A Father’s Day Reflection: Catching up with Bree & Ned


In December 2015, we shared Bree’s story about her father, Ned and his experience with the Gerson Therapy and why life, moments, and people are more important than cookies.

This Father’s Day, we followed up with Bree and her dad Ned to catch up on his experience as a new Grandfather and his reflections about his time on the Gerson Therapy:

In 2000, my father decided to go in for testing because he had unchecked testicular pain for a year. Following tests, he received news that he had cancer. They told him the best treatment route would be surgery as it delivers a 95% cure rate. He scheduled the surgery immediately and they suggested follow-up radiation just to be sage. He declined.

A year later, he woke in the middle of the night with pain and assumed he was passing kidney stones. He made an appointment the next day and found out it wasn’t kidney stones, but three tumors pressing around his kidney. Again, they said radiation carried a 95% cure rate. This time my father chose to do radiation. He did two sessions of radiation per day for one month, and was told his tests looked clear.

Observations & Questions

Five months later, he went in for a routine scan. The doctor told them the scan looked clear, but my mother, being very observant and a fierce advocate for my father, pointed out some shading on the scan. The doctor denied it being an issue, so they fired him as their doctor and got a second opinion. Turned out, the cancer was back, this time in his lymph nodes.

The next treatment suggested was 20 rounds of chemotherapy. He remembered a friend, Kathleen Blake, who had cured cancer with an alternative treatment, the Gerson Therapy. He considered it, but his new doctor said this time the cure rate was still 95%, and it was the same chemo that cured Lance Armstrong. So my father opted for pharmaceutical intervention yet again.

During chemo, my father’s body was destroyed. Most days he hardly moved and rarely talked. My sisters and I would usually lay with him in bed and when he could eat, he often requested cherry pie and chocolate milkshakes, which my mother happily delivered since he couldn’t eat much else.

At his one month follow-up Pet-scan, he was told by his doctor that everything looked clear, but when given the report, my mother, always the detective, noticed it read, “uptake in the liver”. She found it while reading through the report at home, so she phoned the nurse and was told that it can be normal and that they would check for it on his three month Pet-scan. My mother insisted on another Pet-scan only three weeks later to be absolutely sure. That Pet-scan showed he had three tumors in his liver and the cancer was rapidly re-producing. The largest tumor was already measuring at 5 cm.

Again, chemotherapy was suggested, this time high-dose. They said it would work best when joined with a bone marrow transplant, and even with both treatments his cure rate had decreased to a measly 25%. Upon hearing his only treatment route would be chemo even more intense than the kind he previously received, he knew it would be a death sentence, especially considering the last chemo allegedly had a 95% cure rate.

A Different Route

He spent time praying about what to do instead of chemo because he knew he didn’t want to do nothing and leaving three young daughters and a wife alone. Yet again, his friend Kathleen and the Gerson Therapy came to mind. My parents sent his records to the Gerson Institute, got accepted for treatment, and a week later, on April 3, 2003, he was flying to San Diego to head down to the licensed clinic in Tijuana, Mexico. In essence, the rest is history. My father had been in technical remission for 9 years, but after only 3 months on the Gerson Therapy, his liver enzymes went from 1,300 back to the normal range.

While talking with my father about this story, I asked him what advice he would give to fellow fathers and grandfathers – here is his reply:

“The Gerson program is extremely tough and takes a lot of discipline. But, if you want to attend your child’s birthdays, high school and college graduations, weddings, and grandbabies births, it’s worth it. Your love of your family and your life must be stronger than your love for food, it’s the only way to get through Gerson.

Cancer helped me understand just how short life can actually be. It strengthened my relationship with Jesus, my faith, and helped me see life isn’t all about me; it’s about being available to help and serve others. That’s why I’m always open to talk to people about Gerson and encourage them. I want them to know there is an option that can give them hope.”


My dad is doing amazing! He still doesn’t love doing cardio or eating too much salad (I think Gerson really got him with all the salads he had to eat!), but he recently became a Grandpa and is still running the company he had to take leave from while he had cancer. My parents are now empty-nesters and just celebrated their 29th anniversary, which is amazing considering they didn’t think he would survive past year 15.

For me, I can’t picture my life without my father. He is my rock, my safe place. I ran to him after breakups, when I couldn’t figure out a school project, when I knew I was in love and going to get married. Watching him become a grandfather has been the most amazing gift of all. When I see him playing with my niece or telling her how beautiful she is, it’s like I’m getting the opportunity to see how he treated me as a baby and I feel so lucky, out of all the dads on the planet, that I got him. I always say, Jesus saved my dad’s life, Gerson helped him live it.

Thank you for allowing us to share our story.

Much love,
Bree Cota

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Written by: Bree Cota
Post by: Kayla Szampruch & Nicole Ferrer


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