Bacteriality — Exploring Chronic Disease

Category: interview (patient)

In 1997, this engineer from the Detroit area was diagnosed with sarcoidosis and began Autoimmunity Research Foundation’s Marshall Protocol in order to kill the chronic bacteria causing the disease. But suddenly things took a turn for the worse. A rapidly growing tumor was detected in his bladder and a cancer diagnosis was made. Armed with the knowledge that his bladder cancer was an inflammatory disease likely also caused by chronic bacteria, he decided to use the Marshall Protocol to treat his cancer as well. This allowed him to avoid several standard cancer therapies that may actually harm the immune response. Today his sarcoidosis has largely resolved and he’s been cancer free for over a year. Meet Gene Johnson.

Why did you start the Marshall Protocol? How did you hear about the treatment?

In 1997 I was working as an engineering manager for an automotive equipment supplier in the Detroit area. At 56, I was in the best shape of my life and was age group competing in distance running (ran two marathons), biathlon/duathlons (run-bike-run), and state sponsored track and field events. What I was soon to realize was that you can be in excellent physical shape and still not be healthy.

I hadn’t suffered from a cold or flu for years. However, that changed in October when everyone in the office, including myself, became ill with what seemed to be a bad chest cold. It ran its course after about two weeks for everyone except me. I continued to suffer from a bad cough and fatigue. Finally, I went to see a doctor. A chest x-ray showed that I had non-caseating granulomas in the lymph nodes. The presence of the granulomas was later confirmed via mediastinoscopy biopsy and I was officially diagnosed with sarcoidosis. It was a good news/bad news situation. The good news was: “You don’t have cancer”; the bad news was: “You have an idiopathic disease that has no known cause and thus no treatment or cure.” In retrospect, I realize the office flu was just a precipitating event that weakened my immune system to the point where my sarcoidosis finally became apparent.

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Several years ago, this grandmother from Oklahoma was forced to quit her job due to debilitating symptoms including chronic pain, fatigue, and extreme dryness in her eyes and mouth. But today, after 2 1/2 years on Autoimmunity Research Foundation’s Marshall Protocol, she feels like a completely normal person again and is spending much more time with family and friends. Meet Bonnie B.

Can you describe the progression of your disease?

I first started to feel symptoms of illness when I was in high school. I suffered from fatigue, weakness and joint pain. Yet, the symptoms were rather vague and only flared periodically.

In fact, they stabilized for the most part until I had my first child when I was 23. At that point, the same symptoms returned, but this time they were stronger. They were also accompanied by new central nervous symptoms such as blurry vision and dull headaches. An EEG test showed that my brainwave function was off balance.

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Sick ever since childhood, this resident of New Jersey finally hit rock bottom after developing diabetes and becoming blind in one eye. Not to mention the fact that by the mid 80s his bowels were seriously affected and sarcoidosis had spread throughout much of his body. Yet, after several years on Autoimmunity Research Foundation’s Marshall Protocol, this grandfather has largely recovered from each of his diseases, to the point where he is barely conscious of symptoms and has extra time for work and play. Meet Chris Eastlund.

Can you describe the progression of your symptoms?

Things first started to go wrong when I was around 8-10 years old. I spent an entire summer just sleeping on my grandmother’s couch. I’m told I was only awake for about four hours a day. I now realize that such fatigue is one of the symptoms of pediatric Lyme, but when I was taken to the Mayo Clinic I was told nothing was wrong with me.

I pushed on, but could never play endurance sports. I could never run for even 1/4 of a mile before having to stop. At first I thought I could join the cross country team and train my body to handle more exercise. While running I would feel better, but then a few hours later, I would suffer from feelings of fatigue and soreness – what is often referred to as post-exertional malaise.

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In 2005, this father of seven could hardly breathe and suffered from intense joint pain. Exhausted and sore, he found it extremely difficult to walk up the stairs. Now, after about 2 1/2 years on Autoimmunity Research Foundation’s Marshall Protocol he’s essentially pain and symptom free and is back to digging trenches in his garden. Roy P. will now take your questions.

