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"CAI" 2003 Obituary


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CAIE o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-07-24 published
CAIE, Alastair G.R.
Died on July 22, 2003, at his home in Goderich, Ontario of esophageal cancer. Al was born in Glasgow, Scotland and graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1954 with a Masters of Arts and Economics. He then joined the Royal Air Force, where he flew as a pilot for three years. In 1957 he emigrated to Montreal, Quebec, where he was employed at Canadian Pratt and Whitney Aircraft, Bell Canada and later Northern Electric. In 1981 he moved to Burlington, Ontario and worked at Northern Telecom in Mississauga as Director of International Tax Planning. From 1986-1988 Al was the manager of Corporate Tax Policy with the Government of Alberta in Edmonton. In 1992 Al and his family retired to Goderich where he has spent the past 11 years enjoying golf, wood working, reading and walking trails at Naftel's Creek and Fall's Reserve. He leaves his wife Kathryn, sons George (Susan) of Burlington, Andrew of Goderich and step-son James (Jennifer) STORM of Kitchener; grandchildren Brandon and Brooke CAIE and Elizabeth and William STORM; sisters Audrey and Jessie CAIE of Glasgow, Scotland, brother Roderick (Tynne) CAIE of Bromley, Kent, England and in-laws Betty and Jack SCAMAN of Goderich. At Al's request there will be no funeral service. A gathering of family and Friends to celebrate his life will be held on August 2, 2003 from 1-4 p.m. at his home at 122 Warren Street, Goderich. As an expression of sympathy, donations to the Canadian Cancer Society will be greatly appreciated.

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CAIN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-02-22 published
CAIN, Thomas Henry
At St. Joseph's Villa, Dundas, 18 February 2003, of cancer. Professor of English literature at McMaster University for 31 years, Tom had a keen interest in teaching undergraduates to write lucid prose, and was author of Common Sense About Writing (1967). The methods in this manual were conceived and developed while an instructor at Yale University, and arise from the rigors of the old Ontario school curriculum of which he was a beneficiary. Author of Praise in The Fairie Queene (1978), and numerous related articles, he began his scholarly interest in Edmund Spenser while an undergraduate at Victoria College, University of Toronto his graduate degrees were from the Universities of Toronto and Wisconsin. He was a regular church organist from his boyhood, until in 1967 he joined the choir of St. James' Anglican Church in Dundas under the direction of Richard BIRNEY- SMITH, in whose Te Deum Singers he also sang from 1972 until his health began to fail in 1997. In 1976 he joined Saint John's Anglican Church in Ancaster, where he sang in the choir for 22 years, and enjoyed a central role in designing its organ in 1988. His hymn text, 'Eternal Lord of Love, Behold Your Church, ' written for the Episcopal Church's Hymnal (1982), is included in Roman Catholic and Lutheran hymnals, and the 1998 hymnal in present use in the Anglican Church of Canada. A gardener of great knowledge and experience, he shared this interest information and particularly plants generously. Throughout his life, he enjoyed deep Friendships with animals. He found a great store of patience and humour to confront the illness which ended his life. He is survived by his widow, Emily CAIN, of Jerseyville; his son, Patrick CAIN, of Toronto, and his sister, Catherine MacFARLANE, of Maple, who wish to thank McMaster University Medical Centre and St. Joseph's Villa staff for their care and compassion. Requiem Eucharist at Saint John's Anglican Church, 272 Wilson St. (at Halson St.), in Ancaster, on Saturday, March 1 at 10: 30 a.m. (casual clothes) reception to follow in Saint John's parish hall (on Halson St.). Spring bulb flowers will be gratefully accepted at the church or parish hall. Please send donations in lieu of flowers to St. John's Church (music programme), 272 Wilson Street, Ancaster, Ontario L9G 2B9.

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CAIRNS o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-08-06 published
CAIRNS, John Allan
After a courageous battle, John died peacefully on August 4, 2003, at the age of 39, with his family by his side. Beloved husband of Kelly and loving father of Keegan and Griffin. Loving son of Jack and Margaret and brother of Nicole. John will be sadly missed by family and Friends. The family would like to extend a thank you to the staff of Markham Stouffville Hospital for their great care. The family will receive Friends at the McEachnie Funeral Home, 28 Old Kingston Road, Ajax (Pickering Village), 905-428-8488 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Thursday. Funeral Service at Pickering Village United Church (300 Church Street North, Ajax), on Friday, August 8, 2003 at 11: 00 a.m. Cremation. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Canadian Cancer Society would be greatly appreciated.

