What a deal! Thanks to a clever webmaster,
Harold's got Lance struggling to keep up.
Can Congestive Heart
Failure Survivor Harold Brecher REALLY Beat out Lance Armstrong???
Well, not yet. But he has high hopes for the future.
Cancer survivor Armstrong and CHF survivor Brecher have quite a
bit in common in addition to their love of biking. Both have
exhibited an admirable determination to regain health and serve
as models of hope for others; both have expressed the belief
that surviving a serious ailment can serve a larger purpose: the
obligation of the 'cured' to encourage public awareness of the
deadly nature of diseases that year after year are leading
causes of death. Both are urging greater dedication from the
scientific and medical communities to devote needed resources to
develop safe and reliable treatments and cures. And most
important, both had "Doctor Moms" to ease their path back
In Harold's case, the 'Doctor Mom' was the wife who constructed and kept
dibs on the nutritionally oriented "Phoenix Protocol" - and is
still in charge. In Lance's case, it was his "real" mom - Linda Mooneyham Armstrong - a 17 year old single mom when Lance was
born, she cherished and guided and protected him all his life,
and especially so, when the cancer diagnosis threatened to wipe
out all his dreams and hopes for a future. As Lance's first book
"It's Not All the Bike"makes clear, his mom was there every step
of the way.
But here's where they part
paths: Harold tells an honest story about his recovery and publishes
treatment specifics in full detail, giving credit to every
substance which may have contributed and all who helped along
the way. There's no amount of
money that would entice Harold to credit one of the 14 deadly
drugs with his survival to date. Yes, he took diuretics
and Digoxin and other prescription items, and discarded them all
as quickly as he could. We doubt he'd be back on his bike today
if all he'd had were the drugs he's happily given up.
Lance has sold out to commercial interests, and distorted his
recovery tale to credit only one treatment: chemotherapy; and
one firm: pharmaceutical industry
giant Bristol-Myers-Squibb. At the celebration ceremony at the
wind-up of the much-ballyhooed
3,200 mile bike trek across America, the Tour Of Hope which
ended in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, October 18th , Lance
appeared on stage with the 26 riders who made the historic
trip, and made it sound as though every cancer patient who has ever
survived owes their life to BMS. Really! Even more
disheartening is his enthusiastic
crusade for more money, more research, more clinical
trials - all focused on more drugs - and obviously aimed at making lots of bucks for his
high-profile corporate sponsor which has captured the best
celebrity spokesperson ever to happen their way.
Lucky for B-M-S; lucky for Lance;
not so lucky for well-meaning advocates and misguided misinformed cancer patients.
If you read Lance's 2001
best-seller carefully, you will find many scattered references
to nutritional and dietary support - none of which was
part of the orthodox drug-focused protocol. On page 89 he
speaks at length about how he and his mom made such a dedicated
study of cancer - reading every book medical journal and
Internet research report they could find that offered guidelines
for fighting cancer - "I felt I might as well go back to
school and become a doctor." It became a true mother-son
collaboration. "It was a project," he says, "and mom was the
project director." She arranged for nutritional consultations,
and repeatedly vowed, "We'll leave no stone unturned." When
hospital personnel rejected the food regimen the nutritionist had
recommend as compatible with chemo, his mom stood up to them and
said, "Fine. We'll cook these things ourselves." Then she shopped
and brought healthy food with her on every visit. And so Lance stuffed
down two or more servings of Caesar salad made with free-range
chickens before each drug session, to maintain strength, knowing he'd be nauseous and
throwing up for hours afterward; he drank 15 or more glasses of
water a day and loaded up on Vitamin C to counteract the drug
toxicity; he stuck to sugar-free foods, organic veggies and
rejected all beef and cheese products as his nutritionist
directed. When he woke after
a treatment, hungry or not, he tried to eat the plate of sliced
fruit and fresh veggies his mom had prepared. "I was NOT a
compliant patient," he says. "We set our own protocol. We were
One of the many mysteries of
the Armstrong triumph is how someone so physically devastated by
system-wide cancer and the cell destructive 'cure' was able to spring back
in such superb physical condition, he was able to master the
grueling Tour d' France, not once, but
five times. Is it reasonable to believe that the deadly drugs
administered in heavy doses - bleomycin, etopside and cisplatin - all so toxic the
nurses wore radio-protective garb when administering them -
which admittedly destroyed bone marrow, blood cells, muscle,
supportive tissue, hair, nails - would then miraculously reverse
effect and rebuild the shattered body into Yellow Jacket
winning condition? Hardly.
Throughout the years we were
grappling to uncover strategies designed to reverse congestive
heart failure, we were astonished by the many calls received
from a cadre of unrelated women all fighting the same disease,
determined to keep the man in their life alive. They offered so
many good suggestions, useable ideas, unknown resources, and
daily encouragement with tales of their own success, we've
called them our "Doctor Moms". They are a great untouched
resource in this nation, and we hope to be able to unite them
into a real force in the months ahead..
In his book Lance admits,
"There are so many fronts to the cancer fights, I couldn't focus
or rely on just one."
Quite so. How sad that this valuable insight on the
importance of a multi-factorial approach, with the
patient, not the doctors, responsible for treatment decisions, is what it takes to beat any
deadly disease. That's the honest survival message that's been squelched
by the B-M-S hoopla. Here's
hoping this challenge to honesty and full disclosure will reach Lance and cause him to rethink
his obligation to cancer patients everywhere.
Lance, you said it right when you wrote "It's Not All the Bike".
Get it right again, It's not all Bristol-Myers-Squibb.
Write a new book - here's the title: "Let's Hear It for the
Doctor Moms". We'll help.
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