!

    In any case, he has chosen the Hoxsey quackery despite being given all that information. Giving it to him again is highly unlikely to change his mind. I predict that, even if the CT scan shows that his disease has progressed, he will only take that as an indication that he needs to get to Tijuana ASAP, rather than as an indication that the quackery he has chosen is not working and that he should get going on more chemotherapy ASAP.

    Yes, ages 15-18 are a bit of a gray zone, where some are capable of making heavy decisions like that, but many (probably most) 15-year-olds are not. Should Abraham have a say? Up to a point, yes. But should we as a society just let him throw his life away as he is presently in the process of doing? Almost certainly not.

    Let’s put it this way: Do you approve of trying 15-year-olds as adults, even imprisoning them for life or executing them if they commit capital crimes? If not, why not? After all, if 15-year-olds should be considered capable of making the same sort of decision that Abraham is making, then they should be considered capable of taking the full consequences when they break the law, right?

    Finally, your invocation of the 80-year-old is not quite apt for the simple reason that Abraham has his whole life before him. An 80-year-old is nearing the end of his life and all decisions about medical care are colored by that fact. We in medicine routinely advise going to far greater lengths and taking far greater risks to save a 20 year old than we will for an 80 year old, for the simple reason that there is a much longer potential life to save by doing so. True, part of that equation is that the elderly tend not to be as resilient as the young, which tends to make such procedures riskier in them, but a major consideration is how many years of good quality life can be preserved by aggressive, life-saving interventions. In short, the decision-making process is different for 80-year-olds suffering life-threatening diseases than it is for 15-year-olds. For instance, an 80-year-old with Hodgkin’s lymphoma probably would get the mildest chemotherapy treatment practical, with the intent of slowing down the disease rather than curing it.

  4. #4 Don S
    June 4, 2006

    …this kid is probably much more lucid than a lot of 80 year olds, and if THEY want to die nobody gives them flak.

    But the point is, he doesn’t want to die. He’s just young enough and uninformed enough to fall for all the magical thinking and unscientific gibberish. Remember, when you’re 15 you’re invincible. And wishing works. And magic happens and you can probably levitate stuff if you think hard enough. The age of 15 is just not the age to be deciding this kind of stuff.

  5. #5 Sailorman
    June 5, 2006

    Let’s put it this way: Do you approve of trying 15-year-olds as adults, even imprisoning them for life or executing them if they commit capital crimes? If not, why not?

    Personally? No, I do not. However, it’s pretty damn clear that SOCIETY approves, as it occurs in every state via a solid political majority.

    After all, if 15-year-olds should be considered capable of making the same sort of decision that Abraham is making, then they should be considered capable of taking the full consequences when they break the law, right?

    This argument is not really relevant. Some decisions are made on impulse, or what I call “short term idiocy”. Kids are very prone to this–and the criminal justice system does/should reflect this reality. However, they’re pretty capable of making an acceptable LONG term decision. And FWIW, that’s why the kids who get tried as “adults” are usually those who have premeditated long and hard on their acts, so they can’t claim the “um, i wasn’t thinking about it” defense.

    What the court is DOING is to say “is he competent to make his own decisions?” And if they say “yes he is” then I don’t see how you can argue otherwise. They are basing a conclusion on HIM, while you seem to be basing a conclusion of “if he were rational he would agree with me” which (hopefully) you can see has some major problems.

  6. #6 epador
    June 6, 2006

    In these cases the kid is usually attached to (and trying to please) at least one parent; when in the face of a fatal disease, they have now become VERY dependent upon (and less likely to rebel) said parent. I’ve seen similar situations with a spouse who is dominant over a passive patient making decisions that the patient might not normally agree with but they go along with it to avoid conflict (or loss of the only support they perceive they have).

    While all parties are usually well-intentioned, delusional thinking is delusional thinking. The crime is that our courts have trouble differentiating medical decisions from delusional thinking.

    The sad thing about Hodgkin’s patients like this is that once you start interrupting therapy, your chance for cure goes down. The damage is already done.

  7. #7 Aaron Savage
    June 7, 2006

    Maybe before bashing alternative medicine, maybe you should reserch it.. Or maybe you should hear the testimony of all of the people that have received the treatment and have gone at their personal expense to the court house.. And he should be wished happy birthday, as yesterday he turned 16

  8. #8 Bronze Dog
    June 7, 2006

    Sorry Aaron, we’ve already researched it. It’s bunk thus far. If you’d like to present good evidence in favor of the quackery of the month, please go right ahead.

    Collecting testimonials is inherently cherry-picking, by the way, so don’t expect us to take such shoddy “evidence.”

  9. #9 Andrew Dodds
    June 9, 2006

    Aaron – Fine, as long as we have the testimony of *everyone* who recieved the treatment. Including the dead.

  10. #10 Roger
    June 13, 2006

    What about the person with Hodgkins that took the same route Abraham is taking and his oncologists actually documented the event of cancer leaving his body. That is medical proof. There are many more people all over this country who rid themselves everyday of cancer by alternative methods. Not only are there people who have success with chemo but people who die with it. Wake up meet the people who are walking living proof that alternative methods can and do work.

  11. #11 Orac
    June 13, 2006

    What about the person with Hodgkins that took the same route Abraham is taking and his oncologists actually documented the event of cancer leaving his body. That is medical proof. There are many more people all over this country who rid themselves everyday of cancer by alternative methods.