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CAIRNS o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-09-23 published
CAIRNS, Violet (née WOTHERSPOON)
Died suddenly, early Sunday morning, September 21, 2003, in Toronto, at the age of 77. She is survived by her loving husband of 56 years, David. Devoted mother of son Danny and his wife Dian, daughter Leslie and her husband Michael LIIK. Predeceased by her eldest son David. Much loved by her grandchildren Jessica, Jeaninne, David, Daniel, Andrew, Zachary, Markus, Kristian and Morgen. Born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, Violet touched many lives over the years with her good humour and selfless nature. A private service will be held on Wednesday.

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CAISSE o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-12-13 published
'What else could it have been but a miracle?'
Rene CAISSE died 25 years ago without gaining the recognition some cancer survivors believe she deserved. Without Essiac, her mysterious remedy, they wouldn't be alive today, they tell Roy MacGREGOR
By Roy MacGREGOR, Saturday, December 13, 2003 - Page F8
Bracebridge, Ontario -- These days, when she looks back at her remarkable, and largely unexpected, long life, Iona HALE will often permit herself a small, soft giggle.
She is 85 now, a vibrant, spunky woman with enough excess energy to power the small off-highway nursing home she now lives in at the north end of the Muskoka tourist region that gave the world Norman BETHUNE and, Iona HALE will die believing, possibly something far more profound.
A possible cure for cancer.
Twenty-seven years ago, Mrs. HALE sat in Toronto's Princess Margaret Hospital and heard that terrifying word applied to her own pitiful condition. She was 58, and had already dropped to 75 pounds when her big, truck-driver husband, Ted, finally got her in to see the specialists who were supposed to know why she had stopped eating and was in such terrible pain.
Mrs. HALE remembers awakening in the recovery room after unsuccessful surgery and being told by a brusque nurse, "You're not going to live long, you know, dear."
"That's what you think!" she snapped back.
Ted HALE had often heard stories of a secret "Indian" medicine that an area nurse had supposedly used to cure cancer patients, but he had no idea where it could be found. He had asked a physician, only to be told, "That damned Essiac -- there's nothing to it."
When they returned to their home near Huntsville, Ontario -- with instructions to come back in three weeks, if Mrs. HALE was still around -- Mr. HALE set out to find the mysterious medicine. With the help of a sympathetic doctor, he discovered Rene CAISSE, a Bracebridge nurse who claimed to have been given the native secret back in 1922. Pushing 90 and in ill health, she agreed to give him one small bottle of the tonic, telling him to hide it under his clothes as he left.
Mr. HALE fed his wife the medicine as tea, as instructed, and it was the first thing she was able to keep down. A few radiation treatments intended to ease the pain seemingly had no effect, but almost immediately after taking the Essiac, she felt relief. When the painkillers ran out and Mr. HALE said he would go pick up more, she told him, "Don't bother -- get more of this."
Twice more, he returned to get Essiac, the second time carrying a loaded pistol in case he had to force the medicine from the old nurse. He got it, and, according to Mrs. HALE, "the cancer just drained away." She returned to Toronto for one checkup -- "The doctor just looked at me like he was seeing a ghost" -- and never returned again.
"What else could it have been," Mrs. HALE asks today, "but a miracle?"
There is nothing special to mark the grave of Rene CAISSE.
It lies in the deepening snow at the very front row of St. Joseph's Cemetery on the narrow road running north out this small town in the heart of Ontario cottage country, a simple grave with a dark stone that reads: " McGAUGHNEY Rene M. (CAISSE) 1888-1978, Discoverer of 'Essiac,' Dearly Remembered."
On December 26, it will be 25 years since Rene -- pronounced "Reen" by locals -- CAISSE died. But in the minds of many people with cancer, the great question of her life has continued on, unanswered, well beyond her death. Did she have a secret cure for the disease?
