Health Impact News Editor Comments
Medical professionals taking children away from parents over disagreements on conventional cancer treatments are, sadly, not new stories in the U.S. Last we reported on the case of 10-year-old Sarah Hershberger in Ohio who was suffering from leukemia. She was getting worse on chemotherapy, and begged her parents to take her off of the drugs that she and her parents believed were killing her. When the state awarded custody of her to a nurse who was an employee of the hospital, the parents took her out of the country where she received alternative treatments, and recovered.
The cancer industry in the U.S. is one of the most lucrative medical markets, with one out of every three people in the U.S. expected to have a cancer diagnosis within their lifetime. It is a multi-billion dollar industry, and one that just cannot afford a “cure for cancer” to exist and put hundreds of thousands of people out of work. Hence, any alternative to the “approved” FDA drugs is vigorously attacked and opposed, driving many of the best non-toxic cancer therapies south of the border into Mexico.
To read more about how the cancer industry does not allow cures, and find a list of effective “unapproved” alternative cancer therapies, see our exposes (also available as free eBooks):
Phoenix Children’s Hospital Seizes 8 Year Old Boy Because Mother Seeks Second Opinion on Dangerous Cancer Treatment
by Terri LaPoint
Health Impact News
Tonya Brown is “just a mom who is in love with her kid,” adorable 8-year-old Christopher Reign Brown. Because Tonya questioned a very risky, painful procedure for her son, Tonya reports that his doctor at Phoenix Children’s Hospital enlisted Child Protective Services to take him away from her custody.
If the doctor has her way, Tonya could lose her beloved child forever in the upcoming hearings to permanently sever her parental rights later this month – all because a mother wanted to try less invasive options for her son before going to a treatment that carries sizable risks.
Tonya and Christopher’s Story: Rare Leukemia Diagnosis
On September 23, 2011, Tonya received the devastating news that no parent ever wants to hear – her child has leukemia. Specifically, he was diagnosed with CML, chronic myeloid leukemia, a cancer that is extremely rare in children.
Chronic myeloid leukemia is considered an older person’s disease. It was reportedly in stage 2, the accelerated phase. Christopher’s doctor, Dr. Jessica Boklan, recommended 12 weeks of oral chemotherapy, followed by a bone marrow transplant. Tonya agreed to the chemo, which began immediately, but had reservations from the start about the bone marrow transplant.
Research and Questioning Risky Procedure
Tonya is the former HR director for Sky Mall, the magazine in the seat backs on airplanes. She is no stranger to researching information that she needs to find. What she learned about the only treatment option the hospital was prescribing was not reassuring.
Besides being a very painful procedure, there was no guarantee with the bone marrow procedure. Even with a matched donor from a close relative, there is risk of the body rejecting the bone marrow. But in this case, the transplant would require an unrelated, mismatched donor. There are no blood relatives available, because Christopher was born and orphaned in Guatemala. Tonya adopted him when he was a toddler. According to medical research discovered by Tonya, with no family matching donor, Christopher only had a 20% chance at success with this type of bone marrow transplant.
Treating a Sick Adopted Child, and Seeing Healing
Tonya says she fell in love with Christopher from the moment she laid eyes on him, and she knew that she was destined to be his mommy. When she first learned about him, his development was severely delayed, and there was brain damage. As she made preparations for his adoption, Tonya sought the best medical treatment options available in the United States.
Besides lining up some of the best medical care available, she enlisted friends and family to pray for a miracle.
And it happened! A brain scan later showed the damage was no longer present. Christopher began catching up and walking. His countenance changed. He was whole.
Disagreeing with Doctors
With that kind of miracle in his background, it was only logical for Tonya and Christopher to turn to their faith when hearing the diagnosis of leukemia, expecting the same kind of healing again. Like millions of other parents, Tonya Brown researched options, followed the doctor’s directions, and prayed.
Christopher responded better than many to the chemo treatments, but still they made him very sick. He begged his mother to stop making him take the chemo.
As the time approached for the bone marrow transplant, Tonya made the decision to have Christopher delay with going through the risk, and what others had described as agonizing pain associated with the procedure, until they tried other, less invasive options first. She wanted the perilous bone marrow transplant to be the last resort.
After 10 weeks of chemo, Tonya stopped the treatment. At home, she began juicing, and treating him with a strict diet that has been recommended for cancer. She used nutritional treatments, and they prayed and believed God for healing.
Christopher Improved with Alternative Treatments for 18 Months
Shortly after that, Tonya reports that Child Protective Services called her and they played phone tag for a couple of weeks. Then, the calls stopped. Tonya and Christopher went on with their lives.
He reportedly got better. During the next 18 months, they went on vacations; he went to school; they went to birthday parties. They did missions outreaches. Pictures from that period show a happy little boy who obviously loves his family and friends. They lived life, and Tonya continued the dietary and nutritional treatments, and prayer.
