Grace Gawler - Helping You Navigate the Cancer Maze

Testimonials

Survivor Stories



The survivor stories below are of patients carefully navigated by Grace on a Survivorship Action Plan. They have been able to access innovative treatment hubs via Grace’s national and international medical networks. Here are their stories
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Most patients tell Grace...

I just wish I had found you sooner

For a quick glimpse of these remarkable survivor stories see the adjacent carousel.

For more detailed survivor stories please read on.

Click here to read endorsements from a diverse range of cancer specialists including, oncologists, surgeons, interventional radiologists, naturopaths and more.

The survivor stories and professional endorsements testify to Grace Gawler’s dedicated service to cancer patients, beginning with becoming care giver to her boyfriend with bone cancer nearly 50 years ago. (he too is still alive)

More detailed survivor stories

Triple negative Breast cancer (TNBC)
Diagnosed 2015 – Long Term Survivor – Updated Oct 2023 
Alexa M 

Early in 2015 I underwent a lumpectomy and chose not to have follow up treatment. My breast lump was relatively small, and surgeons said they had performed a wide excision and although they recommended, I follow up with either chemotherapy alone or radiotherapy or both to be sure. Under the microscope my small lump was a triple negative breast cancer. A positive thinker, I’d always had an ethic of following natural and lifestyle medicine and I was prepared to take the risk of getting on with my life and leaving cancer behind me. 

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I travelled overseas for a holiday, but although I did not mention to anyone, nagging fears began to plague me; fears about the cancer coming back. Those fears caused me to decide whilst I was in Europe that I would undergo a course of treatment at a German Cancer clinic where I had a few treatments including whole body hyperthermia to help prevent a recurrence. I took supplements prescribed by a naturopath and German doctor and thought little about breast cancer when I returned to Australia.

I thought I had done all the right things however there was one word that had not been explained to me or I that had not heard or understood. The word lympho-vascular invasion. When added to TBNC, this turned out to be the reason why follow up chemotherapy and radiotherapy was recommended after my lumpectomy.

2016 Recurrence! My heart sank. This time not only one lump but several were found and according to pathology reports, they were all related to the previous lump.

I was devastated because not only had my cancer recurred with a vengeance, but my life ethic of curing cancer naturally was shattered. I was ushered into the world of conventional cancer medicine at speed with hardly time to think. Well still I was told that triple negative breast cancers often don’t do well with chemotherapy and if they do, it may only be for a short time before another recurrence. Fear and anxiety began to dominate my life.

A friend suggested I consultation with Grace Gawler Institute. I had a videocall with Grace Gawler was surprised when she told me that debulking the cancer with surgery and mopping up stray cancers with chemotherapy was the best way. She told me that because my cancer had spread in my breast and lymph glands but was nowhere else to be seen on scan; that this was the best course of action.  This was not what I was expecting – not what I had read on the internet about curing cancer. I don’t know much about cancer, but I was trying to fight it. It seems a crazy thought now; thinking you can fight something when you don’t even know what it is. I had adult kids and I wanted to see my grandchildren grow up and I thought constantly about all that stuff you think you will miss when diagnosed with cancer again.

Grace assured me that conventional treatment would not be easy and still there were no guarantees, but she would help me to give it my best shot. Before surgery she mentioned there was a Cancer immunologist in Japan who was helping many of her patients with a special kind of immune therapy made from their own cells. I liked this idea and I asked her if she could help me to organise a trip to Japan after my treatment had finished. She said that I could do even better and sent a request to my surgeon to have some of the infected lymph nodes removed and sent to Japan for a personalised cancer vaccine. I’m not sure of all the behind the scenes arrangements but somehow Grace made it happen. From that day on there were a lot of video calls and emails as she guided me through the process.

My surgeon gave some dire warnings about my long-term survival so I felt that the Japan option might offer me some extra protection. I have followed up with scans and blood tests and it’s a good feeling when your surgeon says she doesn’t want to see you for another year and then another year and then another.

That’s all in the past now, I have been to Japan four times for my cancer vaccine treatment. I am still in remission seven years later, 2023. I’m grateful for being alive and well and to all my doctors but especially to Grace for the role she played in my recovery. I hope that my story can encourage others and that they can lean from it.   Update October 2023 – Now 57, Alexa has remained in full remission, enjoying life and her grandchildren.      

The Grace Gawler Institute

Alison M – A Breast Cancer Legacy
Triple negative Breast cancer (TNBC) 2016-2022

Some long-term survivors meet unexpected challenges. Because we are personalised cancer navigation support experts who practise Precision Medicine; we are always heavy-hearted when a patient succumbs to the effects of their illness or treatments.

In-house Research: In these circumstances I always action a full case review to be sure that no stone was left unturned for a client. I look at treatment side effects, past and current, access to targeted treatments, roadblocks encountered whilst navigating the maze, etc.

These reports are confidential but powerful, and remain in each patients file serving as reminder of the challenges that cancer brings.

There is a client I would like to honour on the Institute’s Survivor Stories page because her story highlights the many challenges faced by patients who have failed to respond to standard of care treatment, and who then extend their lives by discovering a whole new approach called precision medicine. This includes personalised care and genomic diagnostics.