    If that’s the case, then where are all these people? It’s nothing but testimonials, with no solid evidence.

  12. #12 Roger
    June 14, 2006

    Do you consider the doctor’s medical records of the people who lived or died with chemo evidence? The people that you are talking about are witnesses with their oncologist’s medical records in hand for Abraham’s court. I will pray for people like you. I feel sorry for you. Even when there is evidence you refuse to accept that you might be wrong.

  13. #13 Orac
    June 14, 2006

    It depends upon who the doctor is and on the quality of the actual records. Lots of quacks like Hulda Clark have “records” of patients that they claim to have cured. When you look closer, though, it often turns out that they are so incomplete that you can’t be sure how many of the patients actually had biopsy-proven cancers, what stage they were at, what histology they were, or how many of the patients actually even had cancer at all. The NCI looked at Hoxsey’s “records” and concluded that there wasn’t enough information there to figure out if his treatment did anything at all.

    As for your prayers, please save them for Abraham Cherrix and Katie Wernecke. Given their misplaced faith in quackery, they will need them far more than I.

  14. #14 Roger
    June 14, 2006

    I am not talking about Hoxsey records. I am talking about the very oncologists that you support. However I do believe that you would take the very doctors that you support and twist the situation and facts to suit your opinions. You would take the biopsy proven cancers, supported by ct scans, pet scans, and gallum scans that have been monitored all of those ways and the people being cured by natural methods and still say that they are wrong. As long as it doesn’t go against your opinion. You will never admit to being wrong.
    As for prayers, Abraham and Katie have my supportive prayers for their courage and for their healing. You are wrong though that they need them more. You need my prayers also whether you will admit it or not. Whether you want them or not, you still have them.

  15. #15 A-C+E
    June 14, 2006

    To skeptics: So what if Abraham DOES come back from Mexico? What is he DOES get healed by alternative medicine? What will you say then? The good Lord is looking after Abraham, and if he believes in just that alone he can be healed. CT scans are like having 300 to 400 X-rays, and that’s a lot of radiation! Chemo is said to TREAT cancer, not CURE it!! Chemo now has a 40-50% cure chance for Abraham, where as the Hoxsey and diet still hold their 80% stand, so which makes more since to you? As Roger said, you will never admit you are wrong, and sometimes you must have an open mind to accept new things. I will be praying as well, for Abraham, for you, for those who are sick, and for those who died. At least there are people who tryed their best, or died happily rather than invalid. I hope one day that doctors and oncologists will see that there is a cure, and then they will be TRUE healers.

  16. #16 nancy
    June 16, 2006

    My children, who managed to survive being raised by me in a home using nutrition, chiropractic, supplements and no vaccinations (not interested in hearing your input on that-been there,heard it) are now 19 and 21. I thank God I never had to deal with this issue because I promise they would have not been treated with chemo or radiation.I was not against doctors nor medicine when needed and I am a nurse.Took my kids to the doctor when needed, which fortunately was rare. Funny, when all of my friend’s children were growing up next to mine with all the “advantages” they were the ones constantly sick with everything from colds,asthma,allergies,ear infections and worse, while mine were NEVER sick. When they had symptoms, I treated at home after research (usually nutritionally oriented M.D.’s advice) and did what I felt was best and they recovered usually within 24 hrs. So I think I will stick with my “anecdotal” evidence that happens to be my healthy adult children, thanks. Not every one out here who chooses different treatment is an uneducated,ignorant person. I could see charging the parents with neglect if they had done NOTHING. They are fighting with everything they have to give their son a chance to live.This is America people, let people have choices different than you – a 15 year old is not a little child. I have raised 2 past that age as well as been around hundreds of teenagers. Open your mind, remember all the physicians before you who were persecuted for paradigm shifts in medical thinking. Handwashing, anyone???? I watched my parents and grandparents as well as several friends die from cancer after long,drawn out, horrible suffering from conventional cancer treatment. I firmly believe when people go into remission, it is DESPITE the treatment, not because of it.Certainly, though, I believe all those medical professionals are mostly caring individuals trying to save lives. I appreciate them for that. So give me all your statistics and medical information all you want, I have been dealing with watching real people in my daily life for 25 years do it both ways, I will take the alternative choice EVERY time. See you when I break a leg, can’t fix that at home…..

  17. #17 anjou
    June 16, 2006

    Thankfully, your children are of an age where they dont have to listen to your garbage if they are unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with hodgkins, a cancer that is curable with chemo and radiation.

  18. #18 nancy
    June 17, 2006

    response from nancy-
    My aunt died of Hodgkins disease despite chemo and radiation.And my children continue to listen to (and ask for) my “garbage” because they know it has worked for them. But I never force anything on them because I respect them as adults and their rights to take care of themselves as they wish.I gave them the tools, what they choose to do with them is up to them. You get a lot more respect and cooperation from people when you don’t insult and demean them. People attack when they don’t understand something from personal experience or from ignorance of other perspectives. That is what this whole issue is about, not allowing people to make informed (not one-sided) choices.There are no guarantees with any treatment, so hopefully having a good health foundation will help prevent my children from having to deal with a horrible disease. But if not, we will stand behind them and support them in whatever choices they make for treatment, as I have done with other loved ones. Not once have I ever told anyone to not listen to their doctor, or to submit to treatment reccomended.More and more doctors are using alternative medicine as an adjunct to more conventional protocols, there are entire hospitals such as Cancer Treatment Centers of America using both. If or when this issue ever hits home for me again,this would be the avenue I would choose because I certainly know I don’t have all the answers. I pray you and your loved ones are blessed with good health…

  19. #19 anjou
    June 17, 2006

    As a lymphoma survivor who is here BECAUSE OF CHEMO AND RADIATION and know of many who are here because of it I disagree with you that people with a curable illness should be steered toward unproven approaches. Ive had a wonderful7 years I wouldnt have had had I chosen something like Hoxsey.

