Saturday, July 22, 2006
Whether you believe in integrative medicine or not, this is a terrible situation.
16-year old Abraham Cherrix has cancer - Hodgkin’s. He responded poorly to chemo last summer and in fact believed that it was killing him. By the time he got home after the treatments, he couldn’t walk – his father would have to carry him into the house.
So he started to do research and decided to try a treatment (organic foods and herbal supplements – Hoxsey) in Mexico. His father, Jay, a bit skeptical, traveled with the then 15-year to Tijuana. When they returned, the parents talked to their son’s oncologist and told her that the family wanted to try an alternative therapy because the chemo was not working but wanted her to stay on and monitor the progress. She was very dismissive of their choice and told them she wanted no part of it. As soon as they left, she called family services.
Not long after, the family received a summons to family court where they erroneously thought they just needed to explain their course of treatment. They walked in with no legal representation and ultimately lost partial custody of Abraham (who was also under court orders to not leave the state of Virginia).
With the help of Sharon Smith, a local woman who read about them, the family attained lawyers and started to receive national media attention. )
They parents self-employed (run a kayaking business on an island on the Eastern Shore of VA) and do not have financial resources to undertake this type of battle so they are relying on donations and pro bono work.
The judge (who is a visiting judge, who’s expertise is real estate) was supposed to email his final ruling on Tuesday, July 18. It did not come and there was no explanation as to why or when it would be delivered. Would you be surprised to learn that the judge gave his ruling on Friday, July 21st at 5:20pm? That is a common trick that is used when people DO NOT want the media to pick up an item. It is very hard to generate action and attention over the weekend.
The judge ruled that the parents were neglectful and that they needed to go to the hospital by Tuesday, July 25th and sign the papers authorizing that the doctors could provide the treatment that they – as medical professionals – deem necessary.
We cannot allow this to happen. There are legal, PR, and legislative/political maneuvering that must start immediately.
We are working with the family and our general counsel, Mike Ruggio has been in discussion with the Cherrix’s lawyers. Additionally we are contacting members of Congress and the family has been visiting local representatives.
We will shortly have a plan of action for you and will need your support. Your voice, your outrage, your ideas, and your financial support are all greatly needed.
We will be updating the blog over the next few days with ways you can help and with any late breaking news.
Here are some of the recent news articles:
Abraham's website (temporarily down due to exceeded bandwidth)
We believe our bill Access to Medical Treatment Act (HR 2792/S.2618) while addressing the issue in a peripheral manner, would not help Abraham directly because Mexico is not named as one of the countries. Though it would help other children and adults so please take a moment to support the bill.
Health Freedom Foundation and American Association for Health Freedom
4620 Lee Highway, Suite 210
Arlington, VA 22207
Posted by ANH-USA at 8:47:00 AM