Alison M was initially diagnosed with TNBC (triple negative breast cancer) in September 2016. Her story appeared on this page as a survivor who was still diligently navigating the survivorship maze. After several surgeries and multiple types of treatments, Alison wrote in her first email in August 2020 when she joined our Survivorship Plan, “As someone who has travelled what I call “the conveyancer belt” of standard surgeries and treatments which are rarely targeted or effective for TNBC, I was enlightened to see your comment that not all TNBC is the same disease”.  Also, she often said and wrote, “I am grateful for many things in my life and one of them is definitely you, Grace. I wish I had found you sooner.

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Alison’s experience with metastatic TNBC, highlights the horrendous personal challenges endured by many breast cancer patients. These women have faced their uncertain journey with grace, resilience, tenacity, and zest for life that should be appreciated and honoured!  Alison knew she had a battle on her hands and wrote, “Regardless of the outcome for me, it is so heartening to know what you have done for so many other people and by extension, their families too.  Alison was blessed to have unwavering, intelligent and loving support from her husband Robert, her boys and friends and work colleagues.

Learning from the lives of many women including Alison, I have made it my personal mission and research goal for my remaining work years-which I hope is many; to design a personalised early intervention program for women diagnosed with TNBC.  Thank you, Alison! Grace Gawler October 2023

Advanced Micro Papillary Breast Cancer with Advanced Bone Metastases
Diagnosed 2014 – Long Term Survivor Updated Oct 2023

Marianne, NSW.  

Grace is the light in a sea of darkness for me. An angel brought into my life, she guided me through the complex process of obtaining effective cancer treatments overseas! Having been diagnosed in February 2014 with breast cancer, and having taken a number of alternative treatments working on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level, I was given the all clear.  However, in November 2016, I was diagnosed with a huge tumour in my breast which metastasised extensively into my bones.

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Well, I thought with all the work I had done I had conquered my fear of my mortality.  It came back in full force overshadowing me, with anxiety at an all time high.  After doing so much emotional work, I was shocked to see how much fear I still had. I have avoided the medical system most of my life, as I never received clear answers for my ailments.  Fear surrounded me when it came to allopathic medicine.  Fear of diagnosis and treatment was overwhelming.

The immense, unbearable pain over two months lead me to succumb to see a doctor. Fear and pain had a hold of me! I felt defeated! My worst fears had come to realisation.  Test after test revealed my worst nightmare. I feel so blessed to have been guided to Grace.  She has been pinnacle in transforming my fears of doom and gloom to hope. Poor Grace.  Working diligently to keep me on course through the many times I wanted to bail ship!  Through her loving and caring nature, Grace was able to put me back on track.

I wanted to take any opportunity to deviate from this course, believing that alternative ways were the only way to full recovery, and also within my comfort zone. Other treatments showed up for me to go off track from the path Grace was desperately trying to keep me on! So many supposedly great treatments out there that swear they cure cancer, all very believable when in such a fragile emotional state.  From well meaning family and friends they are all legitimate in their belief that they work.

Unlike the path Grace leads you on, they are a one size fits all treatment for everyone. I definitely do not fit into the one-size fits all category, as revealed through the many tests Grace led me to have. Grace steered me in the right direction each time with logical sound reasoning from her wealth of knowledge, understanding of other treatments out there and whether or not they will have any chance of being effective in my individual case.

Achieving great results requires a team effort which Grace co-ordinates so smoothly and professionally. Every Skype call I have had with Grace so far has transformed my doubts, fears and anxiety to peace, hope and knowing that I am on the right track. From the roller coaster three months since my diagnosis, I am now in a state of healing.  My health has already improved substantially and I am in a great emotional state, confident and at peace with the paths I am taking.

Since I met Grace (less than 3 months ago Oct 2016) I have gone from being debilitated with pain and suffering to living a normal pain-free healthy energized life on a healing path to optimal health that I have never experienced before. My health issues began as a small child.  I have been managing them as best I can but until I met Grace I had no idea why I was having the unusual symptoms I experience.  Grace has not only worked out what triggered my health issues and cancer but also a path of healing them along with my cancer!

Grace explains: Invasive micro papillary carcinoma of the breast can be aggressive. It is rare and accounts for less than 1% of invasive breast cancers. Marianne pursued alternative diagnostic procedures for some time which failed to diagnose her rare breast cancer type.

Before embarking on any treatment, Grace recommended a genomic test which was performed on her biopsy tissue. Fortunately, the test revealed, that chemotherapy was not appropriate and that hormone therapy alongside a new breast cancer treatment, would be more targeted to her cancer type. Concurrently, Marianne was referred to an Asian expert for blood-based immune therapy and hyperthermia, both synergistic with the new treatment and hormone therapy.

Due to successful reduction of the main tumour mass in the breast and the disappearance of all but one bone metastases, Marianne is about to undertake her third trip for further treatment. The goal is to reduce the tumour as much as possible before mastectomy. Her long-term outcome is looking favourable. Update: Oct 2023 – despite occasional challenges (successfully treated), Marianne continues to do exceptionally well with high level wellbeing.


Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) locally advanced – both breasts.
Diagnosed 2014 – still in Remission Oct, 2023

Sandra B. NSW. Long Term Survivor 

I was shocked when diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer – a high grade carcinoma with lymph node involvement. The doctors said that my cancer was locally advanced with several lumps evident on scans throughout my breast. I had only found one lump which I ignored for several months before seeking help. When further suspicious nodes were found I began to lose hope.