    I am sorry about your aunt, there are some who dont make it, otherwise the percentages would be 100% cure rate

  20. #20 Veranda
    June 28, 2006

    Could someone tell me where I can find documented statistics on the percentages of succesful treatment (for Hodgkins or any other cancer) with chemo and/or radiation.

  21. #21 Osler
    June 29, 2006

    Related story:

    Family files lawsuit against doctors and the state of Utah over attempt at forced chemotherapy:



  22. #22 don jordan
    July 1, 2006

    I firmly believe that it is reprehensible for a gestopho like system to force its cut burn and poison approach upon people against their will or to threaten placement of a parents children in “protective custody” for not blindly following the pompous asses who fost this off on an unsuspecting public.The cancer industry is a very lucrative business which,I believe, would resort to any devious manipulation or cover-up in order to continue their exploitation. There have been numerous case histories of real people who have been cured based upon what appears more credible than the cancer industry claims.

  23. #23 HCN
    July 1, 2006

    Veranda asked: “Could someone tell me where I can find documented statistics on the percentages of succesful treatment (for Hodgkins or any other cancer) with chemo and/or radiation.”

    I tried to find it at:
    http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/ … but the fact sheets were not very forthcoming on treatment methods.

    So I tried http://www.pubmed.gov and put in the search words “Hodgkins lymphoma”, which brought up several papers including this one (abstract only, you will have to go to a library for the full paper):

  24. #24 Eric Bechtol
    July 12, 2006

    After three doctors I finally went the “alternative” way and was cured of the “irreversible” Hashimoto Thyroiditis. My wife, who was insulin resistant, went to the same person and achieved positive results.

    Listen, this is not a case of denying treatment, but rather it is a case of CHOOSING treatment. I could have easily been on many conventional treatments for thyroid, high BP, arthritis, and tendinitis. The Govt and medical companies would have LOVED me. instead, a mix of herbs, accupuncture, and medical massage have me free of drugs and healthier than I was 10 years ago. The same guy that I have gone to reversed MS in a patient that was getting progressively worse for 21 years straight. He has nipped cancer in the bud.

    Thing is, my treatment cost me less than $2000 start to finish, including treatments and herbs. That’s wouldn’t cover my prescription drugs for three months if I had it the “modern medical” way and I still wouldn’t be “cured.”

    As soon as you all figure out that the medical profession has become a BUSINESS and has more to do with money than treatment, you’ll all be wiser. “Where’s your ache? Here’s your pill/chemo/treatment” seems to be the way to go. What you all need to understand is it isn’t the only way to go.

    Will he live or die? I dunno, but neither does the modern medical profession. I wish him luck. Leave them alone to choose their own treatment.

  25. #25 Gregory D. Pawelski
    July 12, 2006

    It is not a case that all chemotherapy is bad, but the “wrong” chemotherapy is. Abraham’s chemotherapy did not work the first time because it most likely was the wrong chemotherapy.

    A chemo-induced gene mutation can happen when the original chemo received does not work. The cancer comes back. When it does this, the cancer comes back more aggressively. The mutagenic effects (changes in form) of chemotherapy on a genetically-unstable tumor, drives the tumor into a state of more aggressive behavior. You might kill off a whole lot of cancer, only to cause a mutation in the remaining cancer, such that the remaining cancer behaves in a more aggressive fashion.

    Cancers that are a product of these genetic mutations release cells from the usual controls of proliferation and survival, making them so much harder to fight it. Following this mutation, the cancer cells acquire the ability to proliferate without the normal restraints. As the cancer grows, it may infiltrate and destroy the surrounding tissue, and metastasize by penetrating into blood vessels, lymph nodes, and body cavities. Distant metastasis via the bloodstream may affect virtually any organ (the lungs, bones, liver, adrenals and the brain).

    Make sure the first-line chemotherapy is going to do the job. Abraham’s treatment should have been tailored to his cancer (not his cancer being tailored to his treatment). Cell culture assays could have helped his doctor appreciate how his cancer cells may respond to various anticancer treatments. Test the tumor first.

  26. #26 Norene F. Wedam
    July 12, 2006

    Cancer is not the result of a chemo deficiency! You do not get healthy by placing poisons in the body. Chemo will destroy parts of the immune system that you need to survive.
    Perhaps 100 years from now, we will consider these draconian measure the same as bleeding a person to death with leeches over a century ago.

    I have seen dramatic recoveries due to alternative medicine. However, I caution that the alternative therapies and diet must be exactly tailored to the particular kind and stage of cancer. Often the odds are much better for alternative methods. In this instance of recurrence, I will suggest that cells resistant to the original chemo are involved!!! For that reason, more chemo may be pointless. I do know that a strict diet (the right diet!) can be very effective in Hodgekins Disease.

    I have a problem with X-rays and many other forms of diagnostic imaging. Check into various blood tests, esp. the Anti-Malignan Antibody Serum Test (AMAS)and see if this will work for Hodgekins Disease. (generally, 95%+ “accurate”) Always use a back up test as no test is 100% sensitive and specific.