Ms. CAISSE never claimed to have a "cure" for cancer, but she did claim to have a secret native formula that, at the very least, alleviated pain and, in some cases, seemed to work what desperate cancer sufferers were claiming were miracles.
She had discovered the formula while caring for an elderly Englishwoman who had once been diagnosed with breast cancer and, unable to afford surgery, turned instead to a Northern Ontario Ojibwa medicine man who had given her a recipe for a helpful tonic.
The materials were all found locally, free in the forest: burdock root, sheep sorrel, slippery elm bark, wild rhubarb root and water.
The woman had taken the native brew regularly and been cancer-free ever since.
Ms. CAISSE had carefully written down the formula as dictated, thinking she might herself turn to this forest concoction if she ever developed the dreaded disease. She never did, dying eventually from complications after breaking a hip, but she remembered the recipe when an aunt was diagnosed with cancer of the stomach and given six months to live. The aunt agreed to try the tonic, recovered and went on to live 21 more years.
The aunt's doctor, R.D. FISHER, was intrigued enough that he encouraged Ms. CAISSE to offer her remedy -- which she now called "Essiac," a reverse spelling of her name -- to others, and by 1926 Dr. FISHER and eight other physicians were petitioning the Department of Health and Welfare to conduct tests on this strange brew.
"We, the undersigned," the letter from the nine doctors read, "believe that the 'Treatment for Cancer' given by nurse R.M. CAISSE can do no harm and that it relieves pain, will reduce the enlargement and will prolong life in hopeless cases."
Instead of opening doors, however, the petition caused them to slam. Health and Welfare responded that a nurse had no right to treat patients and even went so far as to prepare the papers necessary to begin prosecution proceedings.
But when officials were dispatched to see her, she talked them out of taking action, and for years after, officials turned a blind eye as she continued to disperse the tonic. She made no claim that it was medication; she refused to see anyone who had not first been referred by their regular physician; and she turned down all payment apart from small "donations" to keep the clinic running.
Her work attracted the attention of Dr. Frederick BANTING, the discoverer of insulin, but an arrangement to work together foundered when he insisted they test the tonic first on mice, and Ms. CAISSE argued that humans had more immediate needs.
Her problems with authority were only beginning. A 55,000-signature petition persuaded the Ontario government to establish a royal commission to look into her work, but the panel of physicians would agree to hear only from 49 of the 387 witnesses: who turned up on her behalf -- and dismissed all but four on the grounds that they had no diagnostic proof. The commission refused to endorse Essiac, and a private member's bill that would have let her continue treating patients at her clinic fell three votes short in the legislature.
She quit when the stress drove her to the verge of collapse, moved north with her new husband, Charles McGAUGHNEY, and dropped out of the public eye. But not out of the public interest.
"You need proof?" laughs Iona HALE. " Just look at me -- I'm still here!"
Not everyone in the medical establishment dismissed Essiac. Ms. CAISSE had permitted the Brusch Medical Center near Boston to conduct experiments after Dr. Charles BRUSCH, one-time physician to John Kennedy, inquired about the mysterious cure. Tests on the formula did show some promise on mice, and the centre eventually reported: "The doctors do not say that Essiac is a cure, but they do say it is of benefit." Dr. BRUSCH even claimed that Essiac helped in his own later battle with cancer.
Other tests, though, were less encouraging. In the early 1970s, Ms. CAISSE sent some of her herbs to the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research in Rye, New York but when early tests proved negative, she claimed Sloan-Kettering had completely fouled up the preparation and refused further assistance.
Through it all, she refused to disclose her recipe -- until a rush of publicity after a 1977 article in Homemaker's magazine persuaded her to hand over the formula to the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario for safekeeping and to give a copy to the Resperin Corporation of Toronto in the hopes that, eventually, scientific proof would be found.
She died without gaining the recognition some cancer survivors believe she deserved, and in 1982, the federal government declared Resperin's testing procedures flawed and shut down further studies.
The story of Ms. CAISSE's medicine carried on, however, with more and more people turning to the man who would have been her member of Parliament to see if he could help.