CPS Visits and Finds a Well Boy at Home
After a year and a half, Tonya explains that Arizona CPS suddenly showed up at her home. Dr. Boklan had allegedly told them that there was a child whose mother took him out of treatment, and they would likely find either a dead child or a boy on his deathbed.
They found neither. Christopher happily bounced around to show the worker his room and his stuff. They showed her around the house. All in all, the visit seemed to go well.
Nine days later, in June of 2013, Tonya took him back in to Phoenix Children’s. She reports that he was just beginning to show signs of a relapse – losing his appetite and bloating of his abdomen. Those were the same signs that had appeared before. Tonya knew that she had done everything she could do, and it was time to seek help.
A Return to the Hospital – Cancer Now Only Stage 1
When she took him in, Dr. Boklan expressed her displeasure at Tonya removing Christopher from treatment the year before. A bone marrow aspiration test was ordered. At the time of the original diagnosis, that test showed that 16% of his cells had cancer. This time, without the medical treatment that the doctors wanted, the new test showed that only 6% of his cells had leukemia. The tests showed that his leukemia was in the chronic phase, or stage 1.
Dr. Boklan insisted that treatment must begin that night. CPS was at the hospital when she came, saying they were there to ensure that Christopher got any necessary treatment. They assured Tonya that they were not there to take her son. When Tonya asked for a second opinion about the treatment, which she considered to be her due diligence as a concerned parent, she was denied. She agreed to allow him to be treated, because the cancer was back.
Hospital and CPS Seize Custody – Mother Denied Visitation
CPS was allegedly prepared to close the case when she agreed to chemo. However, Dr. Boklan insisted that they keep the case open. At her request, CPS put an anklet on Christopher to keep him on the floor of the hospital. After 20 days, Tonya says she was ordered to leave the hospital. Christopher was taken from her custody on June 25, 2013, in spite of the fact that his mother says she had agreed to all his treatments.
The alleged charges against Tonya were:
- Medical abuse/neglect, because she kept him out of treatment for 18 months.
- She is psychologically unable to make the right medical decisions because of her delusional religious beliefs (she believes in prayer and healing).
Christopher has been placed in a foster home, where they plan to adopt him, despite the fact that he has a mother who loves him and wants him back. CPS and the hospital have petitioned to sever all of Tonya’s parental rights. She has not been permitted to see him since January 31, and the last time she spoke to her son was May 5.
Since the time that he was taken away from his mother, Dr. Boklan scheduled a bone marrow transplant, which took place in March. Tonya credits God with the fact that Christopher’s body has not rejected the marrow from an unrelated, mismatched donor. She says that she learned that there is an 80% chance that, given those circumstances, his body could have rejected the transplant and he could have been very ill as a result. She is thankful that he overcame those odds.
Doctor has Research Ties to Rare Leukemia
Dr. Jessica Boklan considers herself, per her testimony in court, to be the world’s leading authority on CML leukemia. She has an impressive resume of research studies that she has co-authored or is participating in at present, most involving children, cancer, and drugs.
Tonya Brown reports that, from the beginning of her son’s diagnosis, Dr. Boklan has pushed for her to enter Christopher into a research study. Children with his disease are allegedly extremely rare, and much prized for their value in research.
Tonya refused to give her consent for experimental research. She told Health Impact News that during every doctor’s visit, Boklan would demand that she allow Christopher to participate in studies, asking, “Have you signed those papers yet?”
Children who are Wards of the State May be Used in Drug Trials
Now that Christopher is a ward of the state, the doctor is free to do medical research on him without his mother’s knowledge or consent. Like Justina Pelletier, Isaiah Rider, the Deigel sisters, baby Kathryn, and countless other children who have been allegedly medically kidnapped, doctors are legally permitted to use little Christopher as a research subject, which many parents compare to using “lab rats” in scientific studies.
A recent bipartisan bill in Congress seeks to stop these medical experimentations on children who are wards of the state (See: “Justina’s Law” Seeks to End Experimental Medical Research on Children Seized by Child Protection Services.)
Despite Tonya’s efforts to get her son back, the system seems determined to defeat her. She reports there are documents that have been left out of the records, and there are medical records that have been changed. Although CPS has reportedly submitted the “full case file,” the record is allegedly missing the favorable CPS visit made to Tonya’s home nine days before his relapse.
Medical Records Allegedly Changed to Justify Taking Custody Away from Mother
Though medical records are not supposed to be changed, the records from Christopher’s hospital visit on June 6, 2013, have allegedly been altered. Health Impact News has obtained two allegedly different copies of the records from that day from the mother. The records have the time and date stamp of when they were faxed. The first copy was faxed on June 10 by a Phoenix Children’s Hospital caseworker to CPS. Apparently, that fact was missed, and the same documents were faxed by the records department of the hospital on July 18. Both bear the same date of entry. However, a number of changes were made. The following is just one of the changes.