    I pray that this child will get good advice and the proper support he needs while fighting cancer… that the judge will not be politically motivated in his decision. maybe this can be stalled with legal challenges until the child is 18. I cannot imagine the trauma of a seriously ill child being removed from his home! I worry that he will not survive until he is 18 if forced to undergo standard treatment. The effects can limit his health for the rest of his life.

    Sign me,
    Been there, done that,
    12 years in full remission.

  27. #27 Dr. James Gunier
    July 13, 2006

    If anyone thinks modern medicine is curing cancer, think twice. Just read the obituary column in any leading newspaper for one month and you will be shocked to learn how many cancer victims are dying within a year or two after undergoing this so called cure. Most of the time it says he or she died fighting cancer, the truth is their body gave out fighting the toxic chemo and massive radiation.
    More then 25 years ago MIDNIGHT, conducted an interview with Dr, Hardin B. Jones, a physiologist with the University of California Dept., of Medical Physics. He stated “My studies have proved conclusively that untreated cancer victims actually live up to four times longer than treated individuals.For a typical type of cancer, people who refused treatment lived for an average of 12 ½ years, while those who accepted surgery and other kinds of treatment lived an average of only three years! Beyond a shadow of a doubt, radical surgery on cancer patients does more harm than good. As for radiation treatment – Most of the time it makes not the slightest difference whether the machine is turned on or not.”
    Dr. Jones who had at the time been studying cancer for more than 23 years has traveled the world collecting data on the dreaded disease, and presented his findings to the American Cancer Society and medical schools
    Dr. Jones stated that he and his wife have discussed what she would do if breast cancer was diagnosed in her, and both agreed that she would do nothing as regards treatment with those methods, except to keep as healthy as possible. “I guarantee she would live longer.”
    In conclusion Dr. Jones added “For not only does radical surgery or chemotherapy do nothing to prolong a cancer victim’s life, but that same victim will, in most cases, live a lot longer if he or she refuses treatment.
    Speaking before a seminar in Newark, NJ, Laetrile developer Ernst Krebs, Jr., said:

    “Chemotherapy and radiation will make the ancient method of drilling holes in a patient’s head to permit escape of demons to cure madness, look relatively advanced…
    “Toxic chemotherapy is a hoax. It is premeditated murder. Use of cobalt and other methods of cancer treatment popular today closes the door on cure.”

    I once saw a cartoon that showed a doctor with the initials AMA holding a syringe and standing next to a grave and a vulture with the initials FDA perched on the grave stone of a cancer patient that read “Here lies Vic Tim, cured of cancer died of side effects”

    May God Bless Abraham Starchild Cherrix and his courageous decision.

  28. #28 Mark Tindale
    July 13, 2006

    I saw you tonight on Hannitt’s and Cumces’s. I’ve got to let you know that I have nothing but the most respect for you, and your decision. You’ve got balls of steel. I wish you and your family nothing but the best.Thank You.

  29. #29 Amanda Donoghue
    July 13, 2006

    hello, i just wanted to leave you a comment and say how much i wish the best to you and your family… your doing the best you can and your making decisions all on your own.. im younger than 16 myself but when i seen you on the news i was devistated and decided to check out foxnews.com and see if there was anyway posible for me to leave a comment or send you an email and i guess i found one so yes i hope the best to you.. i hope you get through this.. also if you decide to email me back then my email address is amanda_donoghue2001@yahoo.com thank you very much.

  30. #30 Kristjan Wager
    July 13, 2006

    Altie spam!

  31. #31 HCN
    July 13, 2006

    Including Altie’s with serious reading problems. A couple of them think that this blog belongs to young Mr. Cherrix!

  32. #32 Lisa
    July 13, 2006

    “Cancer is not the result of a chemo deficiency! You do not get healthy by placing poisons in the body. Chemo will destroy parts of the immune system that you need to survive.”

    Noreen’s comment makes a lot of sense. Think about it-Cancer is caused by among other things, a weakened immune system. How is weakening it further with chemo going to help? Alternative methods and herbal supplements can strengthen the immune system, which could only help any cancer patient. For example, on a smaller scale-Ever tried euchinachea for a cold? It always helps me. It strengthens your system to help it fight off infection, in contrast to typical drugstore cold remedies that only help relieve the symptoms while the cold runs its course.
    Traditional doctors and medicines are only treating the symptoms of disease, when they really need to be treating the whole person and cause of illness.
    I believe that most doctors are out for the best interests of their patients, but most have little knowledge or training in natural health and nutrition. Pharmaceutical companies are really only interested in the bottom line. Which makes sense when you see how much they are making off every prescription written!! They don’t want to see cures for the diseases that make them millions of dollars!
    If I or my children were faced with this, I would probably try alternative medicine before anything else. I hope Abraham makes a full recovery, not just for his and his family’s sake, but also to bring more attention to alternative treatments. Many ill informed people think they have no other choices but traditional medicines!
    The media attention from this case may save many lives!

  33. #33 HCN
    July 13, 2006

    Lisa said: “Think about it-Cancer is caused by among other things, a weakened immune system.”

    Not even wrong:

    Actually, maybe… partly right… like an immune system that had to deal with certain infections like Hepatitis B and HPV. Fortunately there are now vaccines for those two diseases. Also the Epson-Barr virus is one of the risk factors in lymphoma, along with genetics:

    Lisa also said: “Traditional doctors and medicines are only treating the symptoms of disease, when they really need to be treating the whole person and cause of illness.”

