CHIPSA Celebrates 1 Year Anniversary of Historic Cancer Survivor Event!

CHIPSA Hospital is celebrating the one year anniversary of our historic “A Celebration of Life” survivor reunion, held late last September in San Diego, CA. 

The first-of-its-kind event celebrated 22 late stage cancer survivors and honored the work of the world-renowned doctors and scientists behind their treatments.

What made this event so unique? 

As 28-year-old melanoma survivor Bailey O’Brien said, “It’s not every day that you meet another stage 4 or late stage 3 cancer survivor.” 

CHIPSA’s event was extraordinary because the majority of our guests shouldn’t even have been alive.

All of the survivors in attendance were given a death sentence. But they’re all still here, and some of them have been in remission for over 20 years. The event gave them the chance to share their journeys, which of course, all included integrative treatments at CHIPSA. In fact, on the first day of the event, the survivors took a trip back here to visit CHIPSA and meet with our staff and current patients. The experience was memorable for both the survivors and the patients, as the survivors got a glimpse of where they once were, and the patients got to envision where they could end up.

For some of the survivors, it had been nearly 30 years since their last visit to CHIPSA. 

CHIPSA surivor's reunion

John Hagger, for instance, was a patient all the way back in 1991. Diagnosed with late-stage melanoma when he was just 41 years old, John came to CHIPSA from England without having any traditional chemotherapy or radiation treatments. “At the hospital, the therapy was so powerful for me that it turned around my terminal disease in 11 days,” said John. “My tumor started to shrink, and disappeared entirely after 11 weeks.” 

John just celebrated his 85th birthday. He hasn’t had a single cancer recurrence. 

Ann Fonfa came to CHIPSA in 1995 with a breast cancer diagnosis. She was only 45 years old. Her decision to choose integrative treatments was particularly necessary, as an extreme chemical sensitivity prevented her from undergoing any chemotherapy or radiation. She went through a series of surgeries and fought 25 tumors, all the while staying diligent to the treatments and nutritional regimens laid out for her. “I got lucky,” she says. “And I want other people to get lucky, too. But that luck does require effort.

Ann is now 70 years old. She’s celebrating 25 years without a breast cancer recurrence.

Sharon Brockman was told she wouldn’t live to see her young children graduate from high school. She was only 26 when she was first diagnosed with stage 4b melanoma, and when it began metastasizing years later, her health took a serious turn. Even after her initial round of treatments at CHIPSA, the cancer spread to her lung and abdomen. Although her doctors recommended immediate surgery to remove the tumors, Sharon was unwilling to be left with a poor quality of life at such a young age. She returned to CHIPSA to try Coley’s toxins, which rid her body of the tumor so quickly that she needed emergency surgery to take out the dead tissue. “I consider myself cured now,” says Sharon. “I never worry about cancer. I don’t worry about it all.

Sharon hasn’t had a single tumor since then. She’s now 58 years old and gets to hold her grandchildren.

Bailey O’Brien was only 20 years old when she was told her stage 4 melanoma would end her young life. Originally diagnosed when she was 18, just at the start of her freshman year of college, Bailey went through several rounds of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments. But her cancer not only kept returning, it also eventually spread to her neck, lungs, and spine. Unwilling to accept that her daughter’s life would end so soon, Bailey’s mother researched other options and came across CHIPSA. “After three weeks of treatment at CHIPSA,” said Bailey, “I could no longer feel the lump under my chin.” And three more weeks of treatment at home led to a scan with no active signs of cancer. “It was more than I had even imagined was possible,” she said. “It was incredible.”

Bailey is now 28 years old. She’s been cancer free for 8 years. 

Stacy Ward was placed on hospice after her squamous cell nasopharyngeal cancer spread throughout her body. She underwent 9 rounds of chemotherapy and 35 rounds of radiation to try and shrink her tumor, but nothing worked, and her doctors gave her no other options. Although Stacy was on end-of-life care, she and her family didn’t give up. They consulted a naturopathic doctor and did three weeks of treatment at CHIPSA. Seven months later, a thermogram scan showed that her cancer had completely disappeared. 

Stacy was kicked off of hospice care and she’s still cancer-free three years later. 

According to conventional medicine, these patients were not supposed to be alive. And had they relied on conventional medicine alone, they might not be.

The 3-day event was very much a celebration of this fact, as it honored the accomplishments of doctors, researchers, and of course, the cancer survivors themselves.

But as much as we celebrated the past, we also placed a great focus on the future. Cancer treatment is constantly evolving, and CHIPSA has never been one to stay on the tail end of groundbreaking research. Day two of the event thus included a scientific forum attended by CHIPSA’s scientific advisory board, Dr. Franco Marincola, Dr. Philip Kim, and Dr. Vijay Mahant. Doctors and researchers gave presentations on cutting-edge immunotherapy treatments and non-toxic approaches to cancer care. 

At CHIPSA, the main tool for healing is the patient’s own immune system. “When the immune system is responsible for killing cancer, especially the adaptive immune system, you can get real cures,” said Ed Clay, the hospital’s former CEO. “And that’s what the world is looking for. Not 3-month life extensions from chemotherapy treatment. We want cures.”  

So what has CHIPSA accomplished in the year since its inaugural event? 

It’s hard to believe a year has gone by since we hosted our “Celebration of Life” event. We remain proud and thankful to have made a difference in those 22 lives, but we are not satisfied

We hope last year’s event marks a mere beginning in the strides we’ll make to change the face of cancer treatment. Like so many others, we hope to someday see a world in which a late-stage cancer diagnosis does not have to equal a death sentence.

Unfortunately, it won’t happen overnight. That’s why we’ve still been working tirelessly to offer patients the most cutting-edge immunotherapy treatments. In the past year, we’ve let the excitement of our historic event fuel our drive to achieve even more. We’ve continued to stay ahead of research. We’ve continued to conduct clinical trials. We’ve continued to offer the newest proven treatments. And we’ve continued to use the foundational treatments that have shown the greatest success.

Some of our greatest accomplishments over this past year include: 

  • Securing the availability of Apatone as a supplement for patients all over the world. Apatone is a combination with the amazing potential to increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy without toxic side effects. In some studies, it has shown to increase the potency of chemotherapy by over 600%.
  • Treating 250 patients in a clinical trial with ValloVax at no cost to them.
  • Offering a free clinical trial with Immunopheresis for stage 4 triple negative breast cancer patients.
  • Creating a new form of Coley’s toxins with a focus on CPG, which is made of the strongest stimulator of the innate immune system that we have seen. We have taken data and experience from our 22 years of experience with Coley’s fluid, and currently have the best balance of ingredients to maximize tumor cell death and increase the immune response.
  • Launching our new Immune™ Cellular program that includes exclusive immune-stimulating treatments like Coley’s CPG, DC-MAX, and AP-Max.
  • Enhancing our foundational Gerson Therapy regimen by personalizing the diet for each individual patient. 

Perhaps our biggest accomplishment, though, is having reached more patients who have benefited from our treatments. As one of our long-term survivors said last year, “This is huge. It’s not about the hospital. It’s not just about us. It’s about getting it out to a larger part of the world.”  

Although we are far from our goal to reach the world, we have spread our knowledge and tools — and in turn, our hope — to many more people this past year, and for that, we are most grateful.

chipsa survivor reunion