We were incredibly saddened to hear of the passing of a very special Gerson person last week. Jess Ainscough, the Wellness Warrior, passed away last week after living with a rare type of cancer called epithelioid sarcoma for the past seven years. Jess opened her heart and life to the world, sharing the ups and downs of her diagnosis and treatment, and drew from her own experience to provide tips and guidance on living a healthy and non-toxic lifestyle and encourage others to seek a path toward wellness.
Jess was only 22 when diagnosed, and initially underwent chemotherapy, though the treatment was unsuccessful. Her doctors told her she had no other choice than to amputate her arm completely–and even then, the amputation could only help prolong her life, not save it. Her cancer was terminal.
Jess was faced with a difficult choice, and ultimately made the decision not to go through with the amputation. Since conventional medicine had given her no other choices, she looked to alternative medicine, and found an approach that she felt was right for her: the Gerson Therapy, which she followed for two years.
On her blog, Jess shared stories about her experiences, giving readers an inside look at life on the Gerson Therapy. She discontinued the Gerson Therapy in 2012 to pursue other therapeutic modalities, and while she didn’t keep in touch with us often, our staff remained big fans of hers and read her website regularly. Jess was a lovely person; her positive attitude and determination were an inspiration to us all.
After seven years of fighting, Jess’ body did finally succumb to the cancer last week. Some critics have taken her death as proof that alternative or holistic therapies don’t work, but we disagree. There is no guarantee that any medical treatment, alternative or conventional, will work for every patient, every time–especially for patients like Jess, who have advanced or terminal cancer diagnoses. Cancer is a devastating and deadly disease, and the Gerson Therapy cannot save everyone. However, we feel it is important that people are free and empowered to make a choice: to weigh the pros and cons of all the available treatment options, to choose the treatment that feels right for them and to live out the remainder of their lives–whether it’s seven years or seventy–on their own terms, in a way that gives them peace and strength.
Though she adopted the moniker of Wellness Warrior, Jess didn’t describe her seven years of living with cancer as a “fight” or a “battle”–she preferred to say she was “thriving” with cancer, and used her time on earth to pursue her passions and dreams with enthusiasm and joy.
Jess held a special place in the hearts of many Gerson persons, and will be dearly missed. She will be loved and remembered by all of us, and we hope that her family, friends and fans find peace in the memory of having such a brave and extraordinary young woman bless their lives.
Photo source: JessAinscough.com