Can you describe the progression of your disease?

Everything started around Christmas of 2000. I was at work when my legs started to swell down in the area by my ankles. I was also in pain, couldn’t walk, and had a very difficult time breathing. A co-worker called my wife who took me home. We saw a doctor and I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. However the doctor still wasn’t able to explain why my legs were swollen, or why I was suffering from other severe symptoms. Personally, I thought I was having a heart attack. At that point I asked, “Do you think any of this is related to the lumps I have under the bicep of my right arm?” He paused, and said, “What lumps? Show me.” After examining my arm he said “Wait a minute, I know what else you might have….sarcoidosis!” I proceeded to have a series of lung X-rays done which confirmed that I did indeed have the disease.

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Four years ago this Australian native’s joint and muscle pain was so bad that he was barely able to walk, and his cognitive function had diminished to the point where he could hardly think straight. Plagued by intense chemical sensitivities, his days were spent indoors wearing a carbon respirator. Today, after about three years on Autoimmunity Research Foundation’s Marshall Protocol, he could talk for hours about how much better he feels and his wide array of symptoms are essentially gone. Meet Peter de Jager.

Can you describe the progression of your disease?

It’s difficult to tell when I first started to feel sick, since it developed so slowly. Even as a teenager I wondered how people could run long distances, breathing through their nose! – I couldn’t, I was already a mouth-breather.

In my early twenties I had a bout of glandular fever (Epstein-Barr virus) from which I took a long time to recover. In the late 1970s I constantly had small scabby sores in my nose.

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At the lowest point in his life, this Canadian native was so sick that he could do nothing more then lie in a dark room, thinking about the fact that his body seemed to be on fire. His symptoms of twitching, swollen muscles and raging emotions were out of control. However, after a series of antibiotic regimens that finally led him to Autoimmunity Research Foundation’s Marshall Protocol, he has recovered to the point where he feels like a kid in a candy store. Meet Ken L.

Can you describe the progression of your disease?

When I first started to suffer from symptoms of Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS) I was living in South America. 2001 was the beginning of a gradual downhill slide. My feet started to become very sore, I became increasingly forgetful, and my balance was impaired. But it wasn’t until May 1st of that year that I was suddenly struck with incredibly severe symptoms. That day, when I went into the office, I felt terrible. I told my co-worker “Something is very wrong with me”, and he proceeded to take me to the hospital. My symptoms were terrifying . I had a crawling sensation that started in my hands and feet and crept up the back of my legs, until it finally reached my arms and the back of my head.

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At a very young age, Doreen’s son Brendon began to suffer from symptoms of autism and other behavioral disorders. Over the years, he also began to suffer from CFS, obesity, and a “tremendous array” of other symptoms. Today, Doreen’s entire family, including Brendon, are on Autoimmunity Research Foundation’s Marshall Protocol. In the following interview, Doreen discusses the progress that Brendon, now 18, has made during Phase 1 of the treatment. Brendon’s experience thus far suggests that he is already becoming a more social and outgoing individual, and that full recovery may well be on the horizon.

Can you describe the progression of Brendon’s illness? Was he born sick or did it take time for his illness to develop?

Brendon exhibited the subtle signs of autism at a very young age. I didn’t realize it at the time, but looking back, even as an infant he was socially indifferent–- he did express emotion, but only if we went out of our way to over-emphasize cues. A photographer waving around stuffed animals and talking loudly and actively in order to elicit a smile would get him wildly laughing. Otherwise, he really didn’t ever giggle or grin. He did not actively explore faces and was uninterested in taking his turn sitting on my lap at reading time. Whereas the other children in my daycare clambered to hear favorite books over and over and especially enjoyed the “audience participation” pieces they knew were coming up, he did not have the patience to sit through a book if he had already heard it.