    You seem to be confused… that is what HOMEOPATHS do. Homeopaths do not care about the cause, they only want to treat the symptoms with their pretend remedies:

    Real doctors do treat the cause of the disease. Like administering vaccines to actually prevent diseases (some of which cause cancer), telling patients to watch their diets and to not smoke. Have you been to a real doctor recently for a general annual exam?

  34. #34 Ted Spence
    July 13, 2006

    Abraham Cherrix is brave … not only for refusing toxic chemotherapy (which causes cancer) but for taking on a system of injustice that gives it …
    The risk is great whether ones takes chemotherapy or uses natural cures … (but in this case chemo is 25% and herbals are 80%) If the chemo does not work .. well that is OK with them .. at least they got paid well … But if the herbal don’t work … then they can complain more … The point is they are not giving the herbals a chance …
    No Abraham is brave and does not deserve this …
    I visited the Mexican cancer clinics and saw the healing .. the smiles on the cancer patients faces (something not seen in our hospitals) … I saw many healed persons … and I saw a system that was caring and responsive to the family’s needs … and they use diet first … Detoxification and nutrition … something not allowed in the land of the free … visit http://www.nuresearch.net for a look at natural cancer cures ….. Ted H Spence, DDS, ND

  35. #35 HCN
    July 13, 2006

    Ted Spence said: “I visited the Mexican cancer clinics and saw the healing”

    Okay, do YOU have verifiable data on how effective these treatments are?

  36. #36 Orac
    July 13, 2006

    Ted Spence said: “I visited the Mexican cancer clinics and saw the healing”

    Okay, do YOU have verifiable data on how effective these treatments are?

    Darn it, I was going to ask him that. You beat me to the question!

  37. #37 anjou
    July 13, 2006

    Ted Spence said
    Abraham Cherrix is brave … not only for refusing toxic chemotherapy (which causes cancer)

    Gee…. but cancer causes DEATH, so he wont have time to develop cancer from the treatment.

    Herbals…ya right…watched a friend who refused the recommended transplant, trying the natural route…the cancer grew, and then she was DESPERATE to have chemo and the transplant…. I spoke to her a few days before she died, she’d waited too long…. chemo might have been effective had she had it a two years earlier when it was recommended.

  38. #38 J
    July 14, 2006

    Wow, sounds like the oncologists on this blog are desperate to protect their treasure trove of profits and their ability to extracted every last penny from poor suffering cancer victims.

    Jaclyn Kennedy-Onasis and the King of Jordon both had lymphoma and all the chemo and radiation that prestige, fame and money could buy did not save nor cure them. They underwent treatment at some of the top cancer centers in the United States. And what happened? They both went to their graves.

    I once had a friend with cancer who was told by her oncologist that Chemo and radiation were her only hope of survival. He struck total fear in her by telling her she would die in a short time without it. (Fear is the greatest tool he has to snare the fearful victim and insure continued profits.)

    During the next two years stronger and stronger doses of chemo and radiation was administered as the cancer continued to spread and spread.

    Within those years this once beautiful woman now unrecognizable, looked twice her age, her arms and legs were reduced to mare skin and bones, her abdomen was bloated beyond belief, her nose and mouth drawn in and pinched, her once beautiful dark eyes now sunken in their sockets her face shriveled and you could not recognize her as the same lovely person she was before treatment. Finally after losing all her life savings and the oncologist had milked her insurance company dry (to the tune of 6 figures) his famous last words to her were there was nothing more he could do and that modern medicine had to offer. He said go and get your affairs in order because you have at the most 30 days to live, but whatever you do “don’t go those quacks in Mexico”

    Abraham, don’t let the doctors scare you to DEATH

  39. #39 anjou
    July 14, 2006

    J– while I dont recommend chemo for you….I do recommend some haldol or thorazine…sometimes they help a bit with paranoid and delusional thinking…

    Get educated before you spew out– Jackie Kennedy and King of Jordan had totally different kinds of lymphoma than this kid. The kind that Jackie had was Burkitts lymphoma, one of the most aggressive kinds of lymphoma. Abraham on the other hand, has a lymphoma where most are cured, and there is hope for cure even on relapse.

  40. #40 J
    July 14, 2006

    Anjou, Why are you so angry and anxious and say that your way is the only hope this young man has.
    Spitting out all that poison makes one wonder what drugs you’re on for your own anxious behavior. No I don’t need nor want your medications; I refuse to be on a life long dependency of prescription drugs. I have never known any drug medicine to poison a person back to a healthy life. You may keep your addictive and mind altering drug medicines to yourself.
    If I were to take your advice and start down the path of drug medicines soon I would be on many more just to counter act the side affects created by each of them. The wife of my very close friend has been on 8 different drugs for more than 10 years. It started with a drug for simple depression with this came another drug for the side effects then another so on and so forth, to where now 7 of the drugs are taken just to counter the side effects of each of them. No, you can keep your toxic drugs for your very own delusional thinking for believing that you can poison someone back to health by keeping them drugged for the rest of their life. Thanks to the high cost of your drugs millions of our elderly are now in poverty.