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I was lucky they said as my cancer had not metastasised anywhere else in my body it was localised in the breast and lower nodes. I was told that these types of tumours (TNBC) are often chemo resistant and there were no guarantees that even with radical treatment that I would be OK. Despondent with my poor prognosis, I was even more fearful when many doctors said that because I was young, 40 years old, my cancer was likely to be extremely aggressive and fast growing. There were no hormone treatments.

I was advised to have chemotherapy prior to an advised double mastectomy and was prescribed a usual protocol of 18 weeks chemotherapy – Taxotere, Adriamycin and Cyclophosphamide. (TAC)- It was tough going, but I got through.

After chemotherapy they could find no evidence of the tumours. Then the next treatment; a double mastectomy. The surgery confirmed a complete response with no residual microscopic disease.  Things began to look rosier. When recovered, then came six weeks of radiation therapy. My body felt like a war zone. I was exhausted and traumatised especially with the extra demands of a young family to raise. I asked myself “Should I rest on my laurels” take time out and watch and wait as had been advised.

I am not good at watch and wait so I decided to become proactive being aware of the ongoing risk of recurrence and the impact of side effects that were already plaguing me.

My inflammatory markers were high, and I had constant joint and muscle aches. I found the Grace Gawler Institute which was a turning point. I soon became a client. I had no idea of the huge range of possibilities that awaited me.

As a navigated client of the Grace Gawler Institute, I was prescribed complementary medicines and was referred to a qualified overseas clinic for whole body hyperthermia. Then I travelled to the Institute’s recommended specialist cancer immunologist in Japan.

I underwent a series of personalised cancer vaccines made from my own immune cells. I have returned every year for treatment and a holiday with family. With the advice and support from Grace, my health improved dramatically, my fatigue melted away as did all my aches and pains.  I had turned a significant corner in my healing and wellbeing.

Update: It is now 2023. My remission has continued, and my health is beyond expectations. My kids are now teenagers and I know I will be around for them and see their birthdays and graduations and one day hopefully grandkids.

Hormone Positive Breast Cancer  
Diagnosed 2014 – Recurrence 2022
Deb B. Qld. Long Term Survivor 2023

I have no family history of breast cancer. In July 2022 at 45 years of age, I was diagnosed with a breast cancer recurrence. My initial diagnosis was in 2014 at the age of 38. At that time I had a lumpectomy, followed by a rigorous program of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. In January 2021 I noticed an annoying cough and spent 2021 working my way through 4 different GP’s to try to work out the reason for my cough. I underwent extensive tests, but every blood test, Xray etc provided no answers. By January 2022 I was still coughing, and my breathing started to become laboured. In May 2022 I ended up going to the ER. A CT scan was ordered that showed a mass on my lung that was pressing on my trachea.

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They followed up with a bronchoscopy and biopsy that resulted in a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer, ER+ PR+ HER2- (same as my cancer in 2014). 

A PET CT scan also showed one positive lymph node near my collarbone. I reacted badly to chemotherapy and was prescribed 20 rounds of radiation as the tumour was not operable. My cough disappeared and my breathing improved.  My oncologist treated me with additional with a monthly injection of Zoladex. 

I was also prescribed a targeted treatment called Ribociclib plus further hormone management with Letrozole. I consulted with Grace Gawler as I was psychologically impacted more by a recurrence than my initial breast cancer diagnosis in 2014. Dealing with fear of another recurrence, and side effects of treatments, as well as following through with further testing using genomic diagnostics, has empowered me to stay the course with my treatment plan. But I have another secret weapon as well as my medical treatment plan, I joined with Grace’s Survivorship Action Plan in August 2022.

Weekly consults have been tremendously helpful, and we are never short of a topic to discuss. Grace has been able to email and communicate with my oncologist which has been a real boost that makes me feel secure. Because of her communication I have been able to identify and report side effects to my oncologist who has welcomed Grace’s insights and input. I feel there is a large gap in the system of the western approach of surgery/chemo/radiation and combining that with a more overall, holistic approach addressing the person as whole.  It appears that Grace fills this gap, which is quite exciting for me!

I am no stranger to alternative and complementary medicine, supplements etc and want to support my body and mind in every way that I can as well as including nutrition. Grace has taught me to be conservative and discerning with complementary medicine. Grace’s no one size fits all approach has helped me to dispense with the load of unnecessary and possibly harmful complementary medicine I had been taking in desperation.

I am looking for guidance to bring all of the information together and ensure I am making the best decisions to give my body and mind what it needs to live as long as I possibly can. My goal is to try to extend my life expectancy well past the statistics.

Update: It is October 2023 and I am feeling confident as my 3rd PET CT since working with Grace is all clear.

Ovarian cancer – liver and peritoneal metastases
Diagnosed 2015  

Rachel. Queensland, Australia – Long Term Survivor 2023 
Many, many thanks for all your care of me and support throughout my cancer journey. You gave us direction, courage, hope and lots of good paths to follow especially sending us to Japan and recommending a new oncologist and surgeon. My husband and I are so very grateful. We can’t thank you enough. 
Rachel’s Story: In January 2016 liver metastases were diagnosed along with multiple peritoneal nodes. December 2015 -Rachel presented with right upper quadrant tenderness. 

