The Integrative Approach to Healing

At the end of July Gabby was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the cervix. A diagnosis that came as a shock given that she has consistently had normal Pap smears. Despite the shock Gabby hit the ground running to find the best care.

After some trail, error and lots of self advocacy Gabby landed in the care of Dr. Siobhan Kehoe, Dr. Stella Lymbersis and Dr. Rapheal Kellman, two amazing GYN Oncologists and an amazing functional medicine practitioner.

So the story ends there right? Well no, it doesn’t.

Once in the care of a coupla’ super hero’s Gabby learned that while current placement and size of the cervical mass deems her ineligible for surgery, the mass itself is extremely localized rendering the cancer early stage.

During initial conversations the recommended treatment was  Cisplatin Chemotherapy for 5 weeks and radiation therapy for 7 weeks. After careful thought and consideration, Gabby has decided to forgo chemotherapy entirely and continue forth with radiation therapy while working with Dr. Raphael Kellman, a functional medicine practitioner. 

So here is the skinny on where, why and how Gabby has made the following treatment decisions:

Cisplatin, one of the oldest chemotherapy drugs, was prescribed to Gabby simply as a radio-sensitizer.

Wondering what this means? well, Cervical cancer is most responsive to radiation therapy. However, Cisplatin is most commonly used simply to make the body (in this case, Gabby's body) more SENSITIVE to radiation in an effort to improve the overall curative outcome .

HOWEVER.... Cisplatin isn't the only radio-sensitizer. Receiving care from Dr. Kellman will give Gabby access to a plethora of treatments that will not only protect her body and immune system as she goes through conventional cancer treatment, but also make radiation therapy more effective.

Curcumin, the base compound in the common seasoning turmeric, is not only an extremely potent radio-sensitizer for cancerous tissue, but a protective agent for normal tissue as well. 

Phenyl-butyrate a naturally occurring sodium based compound that has been shown to be successful in its ability to inhibit he growth of cervical cancer cells, without the toxicity typically found in pharmaceutical cancer treatments such as, Cisplatin aka chemotherapy. 

To be frank, all treatment modalities require Gabby  to assume some level of risk. A strictly conventional approach would ensure with great certainty that this cervical mass would be eradicated, but the price is large. Radiation therapy puts Gabby at risk for life long side effects such as lymphedema, urinary and bowel incontinence, early menopause, osteoporosis and secondary cancers such as colon and bladder cancer. 

Additionally, radiotherapy wouldn't be doing its job unless it weakened Gabby's immune system to a point of being able to destroy the living cancer cells. In a pandemic the last thing we want is for Gabby to be at risk of contracting Covid-19 or any other common viruses circulating during winter months. 

In short... er... long, Gabby has chosen a comprehensive approach so that she has the assurance of eradicating the cervical mass, while also ensuring that she is preventing immediate and long term inhibiting side effects and secondary cancers.

As she poignantly said while making this decision: "a life inhibited to the point of sacrificing joy and adventure isn't a life worth living. "

Gabby will begin radiotherapy treatment in November. Treatment will become her full time job at 5 days a week. With two short hospital stays, concluding right before the new year.

A comprehensive approach will arm her with the supportive integrative treatment she needs to get through this time. 

Unfortunately,  this treatment both conventional and alternative  is neither free nor fully covered by health insurance in our country.

So we are asking you, our lovely community made of up acquaintances, friends, chosen family, neighbors and lovers to help Gabby raise the funds she needs to pay for her full course of treatment, while supporting herself through a rigorous next four months.

Gabby is facing a treatment bill of approximately $15,000

And lastly,

we are hoping to raise an additional $5,000  to enable Gabby to live entirely stress free during this time and focus completely on the healing and rebirth of her mind body and soul.

Can we count on you to help us? 

In love, blessings and good health!


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Gabrielle Brown 
Brooklyn, NY

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