9 responses to Topeka Clinic Opens; Chemo Case Update
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    Osiah Horst
    Comment on Topeka Clinic Opens; Chemo Case Update (November 7th, 2013 at 08:35)

    We visited recently with Wayne and Joyce Brubacher from Goshen, Indiana, who have adult children with MSUD. They have been involved in the new clinic, I believe, and are excited about the possibilities this clinic will provide to families like theirs. Although it probably won’t benefit their family, they do take an active interest in this work.

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    Ed from NY
    Comment on Topeka Clinic Opens; Chemo Case Update (November 7th, 2013 at 12:22)

    Erik, thanks as usual. It seems the Amish approach to healthcare certainly brings out the best (CHC, DDC, Clinic for Special Children) and the worst (“natural cure” scams) from the surrounding community.

    The article about the girl “escaping” the United States and the family going underground overseas raises as many questions as it answers. Questions like – do they plan to stay overseas forever? Did they legally immigrate to that country? Is the healthcare (“natural” or otherwise) up to U.S. standards?

    I hope the girl has dodged a bullet with just the initial chemo but I cannot help but think this family was seriously misguided in their medical choices Perhaps also, the hospital needs to better tailor its services to its Amish population, as have the other clinics you mentioned.

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      Comment on Sarah's Natural Treatment (November 7th, 2013 at 12:38)

      Sarah's Natural Treatment

      Thanks Ed, according to the article linked above, the family would like to return (if they haven’t already). I’d assume they either went to Canada or Mexico.

      Amish will go abroad for more unorthodox treatments or just to get a procedure done at a lower cost. Mexico is popular in this regard. I know of one Amishman whose brother was treated for MS in Mexico last year. Another went to a Central American country (Honduras I believe) for an experimental treatment.

      I can’t say much about what treatment was administered to Sarah…this looks like the relevant bit from the piece above:

      Three doctors that have treated her with a natural, biochemical protocol using nutrition, supplements and plant extracts have declared Sarah cancer free based on cat scans and blood tests—confirmed three times.

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      Sara Mandal-Joy
      Comment on NOT all natural treatments are scams (November 7th, 2013 at 13:56)

      NOT all natural treatments are scams

      “and the worst (“natural cure” scams) from the surrounding community.”

      Ed – there are so many natural treatments that work at least as well, and sometimes better than what the AMA allows or accepts. i think there are many reasons for that. Are there scams? Yes, absolutely, but I find our drug company funded medical schools to also be a part of a “scam” at times – though unwittingly…..

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        Comment on Uhh: "unwittingly"? (November 7th, 2013 at 16:55)

        Uhh: "unwittingly"?

        “drug company funded medical schools to also be a part of a “scam” at times – though unwittingly…..”

        Even I know that if a school accepts funding from an enterprise the “unwittingly” part is negated….

        These schools often accept not only “funding” (could just as easily be called bribery?) but utilize drug company-employed lecturers and and drug company-supplied books (usually mandatory and we students had to pay for them nonetheless)to “teach” various classes. This not only results in indoctrination (correct or incorrect) but hampers the passage/development of information about diseases or conditions for which there is no profitable pharmaceutical (or device-dependent) treatment, since the idea is to get students up to speed on how to return the drug-company’s investment in them as students.

        An approach such as these folks are taking in Topeka is well-advised, I should think, both as a way to provide legitimate good care and to financially hold the price of such care down to essential costs. Nobody objects to the idea of paying reasonable costs for helpful treatment….these folks appear to be finding and making a way for it to happen.

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        Ed from NY
        Comment on Topeka Clinic Opens; Chemo Case Update (November 8th, 2013 at 15:26)

        Sara, since as of yet, there is no known cure for cancer, I would posit that anyone claiming to sell a “natural cure” for cancer IS ABSOLUTELY SELLING A SCAM.

        That said, you’re right, a lot of modern medicine is based on natural remedies. And indeed, when a natural ingredient is studied, the chemical structure analyzed, the efficacy noted, toxicity measured, dosage tested … well, you have a proven treatment. Why not put any “natural” cure through the same rigorous process regular medicines get?

        Reflecting further, it seems that much of our modern medical system has become so bureaucratized, so paperwork-intensive, that we should not be surprised some people simply throw their hands up in the air and “opt out” altogether and look to the natural-cure purveyors. That’s why I think the clinics Erik mentioned that cater specifically to the Plain community are so interesting. It remains to be seen if the new Affordable Care Act will help eliminate the bureaucracy and make it easier for people to get care — or make things even more complex and send even more people to the “natural medicine” camp.