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Interview with JST: Neurosarcoidosis

Several years ago this finance lawyer and mother of two was so debilitated both physically and mentally that she thought it unlikely that she’d live to see her children go to high school. Today, after five years on Autoimmunity Research Foundation’s Marshall Protocol, almost all of her symptoms have resolved and she has rejoined the world – picking up many of her old activities including tennis lessons. Meet JST.

During my teenage years but it took another twenty years or so before I was to become chronically ill and debilitated.

Describe the progression of your disease

While I was at high school I had odd bouts of ill health including chronic tonsillitis and sinusitis. In 1979, while at university, I suffered an episode of sudden fatigue and paralysis in both legs which disabled me for about three weeks. I was not seen by a specialist and it was concluded that I was suffering from “hysteria.”

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In 2000, this former RN was a “chronic mess” – so ill that her life was an endless series of painful and debilitating relapses. Today, after three and a half years on Autoimmunity Research Foundation’s Marshall Protocol she’s bid goodbye to most of her symptoms and is out and about again – taking water aerobics classes and volunteering at the local nature preserve. Meet Melinda Stiles.

When did you first start to become ill? Describe the progression of your disease.

I was exposed to L-form bacteria at an early age. During the 1970s, I was a practicing Registered Nurse in Connecticut, first at Yale University, then at Middletown Memorial. At the time, a number of young boys were admitted to our hospital with strange muscular, arthritic complaints, swollen joints, and fever of unknown origin. After being given high doses of antibiotics, one boy even developed a heart block. I was in the ICCU and assisted with the temporary pacemaker before he was transferred to Yale Medical for diagnosis. We were following the prognosis of these young men with interest at the time. Most of the cases were originating around the town of Old Lyme, Connecticut. Later, scientists at Yale would group the symptoms these boys presented under the label of “Lyme disease” – inspired, of course, by the name of the town in which the boys first became sick.

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Several years ago this West Virginia native feared for his life. He had managed to survive two heart attacks, but his sarcoidosis of the heart, myopathy, atrial fibrillation, and fluid-filled lungs were only getting worse. Now, after 2 1/2 years on Autoimmunity Research Foundation’s Marshall Protocol, this 69-year old is active again thanks to the fact that his heart conditions and sarcoidosis symptoms have improved considerably. Meet Freddie Ash.

Can you describe the progression of your disease?

As a child I was fed canned milk fortified with vitamin D. Early on I was deficient in iron. They made me eat molasses to try to bring the level of iron up, but in grade school it was so low I saw the doctor almost every day. They had to pull out my baby teeth because they rotted too quickly.

In grade school they had a nurse come in to check our hearts. Later that day I was given a slip – I never did find out what it said. A doctor examined me with a forescope but could find nothing wrong. I was dismissed.

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P.Bear (P.B) is a registered nurse who lives on the Ozark border in Missouri. Symptomatic since childhood, P.B. is feeling dramatically different after three years on Autoimmunity Research Foundation’s Marshall Protocol. He will now take your questions.

Describe the progression of your disease. When did you first start to feel sick, how did your symptoms progress?

I was allergic to many things as a kid and would break out in a rash at the drop of a hat in response to many foods, additives, or topical exposures. I also suffered from many respiratory, sinus, and ear infections. I fell ill with an acute illness accompanied by a bulls-eye type rash in 1963 after playing in the woods along the coast of Connecticut. My doctor at one point suspected scarlet fever or rheumatic fever but eventually decided on mononucleosis. Because of my extraordinary fatigue, the illness ended up keeping me out of nearly a year of school. I almost fainted every time I stood up, had joint pain, and needed up to 18 hours of sleep on many days. A few days I felt so sick I thought I might die. Today this might have been diagnosed as acute stage “Lyme” (I did eventually test positive by one western blot to borrelia in 2002, with many positive bands on the other blot[Igenex]).

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When this California librarian found out she had sarcoidosis, she felt as if a massive freight train was headed her way. Now, thanks to Autoimmunity Research Foundation’s Marshall Protocol not only is she leading a normal life, but her bloodwork has returned to normal and her bone density is headed in the right direction. Sherry Cook will now take your questions.