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Subsequent CT diagnosed multiple liver lesions from 6 cm ovarian mass.

Jan 2016 -PET CT multiple metastatic deposits of the liver intrahepatic Metastatic Deposits (Segment 6 liver) and Peritoneal Metastases in the Pelvis.

January 2016 – Grace suggested that to prepare for chemotherapy- she would request an opinion from Japanese immune therapy specialist. Rachel decided to pursue this approach and underwent pre-treatment with NK and DC vaccines with hyperthermia in Japan (Not drug based immune therapy – but vaccines made from her own cells.)

1 February 2016 – In Australia Rachel entered into a chemotherapy regimen of neo-adjuvant dose dense chemotherapy.

May 2016 – Grace consulted the Japanese doctors again and it was suggested more NK and DC vaccines (with hyperthermia) in Japan  would be a significant contribution to recovery chances.

July 2016: Grace suggested Rachel consult a Brisbane oncology-gynaecology surgeon to explore option of a hysterectomy to remove uterus, fallopian tube and remaining ovary as well scope for any other cancers

(Notably in December 2015 surgery, only the left ovary was removed)

Post-treatment completion saw Rachel’s third visit to Asia to receive more immune therapy….DC and NK cells (made from her own cells)  with hyperthermia. The outcome was exceptionally positive.

Prior to travelling overseas Rachel had considered a liver resection and major de-bulking surgery. However with the results of a recent PET CT scan and follow-up MRI since returning from Japan she had new options because all that remained was a solitary 5 mm residual tumour, which according to the Japanese doctors, may resolve as the others have done. As of Jan 2023 – Rachel remains well but still dealing with challenges. 

Advanced metastatic gallbladder cancer
Diagnosed 2016 

Janet – Queensland. Long Term Survivor, Oct, 2023 

Janet’s husband –”I feel so lucky that I clicked onto Grace’s name whilst doing a google search on behalf of my wife, Janet,  who was diagnosed with advanced metastatic gallbladder cancer. * When I clicked onto her website, I immediately related to the mantra of ‘navigating the cancer maze’! That was exactly what Janet and I needed.  Grace immediately gave us new HOPE, VISION & DIRECTION that we were sadly lacking at that stage of our journey!

I was not prepared to accept the traditional oncology approach of no other options than chemo. In my wife’s case, we were also told that chemo was not the cure!

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Grace’s recommendation to consider a special immune therapy (not drug based) as a value add, in combination with chemotherapy, gave us renewed energy to move forward. Within a fortnight of her recommendation we were on a plane to consult with a world leader in immune therapy.

I fully believe that the immune therapy Janet received has been the XFACTOR in her recovery. Although this can never be proven, her poor prognosis prior to immune therapy, cannot be questioned.

We are true believers in what Grace Gawler achieves in her role as Cancer Navigator!

Update Oct 2023: Testing reveals Janet is in good health and remains cancer free.

Grace explains Janet’s case: On the 17/05/16 Janet was diagnosed with a malignancy of the gallbladder which involved the fundus infiltrating into segment 4 of the liver. There were adhesions of omentum with peritoneal seeding, proven on biopsy. Palliative chemotherapy was given however this was to minimise or stabilise growth with little chance of eradication.

*Metastatic gallbladder cancer has a poor survival outcome (medium survival time of 4.8 months) especially without surgery. Janet has been declared tumour free by scans and internal biopsies that are negative for a malignancy. (Updated – Oct 2023 

Advanced (local spread) Rectal Adenocarcinoma.
Diagnosed 2017 – still in Remission 2023.

Ngareta. Qld 

I cannot recommend Grace highly enough. Because of her, I’m now cancer-free. I was diagnosed last December, and didn’t know what to do. Luckily I found Grace, and I signed up for a cancer navigation package. I was totally opposed to having medical treatment, but she convinced me that that was the right way to go.

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I had chemo/radiation for 6 weeks, meanwhile I was supported by Grace with herbal & nutritional supplements. This made the whole experience much more tolerable, and now the cancer has gone! Under her guidance I travelled to Japan and had immune therapy that was made from my own immune cells. Grace is the best! Update: 2023 – Ngareta maintains good health 

Nodal Marginal Zone Non-Hodgkins lymphoma stage IV.
Diagnosed 2017 

Karen. Darwin- Long Term Survivor – Oct 2023

In October 2017, I was diagnosed with Stage IV Nodal Marginal Zone Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. A mouthful I know! My NHL is one of over 40 different types of lymphoma. Mine is a very rare one and there is currently no treatment available for me. I am on what the Doctor’s call a ‘watch and wait’, with my Haematologist checking me every 4 months for symptoms. This means that I wait until it gets worse and I start to display symptoms then they will do chemotherapy treatment. 

I was advised by my Doctor that he will treat me with the chemo used to treat patients with Follicular lymphoma as that is all that is available for me. My symptoms may present in 1 year or 10 years, they don’t know.

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This, like any cancer diagnosis was and is devastating. I have two young children and I have been told I have this disease, go home, live healthy, go back to work and get on with your life. My Doctor said, “It’s just bad luck.”