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          Sara Mandal-Joy
          Comment on agree to disagree (November 10th, 2013 at 22:37)

          agree to disagree

          Ed, we’re going to have to agree to disagree. Your comment” “Sara, since as of yet, there is no known cure for cancer, I would posit that anyone claiming to sell a “natural cure” for cancer IS ABSOLUTELY SELLING A SCAM.” The point,. from my perspective is that there is no AMA (drug company sponsored) cure for cancer. There are MANY folks who have recovered from cancer using natural means. The AMA does not sanction such options, and does not research them. So all “proof” is anecdotal. But when someone is told they have late stage cancer and only months to live, but then recovers using natural methods – this is a significant anecdote. I’m not interested in AMA’s practice of trying to pull out what they consider to be THE active ingredient in natural cures. There is never ONE active ingredient. It is in the whole process, an entire change of lifestyle (diet, stress levels, etc.), the whole context of a “natural” protocol, including whole herbs/foods, that health is restored. it is not one magic chemical bullet that kills the cancer. It is a complete change of mind, heart, way of life, including various herbs and/or foods IN their whole, natural context. I’ve directly seen this process to work, over and over, with way too many people for it to be anecdotal. If the whole way of life is not considered, it seldom works, no matter what combination of “natural ingredients” are used. Life style changes alone are not enough either. It requires a whole physical, mental, spiritual housecleaning, so to speak. Sometimes the piecemeal approach has had limited success, but that does seem more “anecdotal”. And sometimes nothing works – sometimes what is accomplished in the change of way of life is a gentle understanding, acceptance, of a time of transition. But your statement/stance leaves no space for the hundreds of folks I personally know who have recovered from cancer “naturally” – using a variety of methods. And, no, I’m not a health practitioner of any kind, not peddling anything. Just have had close friends who have gone through this journey, so I tuned in, and became somewhat immersed in the stories/lives of those who risked listening to their own hearts and bodies rather than to the cut and dried options offered by the AMA. I do want to qualify this by saying that many individual doctors have an openness to such new kinds of thinking, approaches to health. Some acknowledge the limits of what they have to offer, particularly when there are significant limits, statistically – and are sometimes amazed at the results. Sara

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    Diane Wise
    Comment on Natural Treatment (November 10th, 2013 at 22:15)

    Natural Treatment

    I know an Amish women who was diagnosed with leukemia. With blessings from her physician she began a strict natural treatment. The physician, whom I work closely with, was hesitant the natural treatment would work; however, she told him if it did not begin to work quickly, she would consider other options. For several years now, every time she has her blood checked, the numbers get better and better. Her physician and myself are amazed. She’s doing wonderful after 5 years of being diagnosed.

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    Comment on Topeka Clinic, Sarah Hershberger (November 12th, 2013 at 13:02)

    Topeka Clinic, Sarah Hershberger

    After I saw the 2:27 video accompanying the article, “New clinic helping communities with high rate of genetic disorders,” I realized that Dr. Zineb Ammous, who specializes in genetic disorders, is a female! Because Dr. Morton in PA is a man, I just expected Dr. Ammous to also be a man. The Nov. 4 article and video about the Topeka, Indiana, clinic can be seen at:


    I appreciate both the mainstream news media articles and the alternative blogs telling us about Sarah Hershberger’s chemotherapy case. It’s interesting to read both sides of the story, especially when it can be given in a factual, civil way. Erik, thanks for your article. Corrie ten Boom said, “The measure of a life is not its duration but its donation.” Sarah’s case may make interesting research if the family and the doctors would be open to it.

    Sarah Hershberger’s Amish grandfather, Isaac Keim, is featured in a 37:42 audio interview, “10yr old Amish girl flees U.S. to escape chemo.” Nov. 2, 2013. At:


    This 24-page document (link below) is from when the Medina County Probate Court was ordered to appoint Schimer as guardian of S.H. for purposes of making medical decisions on S.H.’s behalf. The Date of Judgment Entry is October 1, 2013, and is in Re: Guardianship of S.H. [Cite as In re S.H., 2013-Ohio-4380.]
    On page 13, it is acknowledged that “…the treatment itself may damage her other organs and there is an increased risk of contracting other cancers. S.H. has a small but appreciable risk of
    dying from the treatment itself.”
    Page 9 mentions Wisconsin v. Yoder,(1972). Here’s the link:


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