  41. #41 anjou
    July 14, 2006

    Never argue with a delusional person!! Psych 101

  42. #42 Roger
    July 15, 2006

    Do you know that an “oncologist” was interviewed on tv and explained that Abraham only has a 25% chance of coming through the recommended chemo treatment? That’s right all of you people who are criticizing this young man for not taking chemo. He has a 75% chance of dying with the chemo treatment. You are supporting what the oncologists are saying then maybe you should listen to what this one says

  43. #43 Orac
    July 15, 2006

    Yes, I read a piece with that interview. Three things:

    1. The figures quoted on the NCI website for survival after relapsed Hodgkins range from 35-70% with stem cell transplant, depending on disease burden (which, for Abraham, appears to be increasing by the month), as I mentioned in another poston this topic. Perhaps that oncologist is a bit behind the times with regard to his numbers.

    2. Even if the oncologist’s assessment were correct and there is only a 25% chance, that would be a far higher chance than the essentially 0% chance he would have with the Hoxsey treatment. Unless he is fortunate enough to be one of the very rare individuals who undergoes a spontaneous remission, he will die without chemotherapy and stem cell transplant.

    3. The people at that clinic pushing the Hoxsey treatment are lying to Abraham and his parents. Worse, Abraham’s parents are racking up large bills paying for this “treatment” plus their legal fees. There is no evidence at all that the Hoxsey treatment can cure 80% of patients with Hodgkins lymphoma, as they claim they can.

  44. #44 anjou
    July 15, 2006

    From NCI on Relapsed Hodgkins in Children and adolescents– as Orac says, the odds sure are better than Hoxey (0%):

    Primary Progressive/Recurrent Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in Children and Adolescents

    Treatment failure in children and adolescents with Hodgkin’s lymphoma can be divided into 3 groups:

    * Primary progressive disease.
    * Relapse limited to the site(s) of initial involvement (in patients treated with chemotherapy alone).
    * Other relapse.

    The presence of B symptoms and extranodal disease at the time of relapse are adverse prognostic features.[1] In one study from the German Pediatric Oncology Group (GPOH), patients with an early relapse (defined as occurring between 3 and 12 months from the end of therapy) had a 10-year event-free survival (EFS) of 55% and a 5-year overall survival (OS) of 78%. Patients with a late relapse (defined as occurring more than 12 months from the end of therapy) had a 10-year EFS and OS of 86% and 90%, respectively.[2] In the GPOH and the former Children’s Cancer Group (CCG) Hodgkin’s lymphoma trials, most relapses occurred in patients who received chemotherapy alone as primary treatment, and most of the relapses were limited to sites of initial involvement.[3,4] Patients with favorable disease at diagnosis (i.e., stage IA or stage IIA; no bulk; no B symptoms), with relapse confined to an area of initial involvement after chemotherapy and no radiation, can generally be salvaged with further chemotherapy and low-dose involved-field radiation therapy (LD-IFRT). For some postpubertal patients, standard-dose radiation may be an option.[5] For patients who are initially treated for low-stage disease without dose-intensive therapy, the salvage rate without transplant can be very high.[2] For all other patients, treatment of relapse/progression includes induction chemotherapy,[6-10] and high-dose chemotherapy with hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT).[11-13] Overall outcome is better following the use of autologous versus allogeneic stem cells because of the increased mortality associated with allogeneic transplant.[14] Following autologous HSCT, the projected survival rate is 45% to 70% and progression-free survival (PFS) is 30% to 65%.[15,16] Adverse prognostic features for outcome after autologous HSCT include extranodal disease at relapse, mediastinal mass at time of transplant, advanced stage at relapse, and primary refractory disease.[15] For patients who fail following autologous stem cell transplantation or for patients who cannot mobilize sufficient numbers of autologous stem cells, allogeneic stem cell transplantation has been used with encouraging results.[14,17-19] Whether such patients should receive further irradiation to previously radiated sites of relapse remains unclear.

  45. #45 J
    July 15, 2006

    It looks as though Dr. Benjamin Rush made an accurate prediction more than 2 centuries ago.
    “Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize into an underground dictatorship… To restrict the art of healing to one class of men and deny equal privileges to others will constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic and have no place in a republic… The Constitution of this republic should make special privilege for medical freedom as well as religious freedom.” -Dr. Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence.

    The dictatorship has arrived and is firmly planted.

  46. #46 Orac
    July 15, 2006

    Anyone want to bet on how long it is before “J” trots out an analogy that breaks Godwin’s law?

    By the way, “J,” would you be so kind as to post the source of that Benjamin Rush quote? The only places I’ve been able to find it are on altie websites and Wikipedia. Given that an altie could easily have edited the article on Benjamin Rush, I’d like a more reliable source.

    Finally, even if Rush did say that, it doesn’t mean he was correct. Ever hear of the logical fallacy known as “argument from authority”?

  47. #47 J
    July 16, 2006

    If we cannot trust our own doctor, than whom can we trust?

    Here is a young man in the early prime of his life suffering with the thought of having cancer, believing his doctor that chemo was his only means of hope, then having gone through the agonizing side-effects of this drug, learning that his disease had once more returned, being told he must undergo another round of pain racking chemo and then having his doctor, the very person whom he is supposed to trust the most, turn on him.

    I personally believe that this young man probably met with his Oncologist in all sincerity, trust and confidence to say thanks for all that was done for him and that the painful side effects of chemo was too much for him to continue and saying he intended to seek other options. He then probably left that office in all good faith believing this person whom he respected the most would up hold the sacred Hippocratic Oath by keeping silent and honoring his decision.