I felt quite hopeless and without any control over my situation, I didn’t even understand it and I didn’t want to search the internet. I was fortunate enough to find a book called ‘From cancer Good Things Grow’ written by Jeffrey Deslandes. He had Follicular lymphoma and was treated with immunotherapy vaccines made from his own immune cells. I contacted Grace to discuss immunotherapy and vaccines because I believed it would help me as it had done for Jeffrey Deslandes. I was aware that the treatment was not offered in Australia. After my first skype with Grace my husband and I both felt a sense of calm wash over us after all of the chaos. Grace sent me research papers, answered my questions, organised a second opinion at short notice and other testing. Grace is knowledgeable, caring and helps to make you feel supported and empowered.

We paid for the navigation plan which, included numerous of video calls, numerous emails and assistance. We always felt better after talking to her. Grace made arrangements for me to go to Japan for immunotherapy in just under 6 weeks after my first skype with her. I had excellent treatment in Japan with an amazing cancer immunologist and his team. I was in Japan for just over 1 month for the treatment. I felt good going to the clinic and I couldn’t wait to go back each visit. It had positive effects on me both physically and mentally. I cannot recommend Grace highly enough. Update: Karen remains well as of Oct 2023

 

Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer mastectomy 
still in Remission Oct, 2023
Judith C

In April 2021, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. To say I was shocked is an understatement. I was convinced that my healthy, vegan lifestyle of many years would protect me from cancer. I was able to make arrangements for a mastectomy but that was about all. I had no idea what to expect after the operation and no idea of how to go about choosing an oncologist.

Luckily for me, I stumbled across Grace Gawler’s website and was able to have a Zoom meeting with her about a week before surgery. It was amazing the difference it made to the way I felt about my future. Grace, with her knowledge and experience, was able to bring a feeling of calm and control to a situation which until then had felt like I was walking through a nightmare.

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She supported my choice to have a mastectomy and gave information and advice about the operation which increased my feelings of control.

After the operation, Grace suggested various genomic tests which might identify the best path forward.  She was also able to direct me to an amazing oncologist who understands the person as well as the disease.

I would sincerely recommend Grace to anyone who is going through the cancer maze. It can be a very lonely and confronting journey and sometimes one with which even family members can’t really identify. But Grace Gawler can; she’s been there, done that and she understands the emotions as well as the disease.
Judith update: October 2023: 

An extremely important part of my recovery has been the weekly video Survivorship Care Plan sessions I have with Grace. During these sessions I am able to discuss any issues I’ve encountered with someone who understands what it feels like to be a patient. Grace’s expertise allows me to access immediate feedback on my DNA tests, blood tests and nutrition. These weekly video sessions with Grace have been invaluable to my recovery.  I am now cancer free and moving on to the Wellness Care Plan so that I can continue to have Grace’s support and guidance.

The Grace Gawler Institute

Fairlie – Breast Cancer Survivor

Grace is the “missing link” in the complex world of multi-disciplinary cancer management & treatment.

Her ability to see the whole landscape of treatment & care options both nationally & internationally is unparalleled!

Her depth of knowledge, broad experience base, compassionate character, plus her intellectually curious & rigorous nature; make her an anomaly in the field.

Metastatic Ovarian Cancer 2018
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis 1990. 2021 resolved. Minimal residual ovarian cancer Long Term Survivor 2023
Anna – Sydney NSW, Australia

When I was first diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, I was not at all concerned, we had found it early and I had complete faith in the medical team that I had supporting me. I was sure that I would get treatment and life would go back to normal. Well, none of that happened! 

My first round of Chemo resulted in an anaphylactic response, so we were sent home and told to come back in a week for a different treatment.

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While the other chemos were not as severe, I continue to be challenged by the treatment and I was horribly unwell on it. But I persevered and completed 8 months of it. At that stage I hoped it was the end of it. Unfortunately, at a follow up appointment 6 months later I was told that it was visible again. So, we moved onto a large surgery to scrap out my insides and internal chemo wash during it, followed by another 6 months of chemo. It did not take long before we had that conversation again, after three months it was visible again. 

At this point we did not know where to turn, the oncology team concluded that Chemo does not work and because I have other underlying health conditions, I was not eligible for Clinical Trials and t in short, they did not have many in the box options. This sent me headfirst in to the world of exploring my own possible treatments. Lucky for me this is when Grace came across our path.

I could not be more grateful for Grace having come into my life, she was able to bring it all together, was willing to look me holistically and see me as the unique individual that I am. This resulted in several significant outcomes.

Possible paths for treatment: these came through her arming all of us with knowledge about me, importantly information on treatment effectiveness, what should be focused on and what should be left on the shelf. No surprise that we found that chemotherapy should have been left on the shelf. I try not to dwell on the hell I went through when I could I have known at the outset it was never going to work. Today we still have options at hand depending on what may come next.
Grace supports me to craft communication that I can use with my medical team. This has been invaluable because I have had involvement with many medical disciplines as well as complementary. Grace helped me to figure out what I needed to do and what complementary medicines I needed to take.
Identifying what was driving severe inflammation of the bowel, Ulcerative Colitis for over 30 years. Grace’s curiosity and tenacity meant she was not going to leave this one alone. This was because inflammation is so intricately linked to cancer and because each of the medical discipline abdicated, assigning the cause to the other discipline. We knew that if we did not sort this one the repercussions were endless. Sort it she did, there were many layers and she patiently peeled them back getting to the root cause and beautifully took me with her.
Her science-based knowledge, broad experience and compassion has given me hope. With her support I am sure that no matter what I can get through anything.

