When Elizabeth Youngdahl showed a tooth to a fellow volunteer worker during their break and told her she was looking for a good dentist because the tooth was raking against her tongue, little did …
When Elizabeth Youngdahl showed a tooth to a fellow volunteer worker during their break and told her she was looking for a good dentist because the tooth was raking against her tongue, little did she know that four days later, she would be diagnosed with stage 3 cancer.
Squamous cell carcinoma is a slow-growing skin cancer. Unlike other types of skin cancer, it can spread to the tissues, bones and nearby lymph nodes, where it may become hard to treat.
To verify the extent of her challenge, Elizabeth and her husband, David, consulted oncologists at the University of Tennessee Medical Center at Knoxville. Three biopsies were taken. Their recommendation was horrifying. They wanted to remove a quarter of Elizabeth’s tongue, a hyper-metabolic salivary gland, all the lymph nodes in the right side of her neck, as well as the big neck muscle that runs from the ear to the clavicle, and her jugular vein on that side — all before beginning rounds of chemotherapy and radiation.
“Since lymph nodes are part of the immune system, intended to defend against disease, Elizabeth thought she might be needing those, so she wanted to try a different kind of treatment,” David said.
Elizabeth’s brother had successfully battled prostate cancer using Gerson therapy, an alternative, non-toxic treatment for cancer and other chronic degenerative diseases. It is a natural treatment that activates the body’s ability to heal itself through an organic, vegetarian diet with raw juices, coffee enemas and natural supplements.
“Of course, alternative treatments like Gerson therapy are not covered by insurance,” David said. “The question was, could the rigorous Gerson protocol help Elizabeth?’”
After due diligence, the Youngdahls found a practitioner, a medical doctor experienced in the application of Gerson therapy, and set to work on her problem. There are 24 specific steps to take each day, and the regimen typically runs for 24 months. It takes that long to rid the body of the toxic backlog in our system. Once that happens, the body can heal and clear itself of disease, according to practitioners.
Five months after they started Gershon Therapy, the Youngdahls were happy to report that the SCC lesion on Elizabeth’s tongue is responding well to Gerson therapy. There is, however, one huge problem. All available funds have been depleted in reaching this point.
“She’s getting better, but the stress of being at the end of our financial tether actually threatens Elizabeth’s chances of success,” David said. “Expenses since February have totaled over $66,446. The total projected costs will outstrip the family’s earning potential. The total estimate of costs for the 24-month period ending Feb. 4, 2019, is $184,222.”
The Youngdahls said they would appreciate any help from the public, regardless of the amount. Having contributed their time and energy over the years, volunteering to help others, the Cleveland couple said they know there is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.
“No one who enjoys giving of their time and effort to help others ever wants to be the one in need,” David said. “But we are in need. It has to be done within the next 20 months, not stretched out over 15 years. There’s the rub. We welcome people to, please, do what you can if you are so inclined. We appreciate any help we can get.”
Anyone wishing to provide any financial assistance for Elizabeth Youngdahl’s cancer treatment can do so through any Southern Heritage/First Citizen’s National Bank in Cleveland, TN or United Community Bank, located at 2525 Keith St. N.W., 3372 Keith St., or 950 25th St., Cleveland, TN 37312. Attention: Elizabeth Youngdahl Cancer Fund. Mail in contributions are welcome. Donations can also be made by visiting: https://www.freefunder.com/campaign/elizabeths-race-against-time
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