    But, NO the very person whom he believed and trusted to honor that sacred OATH, violated it in the worst possible way, turning on him with a vengeance, sucker punching him by slamming a DICTATORIAL BERLIN ARM OF STEEL right down in front of him by turning him into Child Protective Services. If I were that doctor I would be too embarrassed to go out in public after doing such a shameful thing. What was this so called compassioned doctor trying to achieve by using a strong arm tactic such as this to restrict and prevent this young man from exercising his right of free choice? It reminds us of the days when people were murdered for attempting to climb the Berlin wall to freedom. Why any respected person would do such a thing is beyond belief. I would be too embarrassed to even think of sticking my head out of my office in shame. Many of us here have come to the same conclusion, that greed had to have played a role.

    Paragraph 3
    THE REGIMEN I adopt shall be for the benefit of the patients to the best of my power and judgment, not for their injury or for any wrongful purpose. I will not give a DEADLY DRUG to any one, though it be asked of me, nor will I lead the way in such counsel; and likewise I will not give a woman a pessary to procure ABORTION. But I will keep my life and my art in PURITY and HOLINESS. I will not use the knife, not even, verily, on sufferers from stone, but I will give place to such as are craftsmen therein.

    Paragraph 5
    WHATSOEVER THINGS I see or hear concerning the life of men, in my attendance on the sick or even apart from my attendance, which ought not to be BLABBED abroad, I WILL KEEP SILENCE on them, counting such things to be as religious secrets.

  48. #48 Orac
    July 16, 2006

    But, NO the very person whom he believed and trusted to honor that sacred OATH, violated it in the worst possible way, turning on him with a vengeance, sucker punching him by slamming a DICTATORIAL BERLIN ARM OF STEEL right down in front of him by turning him into Child Protective Services.

    And there’s the violation of Godwin’s Law, just as predicted! Should I call for the Hitler Zombie? Or maybe “J” means the Communist Zombie, given his later reference to people going over the Berlin wall?
    “J” seems a bit confused.

  49. #49 anjou
    July 16, 2006

    Confused is the polite way of putting it!!

    In their own words…. from a few kids who were in Abraham’s situation with relapsed Hodgkins, had transplants and are doing well, welcome any similar reports from Hodgkins patients who did Hoxey or whatever…. bet there are none:


    I’m currently three years, seven months past SCT. I started college when I was nine months post transplant, and I’ve just finished my third year. I’m spending the summer getting lab experience (just finished first week ) and I’ve just come back from a holiday in Sweden – swimming, mucking about in boats, visiting museums and Viking grave mounds.

    It’s normal to be afraid. I’m still afraid a lot of the time, particularly in the run up to check-ups. It gets less scary after a while though. Or maybe you think about it less. For the first year I just felt lost though.

    I was reading on the Planet Cancer boards once, and someone said that even five years out they still had the occasional night when it was 3am and they couldn’t sleep. So I’m not sure if the scaredness will ever completely go. I think relapsing once opens this reality to you where relapsing does happen to you, and it’s difficult to get that faith back that its not going to happen.

    It took me about four months before I began to feel moderately alright, and about six months before I was half-way normal. For pretty much the whole of my first year I really disliked being bumped about – I felt a bit bruised all over, so college was pretty hard. It does take a long time to get better.


    Radiotherapy, ABVD, SCT and so on. Three years in remission and doing great!

    My SCT was 8 months ago. I went back to work after 100 days and did pretty well. I’ve had some lingering pulmonary problems and recovering from that has been much slower than I’d like. I was hoping that this summer (I’m a teacher so I have summers off) would have been filled with more fun activities, but I’ve just physically not been able to do it.

    Things are getting better, it’s just slow. I understand your frustration… I feel it too. I keep telling myself that it’s just going to take time to fix all the stuff they broke while killing the cancer.


    Proud wife to Brian, 7/01
    Proud mom to Cameron, born 6/03
    NSHD IIB dx-2/04
    ABVD and rads
    11/04 recurrance
    SCT recommended
    ICE 1/05, 2/05
    cell harvest 3/21/05
    SCT cancelled
    Rads 4/18/05~27 treatments
    Recurrance in left lung
    Back to SCT
    Salvage chemo: DHAP 9/05, 10/05
    High-dose chemo: BEAC starting 11/7/05
    Stem cell infusion: 11/14/05
    100 day scan was CLEAN!! WOO HOO!
    180 day scan–still CLEAN!!

    I technically went into remission 3-1/2 months prior to my SCT.

    So, I’ve been in remission 3 years 5 months OR 3 years 1 month since transplant.

    DX: MCHD 4b 7/01 turned Refractory NSHD 6/02
    Confirmed Remission 2/25/03 with Auto SCT 6/03!
    Success with some long term effects!

    Hi Maggie, I had my SCT November 2004, went back to work end of March 2005, after an interview with my boss who told me if I had any more sick time, then they could’nt guarantee my job!, this was 3 days before my PET result – so no pressure, I’d even gone back between ABVD and SCT. In a strange way that was a spur to show them I was fit and well again, my replacement told me how lucky I was still to have a job on return, which just added to that feeling.
    I worked reduced hours for the first month then back to normal 25, Jan to March 06 I worked full time on secondment – which was hard. I’m now 20 months post SCT and have not had a single sick day from work, in part due to the way I felt discriminated against on return.
    Only 4 more months to go until the magic 2 years!!!!!, I even have set that day aside as a new birthday and have cards and cake.Maggie the thinking does get clearer, the SCT fog did last a while, and I used to write everything down I needed to do/remember.