So, would I recommend Grace to anyone that is looking to navigate the complexity of cancer treatment? The answer – a whole hearted yes!

Invasive Breast Carcinoma – Triple Positive
Diagnosed 2014 – still in Remission 2023 

The Grace Gawler InstituteMarnie, Queensland – Early stage Breast Cancer

“I had the good fortune to find Grace Gawler and Dr Bruce Whelan through Grace’s book “Women of Silence” that was recommended to me by a friend shortly after my breast cancer diagnosis in September 2014.

My first consultation with Dr Whelan and Grace Gawler was within a few weeks of my diagnosis. I, like many newly diagnosed patients had made numerous appointments with ” Dr Google “and had been lured into exploring “alternative” treatments for my cancer, as well as having embarked on radical diet changes.

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In that consultation with Grace and Dr Whelan, I soon was made aware of the dangerous nature of some of these “alternative” treatments that are not based on any scientific evidence.

It is difficult to put into words the immediate difference in the way I viewed not only the journey in front of me, but the reassurance that I felt that there was now a ‘buffer zone’ between myself and the doctors and hospital system.

Someone to talk to about treatment decisions and options (very important). Someone who remembers your name without looking at a piece of paper or a computer screen and someone as knowledgeable about cancer treatment as anyone else in the hospital system.

The absolute professionalism and intelligence that both Dr Whelan and Grace possess gives you the confidence and piece of mind that you need to place your trust, your life, in their care.

I was transformed from someone dealing with a diagnosis, stumbling through ‘Dr Google’s’ tangled web, into someone who was relieved and confident that I had found the help I needed to assist me along my treatment journey.

Grace makes herself always available for advice along the way, in a very personal way that makes you feel comfortable to email her about even the smallest things. She very soon feels more like a friend which I feel can be lacking in conventional care.

There is no other person I think that could come close to Grace in her manner, knowledge, enthusiasm and experience. The ‘grace’ that she has in the way that she presents herself in her dealings with people is truly unique.

The gift that she gives to cancer patients and their families during the most difficult times of their lives is one wrapped by her helping hands. I look forward to a long relationship with Grace Gawler her partner Pip and Doctor Whelan long into survivorship and beyond.

UPDATE: ‘ Marnie Rose. QLD, Australia – Update – Oct 2023

Patient Stories presented on this website are done so to acknowledge and congratulate the women I have assisted during their cancer recovery.

I am aware that women diagnosed with cancer are often keen to follow the journeys of other recovered patients, especially, celebrities. 
Cancers with the same name are not all the same.

Whilst cancer survival stories are inspiring, I highly recommend that you don’t try to copy recovery protocols of other patients. To do so, places you in a one size fits all category.

Remember, even if a cancer is diagnosed by the same name; your cancer is highly likely to be different. For example there are many different types of breast cancer requiring different treatment strategies.

An important lesson in tumour biology is that histologically similar tumours can have extensive differences when analysed at the genomic level.
This is why genomic testing can be so helpful in determining a treatment pathway.

Like people; not all cancers are the same.

Men's Survivor Stories

Advanced Metastatic SCC parotid with lung metastases – 2013
Long Term Survivor, Oct, 2023
Robert, Perth, WA.
My original diagnosis in 2013 showed a parotid tumour. I had a neck dissection diagnosed with SCC with mets in lung. PET CT showed avid nodules. The prognosis was poor.

Grace Gawler, from the Grace Gawler Institute, organised for me to visit Japan for immune therapy in September 2015 after previous surgery, chemotherapy and radiation failed to halt progression of my metastases. Remarkably I only went once and the benefit was huge.

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Forward to November 2017 – Still well. I went to the oncologist who called me the ‘miracle man’. That sort of thing makes me nervous! I don’t believe in miracles.
But I do believe that Grace Gawler put me in touch with the best cancer immune therapist and that his work is brilliant. Grace has continued to advise me after my return.
For that and all your support; my wife and son thank Grace most sincerely. I think, too, that I have made and am making an effort with my lifestyle change.
The oncology registrar I spoke to said she has seen about 7 or 8 long term survivors with what I’ve got, which she described as nasty and aggressive. I asked her what common threads had she seen among these survivors.
If anything, it was that they all pursued sustained physical endurance exercise. This was interesting for me, because, unwittingly in regard to my case, I do a lot of endurance training.
However; the oncology registrar had no experience with the immune therapies I received so he could not credit them.
2017 – I had genomic testing on my original cancer tissue and it proved the oncologist right; how serious and aggressive the cancer had been! Again, thanks so much.
Robert Update – Robert is remarkably healthy in Oct, 2023.

Metastatic squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) left sinus spread to scalp and facial nerves in 2010.Alan M. Gold Coast. Long Term Survivor 2023 

One year before my cancer diagnosis I had constant headaches, but all standard diagnostic tests were normal. Then I developed numbness throughout my left scalp that spread to my tongue nose and then mouth. An MRI found a meningioma, but they thought that it was benign and nothing to do with my symptoms. A biopsy confirmed a diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma in behind my eye and surrounding structures. Pathology performed on my tissue called it a secondary or metastatic SCC cancer, but no primary lesion was found.