On the June 10 version, a statement reads, “S/p Bone Marrow on 6/7 which demonstrated Christopher is in Chronic phase.”
The July 18 version states, “S/p Bone Marrow aspirate and biopsy on 6/7 which demonstrated Christopher is in RELAPSE after partially treated Accelerated Phase.”
The Chronic phase is phase 1 of CML leukemia, and the Accelerated phase is phase 2. The original report allegedly shows that Christopher’s leukemia improved after the 18 months without conventional treatment, because he was in the Accelerated phase when he was first diagnosed. According to testimony by Dr. Boklan that she reportedly gave to court, that cannot happen. It is impossible, she told the judge, for leukemia to go from stage 2 to stage 1 without standard treatment. It appears that the records have been altered to substantiate the doctors’ claims.
Are Constitutional Religious Freedom Rights Being Violated in some Medical Kidnapping Cases?
Tonya is accused of medical neglect for removing her son from traditional treatment. Health Impact News reported last year that a young Ohio girl’s parents acted similarly to Tonya Brown, stopping Sarah Hershberger’s chemo treatment for her cancer in favor of more natural treatments. Doctors at Akron Children’s Hospital alleged medical neglect by her Amish parents and filed for the state to take custody of the child. The parents fled the U.S. to avoid having their young daughter taken away. Doctors reported the girl would soon die without treatment. However, many months later the girl was doing fine, and reportedly had tested cancer-free.
Another similarity between the Hershberger case and Tonya’s is that their faith was called into question. Freedom of religion is one of the most cherished of American values, yet there seems to be an unconstitutional addendum added in recent years, specifying that freedom of religion may only exist as long as it does not interfere with medical dogma. Any religious belief that challenges the doctrine of “the doctor knows best” is thrown out as heresy, and violators are now subject to their children being seized by the state.
Psychologists Hostile to Religious Beliefs
A common denominator that has been noted in a number of medical kidnap cases at Phoenix Children’s Hospital is the use of a psychologist to come in and review cases in which children are removed from parents. In Tonya’s case, the psychologist allegedly trampled her traditional Christian beliefs and used them against her, reportedly saying that she “continues to cling steadfastly to her bizarre religious beliefs,” calling her faith “delusional,” and questioning her ability to make right decisions in the future.
However, in these cases the parents had been following prescribed medical treatment, and were simply asking for second opinions, while incorporating prayer and their faith as part of the overall treatment protocol.
Based on this alleged psychological assessment that religious beliefs preclude someone from making sound treatment decisions for their child, every parent in the country who prays to God to heal their sick child is at risk of having their child taken away by medical authorities simply for practicing their religion. However, no law or government gives any doctor or psychologist the right to demand that parents not believe in God or pray for their child. The demand would be met with mass non-compliance if it were enacted.
That psychological assessment should have no bearing on Tonya’s case, if the judge in Arizona decides to show the good sense demonstrated by Judge John Lohn in the case of Sarah Hershberger:
“The court cannot deprive these parents of their right to make medical decisions for their daughter because there is not a scintilla of evidence showing the parents are unfit.” (Source.)
Mother in Danger of Losing Permanent Custody
Tonya is a mom who wants desperately to be reunited with the little boy that she sacrificed everything for to go rescue from a group home in Guatemala. He is reportedly a well-loved little boy, who was very happy when he lived with his mother.
Christopher Brown’s situation is very perilous at this point. A family stands ready to adopt him if Tonya’s parental rights are severed. There are two final hearings, on November 14 and 21, during which a judge could return her son back to Tonya, or she could lose him forever. Everything is reportedly riding on those two hearings.
An advocacy group has put up a Facebook Page to share news on Tonya and Christopher’s plight: FreeChristopher
UPDATE: The family has called for a Press Conference and Rally at the Courthouse this Friday:
We Lost the War on Cancer – Review of Alternative Cancer Therapies
We have lost the war on cancer. At the beginning of the last century, one person in twenty would get cancer. In the 1940s it was one out of every sixteen people. In the 1970s it was one person out of ten. Today one person out of three gets cancer in the course of their life.
The cancer industry is probably the most prosperous business in the United States. In 2014, there will be an estimated 1,665,540 new cancer cases diagnosed and 585,720 cancer deaths in the US. $6 billion of taxpayer funds are cycled through various federal agencies for cancer research, such as the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The NCI states that the medical costs of cancer care are $125 billion, with a projected 39 percent increase to $173 billion by 2020.
The simple fact is that the cancer industry employs too many people and produces too much income to allow a cure to be found. All of the current research on cancer drugs is based on the premise that the cancer market will grow, not shrink.
John Thomas explains to us why the current cancer industry prospers while treating cancer, but cannot afford to cure it in Part I. In Part II, he surveys the various alternative cancer therapies that have been proven effective, but are not approved by the FDA.
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