“We would even sell the house if we had to. After all, it’s only bricks and mortar, and Connah is our flesh and blood.” Debbie Broom, Connah’s grandmother.
Connah Broom heals from stage 4 neuroblastoma with diet, supplements and alternative therapies
Connah Broom, of Denbighshire, Wales, was just four years old when he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2006. He had been suffering from strange symptoms that included unexplained screaming and drenching sweats in the middle of the night. Subsequent testing confirmed the presence the cancer.
Neuroblastoma is a cancer of the nervous system that can spread throughout the entire body. It accounts for 10% of all cancers that are diagnosed in children, with approximately 700 children being diagnosed in the United States every year, and 100 in the United Kingdom.
Doctors found 11 tumors stretching from Connah’s neck down through his chest area (right next to his heart), into his stomach close to several major organs (including the kidney and intestines), and continuing down into his left leg. He was stage 4 at the time of diagnosis and not expected to live past the age of five.
Connah had chemotherapy for seven months but it did not improve his condition and doctors said that surgery and radiation would not be effective for him either. The family was given the option of using an experimental drug called Tapotecan, but they were told it could also damage his kidneys and heart. Doctors said that he had a 50/50 chance of surviving the treatment, and they couldn’t give statistics on whether it would be helpful for the cancer or not. Connah was living with his grandparents at the time and they immediately began searching for alternatives to help him.
Connah’s diet and supplement protocol:
- To begin feeding him an organic diet based on whole foods that are eaten in their natural form
- Having him drink filtered water to reduce his exposure to the harmful toxins that are commonly found in drinking water.
- He also began taking a variety of supplements and herbals.
- Connah’s grandmother says, “Once we did these things, Connah stopped becoming ill.”
The next alternative treatment that the Broom’s employed was Reiki Therapy which is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying of the hands” and is based on the ideas than an unseen life force energy flows through us and is accessible to all. If one’s life force energy is low, then we are more likely to become sick or feel stress. This therapy is said to activate the natural healing processes of the patient’s body and works to restore the physical and emotional well-being of the patient. People have most often use Reiki as a relaxation technique and to assist with pain relief. For his therapy, Connah was visited by a Reiki Master who volunteered to come to his home on a weekly basis.
Sauna Detox Therapy
Connah also was given daily sauna treatments that allowed his body to sweat out the toxins that had built up in his system. Although the kidneys are considered to be the pillar of the detoxification system, intense sweating from a sauna can help to rid the body of about one-third of the toxic material that your kidneys would normally have to filter from your bloodstream.
Multiple studies have shown that saunas are effective in removing solvents, organic chemicals, PCBs, pharmaceuticals, and heavy metal toxins from the body. The high temperatures of saunas can also give your immune system a boost by increasing the number of white blood cells that fight infections by as much as 58%. Your T cells (which are the cancer killer cells) and antibodies can increase by as much as 2,000%. Additionally, many microbes can not survive in a heated environment so many of them die off with exposure to the heat. Connah’s grandparents bought a Infrared Sauna System that he could use in the comfort of his own home.
In 2007, his grandparents learned about a clinic in Mexico offering a treatment called photodynamic therapy (PDT), which uses a laser or another type of light source that is combined with a photosensitive chlorophyll extract. The patients swallows a chlorophyll agent and a period of time passes which gives the agent some time to collect in the cancerous cells. Connah was then placed under six full-spectrum lights which simulates the sun’s natural light. This ‘activates’ the algae extract to create a powerful oxidant effect which has the ability to kill cancer cells.
This therapy has been approved in the UK and Mexico to treat some forms of skin cancer. Connah underwent an intensive two-week course of this therapy in Mexico and his family firmly believes that it was responsible for destroying 10 of the 11 tumors.
Following their trip to Mexico, Connah’s grandfather built his own version of the light therapy box in their basement so they could repeat the therapy in the comfort of their home. They also imported the algae extract from Russia. You can read more about this therapy at the bottom of the post.
Focused Ultrasound Therapy
Connah’s grandmother also gives him treatments with a Portable Hand-Held Ultrasound Device that she said would kill the cancer cells by generating heat when focused directly over the tumor. Connah received this treatment daily.