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In retrospect, like many people living in QLD I had several skin lesions removed over the years but not all of them were biopsied. Most of these were removed by my GP. If there had been a primary SCC tumour on my skin, it was long gone.

I underwent radiation and chemotherapy (cisplatin) – but the condition progressed with doctors changing my chemotherapy to Docetaxel, 5FU and Carboplatin. The tumour progressed. A large tumour was now profusely growing out of my left eyebrow and I was told that surgery was the only option, and that such a procedure would virtually remove almost half of my face, then I would need more chemotherapy and that might buy me an extra 6 months.

A naturopath friend I knew recommended Grace Gawler. I had a one-hour solutions focussed consultation with Grace. She took a thorough history whilst I was in her consulting room, then contacted an oncologist she knew whom she believed could help. Within minutes it was all arranged, and I was booked in for an urgent consultation with him later that same day.

He prescribed an oral cancer medicine called Tarceva (Erlotinib) a type of targeted cancer drug. It was off label for me, but I could pay for it and given I had little other option than surgery, I agreed to give it a try.

That day signified a turning point. Although I felt fatigued from previous then current treatment, there were no more headaches, facial numbness was stable, and I felt generally well and able to function normally. My eye had been affected due to the tumour and radiation, but I had sight in a forward direction, peripheral vison was not functioning. But most important of all my tumour began to regress significantly.

Stage one had been completed. Grace encouraged me to leverage off the success and seek further targeted treatment. With the support of my new oncologist, I travelled to Germany and underwent local chemoperfusion at the University of Frankfurt Hospital. I had other treatments including a very exacting method of whole-body hyperthermia that took 6 hours each session spread over many weeks. My German doctors who were excellent with communicating with Grace, were now becoming a team. Targeted complementary medicines along with further conventional treatment was added. I started interferon along with another drug that was traditionally used for treating acne. Vitamin D was added.

My disease had gone into complete remission.  My quality of life was high-I had returned to my work as a pharmacist. Then there was the decision as to whether I should have surgery whilst in remission to prevent a recurrence. I chose not to have surgery and continued my chosen path with Grace’s guidance. A few extra visits to Germany for follow up just in case there were any residual cells and then I was closely monitored by scan and blood tests for many years. I lost some further sight in my eye and some of my scalp and facial nerves remain slightly numb. There is of course a much larger story to tell but it would fill a book and is beyond the scope of a summary testimonial.
2020 Update: I am now 74, retired and enjoying life and family. Grateful for the help I have received both inside and outside the box of cancer medicine. The consultation with Grace Gawler that day proved a significant turning point in my cancer journey and is testimonial to using professional advice for a best of both worlds approach.

My remission is fully verifiable with complete records.

Metastatic Squamous Cell Carcinoma – base of tongue and lymph node – A minimally invasive approach.
Diagnosed 2019 – still in Remission 
2022 
Lawrence – Northern NSW, Australia.

Although I was the patient, my journey was a joint partnership with my wife. In October 2019, I discovered a lump in my neck. This came as a great shock as I had been living a very healthy lifestyle and I felt fitter than I had felt for many years. I got the shocking news that I had Squamous Cell Carcinoma. The referring radiologist’s recommendations of a biopsy, surgery and a possible neck dissection, followed up by chemo-radiation therapy just didn’t feel right, as the potential side effects sounded horrific. It scared the hell out of me.

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My wife and I were desperately searching Dr Google for alternative cures, and while researching nutrition, stumbled upon the Grace Gawler Institute. It felt like a good fit for us, and we sent an email straight away. Grace was very reassuring in our FaceTime consults and emails and said that there were safe, minimally invasive options that we could explore other than the standard treatment. They were ‘high tech medical options’ and she could connect us with the specialists.

She got busy immediately and while waiting for answers to her inquiries on our behalf, she prescribed specific nutritional functional food supplements. We did not have too wait too long when the email came that I had been accepted for treatment in an overseas university hospital.

We travelled to a world expert in Frankfurt, Germany three times from December to March to get Trans-arterial-chemo-embolisation, a targeted Chemo treatment directly to the tumours.
The tumours responded well to the treatments and we were on track to have a follow up ablation when Covid-19 hit. This delayed my final treatment for several months.
During this time, we increased our focus on physical, emotional, and mental well-being. This was a very useful tool in calming those feelings of anxiety and fear that a cancer diagnosis can bring.
Thanks to Grace’s expertise, knowledge and contacts, we were able to travel with a medical exemption, to receive Cyberknife Radiosurgery. The Clinic was fantastic and worked with Grace behind the scenes to arrange my treatment plan while we were stuck in Covid quarantine.
I had five cyberknife treatments that were very successful with minimal side effects and will have my follow up PET/Scan and consultation in December.

Through all of this experience, we have found Grace’s professionalism and care for our
individual needs very reassuring, and we are so very glad we found the Grace Gawler Institute on a Google search. Thank You

 

The Grace Gawler Institute

Metastatic squamous cell carcinoma  (SCC) – orbit and optic nerve (SCC) 
Diagnosed 2016 –  still in Remission 2021

John, Sydney, NSW. Long Term Survivor. 