Can you describe the progression of your disease? When were you diagnosed?

I became symptomatic little by little over many years. In my 20’s I was diagnosed with “Reynes Syndrome” but in 1988 a funny lump developed on my upper neck. After a biopsy I was diagnosed with Cat scratch fever – an infectious disease thought to involve the intracellular parasite Bartonella. My doctors told me not to worry, but I found it quite odd that I was not offered any treatment options. Insomnia and headaches grew more common, and the only way I could make myself feel good was by swimming outside on my lunch hour. If I didn’t swim, I was literally in a torpor of brain fog.

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While alone in a foreign country, this mom from Houston Texas began to suffer from an array of debilitating symptoms. Soon, she was diagnosed with sarcoidosis. Despite the fact that she had to care for three young children, she successfully started Autoimmunity Research Foundation’s Marshall Protocol and today, about two years later, is active once again. Meet Lisa Shanahan.

When did you start to get sick?

It all happened very suddenly. Before becoming symptomatic, I considered myself very healthy. I was even preparing to run my second half marathon after completing two full marathons. My husband and I had decided to adopt a baby from Guatemala. We went down to Guatemala to see our son for the very first time. The next morning I woke up and my face was swollen. I didn’t know what to make of it. At the same time, two large lumps appeared on my arm, at my inner elbow area. Upon returning to the US that next week, I saw two different doctors that informed me that I had allergies and not to worry, so I went on with my usual routine. They gave me a small steroid dose pack to decrease the swelling.

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Interview with Mirek Wozga – sarcoidosis

After being diagnosed with the deadly disease sarcoidosis, he felt as if his entire body was shutting down. But after several years on Autoimmunity Research Foundation’s Marshall Protocol this Australian geologist is feeling great and living life to the fullest. Meet Mirek Wozga.

When did you start to get sick? What happened?

In 2001, I woke up and went outside. For some reason I was extremely cold. Upon returning inside, I realized that I was running a low-grade fever. Several weeks later it was still there. Then, I started to have terrible night sweats, insomnia and severe gastrointestinal pain. I was exhausted and brain-fogged. Because my body was so burnt out, I began to lose weight – almost 15 kilos, dropping down to 65 kilos. Upon waking up every morning, I felt as if someone had beaten me up – literally, not a single muscle wasn’t aching. It was like I’d been to the gym the night before and completely pushed myself over the top. In reality, I lost the ability to exercise.

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This cyclist had to put away his bike in 2002 due to CFS. But today, this New York City resident, who has also conquered his depression, is psyched to be riding again thanks to Autoimmunity Research Foundation’s Marshall Protocol. Paul Albert will now take your questions.

What did you do for fun before you became acutely ill?

Starting in college, I rowed crew. I was not much of a technical rower, but I got pretty good at pulling the oar hard. Crew was just what I needed at the stage in my life.

When I graduated from school, I went on to do triathlons, which include swimming, biking, and running. One of the last biathlons (which is just running and biking) I did, I went from 30th place or so after the run to third place after the bike. It occurred to me then that I could be pretty good on the bike.

In 2001, I blew out my knee a second time, and that kind of sealed it: I would race my bike exclusively. I started to train in earnest, putting in as many miles as I could. My favorite event was the time trial. I was pretty good at putting in a consistent effort and staying just below my red line for a long period of time. One time, I got a lactate tolerance test (LTT) and my coach, who is now my friend, said that my LTT was the highest he’d ever seen. Yup, I’m really good at suffering.

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Patient Interviews

About Amy Proal

Amy and Zeus

Amy Proal graduated from Georgetown University in 2005 with a degree in biology. While at Georgetown, she wrote her senior thesis on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the Marshall Protocol.

Amy has spoken at several international conferences and authored several peer-reviewed papers on the intersection of bacteria and chronic disease.

If you have questions about the MP, please visit CureMyTh1.org where volunteer patient advocates will answer your questions. Another good resource is the MP Knowledge Base, which is scheduled to be completed within the next year.

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