    NSHD 2A bulky
    diagnosed Nov 03
    ABVD 6 cycles
    PET showed 1 active node June 04
    was due to have radiotherapy but new nodes
    Hickman line Sept 04 -clot to Jugular vein
    2nd Hickman line Oct 04
    ESHAP Sept,Oct 04
    Stem cell collection Oct 04
    BEAM and auto SCT 17th Nov 04
    PET and CT scans showed remission March 05

  50. #50 Roger
    July 17, 2006

    I applaud J. Obviously not any of you have reached out to meet or look at the medical evidence that the Hoxsey patients have. I would choose a live human who is cancer free from that treatment as the best evidence there is. Even when the medical assoc. asked Harry Hoxsey to prove himself and they gave him a patient to cure….he did it and there are photos and records to prove it. Too bad you all are afraid to look at the evidence. Fact is alternative methods are a threat to people like you. Besides this is about his rights and the rights of his family. We all have the right to see two or three different doctors then pick which one we want to treat us and which method we want.

  51. #51 anjou@epix.net
    July 17, 2006

    when Hoxey, was himself diagnosed with prostate cancer, he eschewed his own treatment and instead received conventional therapy.

    Wonder why if its so wonderful its developer turned to conventional medicine?????

  52. #52 Orac
    July 17, 2006

    I would choose a live human who is cancer free from that treatment as the best evidence there is.

    Then why can’t you advocates of the Hoxsey treatment provide an example of one, along with sufficient clinical information (tumor type, histology, grade, stage, clinical history, etc.) that allows a trained oncologist to verify that it is likely that the patient was cured by the Hoxsey treatment? Answer: You can’t.

    Even when the medical assoc. asked Harry Hoxsey to prove himself and they gave him a patient to cure….he did it and there are photos and records to prove it.

    Where? Please provide independently verifiable evidence. Hint: Almost anything on Whale.to or Curezone.com won’t qualify.

    Too bad you all are afraid to look at the evidence.

    I have looked at the best evidence alties like you present. I’ve yet to see any evidence that is scientifically convincing, even evidence that would qualify as a case report in a peer-reviewed medical journal, which is the lowest form of medical evidence.

  53. #53 Kelli
    July 17, 2006

    In response to J’s post above (sorry, but I have no idea how to quote in this forum):

    I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t respond to the implication that this young man’s oncologist was motivated by greed. As a health care provider who works closely with the aforementioned physician, this is far and away the most offensive argument I’ve seen. Greed has NOTHING to do with this, and it’s utterly ludicrous and horrendously disrespectful to insinuate such. Call me delusional but seriously, if you were just out to make a buck, aren’t there less gutwrenching ways to do it than treating children with cancer? Is there a person out there who doesn’t get a little teary-eyed seeing those bald-headed kids on the St. Jude telethon? Exactly how heartless do you think this person is, J?

    Please make your point without attacking the character of those who are dedicated to trying to make a difference in the lives of these children.

  54. #54 anjou
    July 17, 2006

    AMEN Kelli!!!

    You want to see greed…look at this http://www.grouppekurosawa.com/blogs.htm
    read the archived blogs and see the type of garbage you get for your money!!!

  55. #55 Orac
    July 17, 2006

    FYI, everyone, “J”‘s IP address happens–surprise! surprise!–to track back to Tijuana. I have to wonder if he’s involved with one of the altie clinics around there.

    So, “J,” which clinic in Tijuana do you work at? Inquiring minds want to know!

  56. #56 anjou
    July 18, 2006

    Hey “J” I’m curious also!! Are you one of the greedy hucksters sucking dry the bank accounts of vulnerable dying patients charging them the big bucks for sham treatments???

  57. #57 Frances
    July 22, 2006

    Thats rediculous the Doctor had every right to turn things over to child protective services. Number one the doctor could lose their medical license. But Im 17 years old and at the age of 14 I was diagnosed with Hodgkins disease the same as Abraham. Getting sick is by far NO EXCUSE in not getting chemotherapy. Im sorry but thats rediculous I rather get sick a few times then have death above my head. I dont care what anyone says .. All you people that is saying that that doctor is wrong your wrong you guys have not had cancer and not had to deal with the thought of cancer. You guys are very selfish thinking that doctor is invading or the doctor wasnt right reporting him to social services. My treatment started September 2002 and my last treatment was January 3 2003 . After my last treatment I have been in remission and couldnt be better. Yes i lost all my hair but you have to make the best of things I had a cute bald head and I had my family to back me all the way up. I mean Life is to short, your always going to run into those bumpy roads but things get better after that..

  58. #58 Xerxes1729
    July 22, 2006

    Wow, sounds like the oncologists on this blog are desperate to protect their treasure trove of profits and their ability to extracted every last penny from poor suffering cancer victims.

    As opposed to the “natural cures” types, who do everything for free, right? They take patients who they know won’t be able to pay and give away all those herbs and supplements. And even the few who do charge for their services charge less than members of the “medical establishment” because they’re so selfless, not because they don’t have to pay for things like drug development, manufacturing, and regulation compliance, insurance, multi-million dollar pieces of diagnostic equipment, lab tests, research into new treatments, and due compensation for people who spent a lot of time and money acquiring their skills and knowledge. What other explanation could there be?

  59. #59 Orac
    July 22, 2006

    Because of how old this post is, comments are now closed. If you wish to comment on the Starchild Abraham Cherrix case, please go to my latest post on the story.

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