A high profile NSW man, contacted the Grace Gawler Institute just two days before his scheduled surgery at a reputable Sydney hospital. They were about remove his eye socket & upper facial quadrant. He was extremely distressed knowing he faced a rigorous 5 month recovery affecting his quality of life. Given the urgency of his situation, within hours of his Skype call, Grace consulted her international medical network for a second opinion. Before long his scans & reports were sent to renowned eye cancer experts in Germany & Japan. A lengthy dialogue with many email exchanges followed.

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Australian medical experts discussed best treatment options for John and suggested a plan of treatment. He also consulted a German pathologist who provided a second opinion on the type of cancer found in his biopsy. The biopsy results were provided to GGI’s Japanese colleagues and a new minimally invasive treatment plan was recommended.

John cancelled his surgery and flew to Japan for cyber-knife treatment with a world expert. He also benefited from cell-based cancer vaccines. His side-effects were minimal and the treatment was successful. He later experienced a small recurrence that was successfully treated with a targeted therapy. Update: John retains his eye and upper facial quadrant and remains tumour free – Jan 2021 

Advanced breast cancer – hormone positive – stage IV (Male) lung metastases.
Diagnosed 2006 – tumours dormant in 2021
Mark. Brisbane. Long Term Survivor 2022

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. I had a mastectomy and chemo. My cancer came back in 16 lymph nodes and both lungs. Australia had nothing new or promising to offer. They just gave me time and said I had a hard road ahead of me.

So my wife started a Google search and came across Grace’s website. We joined a Survive & Thrive Cancer Navigation Plan in 2014. With Grace’s Cancer Navigation Service, Grace collaborates with various overseas doctors on our behalf, advising and monitoring all treatments in great detail and consistency.

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Grace also arranges extensive genomic testing on your specific type of cancer which has never been offered to us previously.
This would all be an impossible task for us to do as we do not have the experience or knowledge that Grace has.
Grace has become a close friend to us now and I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for all her hard work in finding the best successful treatments for me. I would highly recommend Grace to anyone trying to navigate the difficult cancer maze. Update: 2022 Mark experiences high level well being. His lung tumours are dormant.

Hepatocellular Carcinoma – advanced primary liver cancer
Diagnosed 2017 – Long Term Survivor

Gary. Canada
My name is Gary,  I was diagnosed with severe advanced liver cancer in 2017 of this year. I was given a year to live – probably less. Knowing I was in trouble I started checking around. Fortunately after combing the internet I came across a cancer navigator. Never heard of one of those but it was the luckiest thing that ever happened to me.

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The Grace Gawler Institute is a wonderful organisation that only have the patient’s needs in mind. Grace and Pip have searched the world to help people like me. Which is how I ended up in Japan.

While receiving immunotherapy at Tokyo Grace organised for me to be put in touch with an expert on HCC carcinoma at a Japanese hospital. “We can deal with that was their answer.” Which is exactly what happened.

Japanese hospitals are a thing to behold their commitment to patient care is incredible. All through this process I had an angel on my shoulder in the form of Grace whose advice and care makes you realize you have somebody with you all the way. She makes sure you are getting the best treatment possible – she collaborates and orchestrates it all.

Grace insists on following up when treatment is finished  – as after care is almost as important as treatment to maintain a good result. Grace and Pip have been an absolute godsend even taking the extra step of supporting my wife through this traumatic experience.

This is the reason I feel I have an angel on my shoulder as I know I have them watching out for me. Even my cousin said when he found out what happened,” you found an angel didn’t you”. I totally agreed.

I would recommend The Grace Gawler Institute to anyone that asks. Because of them am looking at staying on this world for a lot more years to come.

Thank you Grace and Pip – Gary Howes 

Metastatic prostate cancer:
Diagnosed 2011 –  still in Remission 2022

Pete – Queensland Australia

I was 43 when diagnosed with prostate cancer. At the time of diagnosis, my PSA was over 100. The cancer had already metastasised from my prostate; several lymph nodes were involved and there were spots detected in my ribs. I was told that control and not cure was the objective and that because of my age; the cancer was overly aggressive. Life changed dramatically that day.

Rather than surgery I had extensive radiotherapy to my pelvis; Zoledex and a series of different anti-hormone therapies followed over the years. I also tried various complementary medicines. I kept the cancer at bay sometimes for short periods and sometimes for longer periods.

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But in 2017 I had a crippling pain flare up in my ribs. It was then I sought help from the Grace Gawler Institute’s Grace Gawler. She helped me to organise a genomic test via an oncologist. The results shed light on damaged DNA that was driving the cancer to grow. Grace prescribed some complementary meds and recommended I visit the Institute’s preferred cancer immunologist in Japan for cell based immune therapy, which I did. I also began bone strengthening drugs with a monthly infusion and then had targeted radiation to ribs. All this was followed up with new hormonal management. Grace and her experts made a plan that enabled me to action a plan that used a combination of strategized treatments. Grace added some vital missing links into my original plan, and it was those missing links that made a difference to my outcome. I have been monitored since 2017 and remain in good health in 2021.

Update:

It is now 2021 and I have remained pain free and cancer free according to blood tests and scans. It has not been a simple recovery and I am ever vigilant with my medical follow up visits.

Explore your Survivorship Possibilities Now

Grace Gawler