Cancer Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine

Katie Wernecke and Teddy Bears for Cancer Kids

I hate to end the week on a downer, but I came across this last night and, given my attention to the case of Katie Wernecke (the girl whose parents chose dubious alternative medical therapy over the radiation therapy she needed for her lymphoma) over the last several months and the recent news that her cancer had returned with a vengeance, it’s hard for me not to mention what I’ve found now, rather than waiting until the weekend or Monday.

First, Katie’s father has posted a story written by Katie on the family blog: Hope. It was really hard for me to read this, as it’s a heart-wrenching tale that, in light of what we know about the recurrence of Katie’s lymphoma, strongly suggests that Katie knows what’s in store for her soon. This story also reinforces in my mind what a waste it was that Katie’s best chance for a cure when her cancer was first treated was squandered in favor of ineffective “alternative” therapies. If you’re the type of person who’s prone to tearing up at a sad movie, you probably shouldn’t read this until you’re alone. (Apparently, this story was written for Katie’s English class; I don’t know how the teacher dealt with reading it.)

Second, the story sets up a program that Katie is starting called Teddy Bears for Cancer Kids, where she will be distributing Teddy bears to children with cancer.

It sucks to lose such a great kid when there was a decent chance that it didn’t have to happen.


Hope by Katie Wernecke

Teen battling cancer writes about dying victim named Hope

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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