Stan DARLING lives in the same nursing home as Iona HALE. Now 92, Mr. DARLING spent 21 years in Ottawa as the Progressive Conservative member for Muskoka-Parry Sound. He's remembered on Parliament Hill for his crusades against acid rain, but of all his political battles, Mr. DARLING says nothing compares to his fight to gain recognition for Rene CAISSE's mysterious medicine.
"So many people came to me with their stories," he said, "that I couldn't help but say, 'Okay, there must be something to this.'"
Mr. DARLING put together his own petition, 5,000 names, and went to the minister of health and argued that so many were now using Essiac it made sense to legalize it.
His bid failed, but he did persuade the medical bureaucrats to compromise: If Essiac were seen as a "tea" rather than a "drug," it could be viewed as a tonic, and so long as the presiding physician gave his approval, it could be added to a patient's care -- if only for psychological reasons. "On that basis," Mr. DARLING says, "I said, 'I don't give a damn what you call it, as long as you let the people get it.' "
The doubters are legion. "There's no evidence that it works," says Dr. Christina MILLS, senior adviser of cancer control policy for the Canadian Cancer Society. That being said, she says, "There is also little evidence of harmful side effects from it," but cautions anyone looking into the treatment to do so in consultation with their physician.
No scientific study of Essiac has ever appeared in an accepted, peer-reviewed medical journal. But those who believe say they have given up on seeing such proof.
Sue BEST of Rockland, Massachusetts., still vividly recalls that day 10 years ago when her 16-year-old son, Billy, sick with Hodgkin's disease, decided to run away from home rather than continue the chemotherapy treatments he said were killing him.
He was eventually found in Texas after a nationwide hunt and agreed to return home only if the treatments would cease and they would look into alternative treatments, including Essiac.
No one is certain what exactly cured Billy, but Ms. BEST was so convinced Essiac was a major factor she became a local distributor of the herbal medicine.
Rene CAISSE, she says, "spent a whole life trying to help people with a product she found out about totally by accident -- and being totally maligned all her life by the whole medical establishment in Canada."
In some ways, Ms. CAISSE has had an easier time in death than in life. Today, there is a street in Bracebridge named after her, a charming sculpture of her in a park near her old clinic, and Bracebridge Publishing has released a book, Bridge of Hope, about her experiences.
The recognition is largely the work of local historian Ken VEITCH, whose grandmother, Eliza, was one of the cancer-afflicted witnesses: who told the 1939 royal commission: "I owe my life to Miss CAISSE. I would have been dead and in my grave months ago." Instead, she lived 40 more years.
Don McVITTIE, a Huntsville businessman, is a grandnephew of Rene CAISSE and says she used her recipe to cure him of a duodenal ulcer when he was 19. Now 71 and in fine health, he still has his nightly brew of Essiac before bed.
"There's something mentally satisfying about having a glass of it," he says. "I think of it more as a blood cleanser. That's what Aunt Rene always said it was. I think she'd be disappointed it hasn't been more accepted."
"Look," Ken VEITCH says, "this all started back in the 1920s. And I've said a number of times that if there was nothing to it, it would be long gone.
"But there is something to it."
Roy MacGREGOR is a Globe and Mail columnist.
The secret revealed
Debate rages in Essiac circles about the correct recipe. The most accurate rendition likely comes from Mary McPHERSON, Rene CAISSE's long-time assistant. Ms. McPHERSON, currently frail and living in a Bracebridge nursing home, swore an affidavit in 1994 in which she recorded the recipe in front of witnesses. It is essentially the same preparation distributed today by Essiac Canada International, which operates out of Ottawa. The formula appears below:
61/2 cups of burdock root (cut)
1 lb. of sheep sorrelherb, powdered
1/4 lb. of slipper elm bark, powdered
1 oz. of Turkish rhubarb root, powdered
Mix ingredients thoroughly and store in glass jar in dark, dry cupboard. Use 1 oz. of herb mixture to 32 oz. of water, depending on the amount you want to make. I use 1 cup of mixture to 256 oz. of water.
Boil hard for 10 minutes (covered), then turn off heat but leave sitting on warm plate overnight (covered).
In the morning, heat steaming hot and let settle a few minutes, then strain through fine strainer into hot sterilized bottles and sit to cool. Store in dark, cool cupboard. Must be refrigerated when opened.

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