His grandmother said, “We went in February for scans and they showed just the one tumor – the primary. It had reduced slightly, not as quick as we were hoping for unfortunately, but we’re getting there.” Mrs Broom said it had been an emotional journey but Connah’s progress over the past seven years had been remarkable.
The primary tumor that remains is about two inches long and is located in his abdomen. Connah’s body has managed to dissolve 10 of the 11 cancerous growths and he hasn’t been seen by a cancer specialist for the past five years. Connah continues to monitor his progress by having regular ultra-sound scans from his primary doctor. When Connah first began his alternative therapies he did them 5 nights per week, and they would last about 2 hours each night. Since he is doing so well, his grandparents have reduced the therapies to only 3 nights per week. His grandparent hope to kill off the remaining growth so that Connah can finally be declared in remission. Though it should be noted that the tumor seems to have little impact on his day-to-day life as Connah is involved in various physical activities such as competitive dancing and soccer.
His grandmother says, ‘We’re not under any illusions and we know that all this could change at any time. Each day is like the turn of a card. You don’t know what hand you’re going to be dealt. The Power Above has been watching over Connah and we just pray every day that his good health will continue and he will keep getting better. We can’t pinpoint exactly which part of what we are doing is making Connah so well, so we’ll just keep doing it all. If what we’re doing stops working, then we’ll look for another treatment. We’ll never give up doing everything in the world to help our little boy.”
His grandfather Jim Broom adds, “The experts gave us little hope for our little man’s future. Of course we are over-awed that it worked and he is doing so well. There was time when the thought of Connah starting at high school was an impossibility. But he’s proved everyone wrong and the future is looking good.”
Connah’s family has written a book directed at children which documents the treatments that Connah received. The book is titled, The Amazing Cancer Kid, and was published on October 10, 2013. They hope this book will inspire other families who are facing a similar situation to explore their options. Profits from the book will go towards providing continuing alternative therapies for as long as Connah needs them. His grandmother said: “Connah wanted to tell people there’s a world of information and support and alternative therapies that will help you heal as a family. Doctors and hospitals are just one part of your treatment.”
Connah’s General Practitioner, Dr Eamon Jessop said: ‘This is the one miracle in my entire career. He’s doing incredibly well, it’s staggering. Whether his recovery is down to the treatment or not I don’t think we’ll ever know.” Dr Jessop said he was sure the healthy diet and love and support of his grandparents had all contributed to his amazing recovery. “In Connah’s case he has defied all the odds, without a shadow of a doubt.”
An overview of Connah’s diagnosis
An explanation of photodynamic therapy
This therapy is also called photochemotherapy, phototherapy, or photoradiation therapy, is based on the discovery that cells or organisms treated with a photosensitizing agent can then be destroyed by means of light. PDT involves the use of a photosensitizing drug, which is either applied to the skin, injected intravenously, or taken orally. After a two or three days, when the drug has been absorbed throughout the body, though more selectively in cancer cells, a low-level, fixed-frequency laser light is focused on the tumor, causing the drug to react with oxygen. This forms free radicals or other substances which kill the cancer cells, or destroys the blood vessels that feed the cancer cells. PDT may also trigger the immune system to attack the cancer cells. The actual laser treatment can take between 5 to 40 minutes, depending on the area being treated.Since PDT is only useful for treating tumors or pre-cancerous tissues where laser light can reach, it is not always practical. This usually restricts PDT to areas on or lying no more that half an inch beneath the skin, or in the accessible lining of internal organs, especially the larynx, esophagus, lungs, stomach, colon, rectum, and bladder. Treatment of prostate, ovarian and pancreatic cancers are still in an experimental stage. Large tumors are more difficult to treat with PDT because the light does not penetrate deeply enough.
In cases where PDT can be used, studies have shown it to be as effective as surgery or radiation therapy. The advantages are that the patient does not have to undergo surgery; the cancer can be very precisely targeted; the treatment can be repeated on the same site (unlike radiation); and the patient can generally be treated as an outpatient. The major drawback with some PDT drugs is that because they spread throughout the body, the skin and eyes become very sensitive to bright light for up to six weeks, even up to 90 days, requiring special precautions such as avoiding sun exposure or exposure to very bright lights. Read more about photodynamic therapy.
Clinics that offer photodynamic therapy