This interview is only available on NaturAlley.com | By Sheldon Baker
Julia Schopick is a health advocate, bestselling author of Honest Medicine: Effective, Time-Tested, Inexpensive Treatments for Life-Threatening Diseases and the creator of the award-winning blog, HonestMedicine.com.
When her husband Tim Fisher became ill in 1990 with a cancerous brain tumor and was given 18 months to three years to live by his doctors, Schopick found therapies that extended his life significantly. She became his advocate and began writing on topics relating to health and medicine like the treatment found for her husband, that have shown promise in patients with life-threatening diseases like her husband had, but that doctors don’t know about.
Having been a public relations consultant and published writer for more than 20 years, Schopick’s mission was to use her writing and public relations skills to inform the world about little-known but promising treatments via her website, her presentations, and her book and to empower people in their health choices. Through her writings and her blog, HonestMedicine.com, Schopick’s goal was and still is to help patients make the best health choices for themselves and their loved ones, giving them the gift of information about healthcare they might want to consider using and that they otherwise may not likely ever know about.
NaturAlley: How did your book Honest Medicine come about?
Ms. Schopick: This answer to your question is kind of roundabout. On September 15, 1990, my husband Tim experienced a grand mal seizure. He had had one five years earlier, that had been misdiagnosed as a “sleep disturbance.” This time I knew it was more serious. After two days in the hospital, we learned that Tim had a brain tumor – an Astrocytoma 3, one grade below the dreaded glioblastoma (GBM).
This began my 15 years as a patient advocate and ultimately, an author. Through my research, I discovered that Tim probably had from 18 months to three years to live – if he followed the standard of care, which was, and still is, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. This prognosis was unacceptable to me, so I decided to look outside the box for treatments that might extend his life. I found Logan, Utah-based nutritionist, Jeanne Wallace, PhD, whose expertise was in cancer treatment, especially brain tumors. Together we found treatments for Tim, mainly nutritional, that extended his life by 12 years.
NaturAlley: You had to use treatments beyond what was and is normally prescribed. Did you think you had found a miracle cure?
Ms. Schopick: It’s funny that you ask this question. I guess I didn’t consider his use of diet and supplements to be a miracle cure. But it certainly made me very happy that he was with me for more years than were predicted. I was also really upset because, although his doctors called him their miracle patient, they were not at all interested in anything we were doing to cause this miracle. They wanted to believe that his longevity was a result of their treatments, and their treatments alone. I found, and still find, this to be upsetting because if they had been curious enough to ask us what we were doing, they might have helped so many of their other patients. But they weren’t. As a matter of fact, Tim once tried to tell his doctor about all the supplements he was taking, but the man, a world-famous neurosurgeon, could not have been less interested.
My frustration hit a high point, or rather a low point, when after Tim’s second brain tumor surgery in 2001, his skin would not heal. This is a common problem with brain tumor patients whose skin has been previously radiated because radiation makes the skin much more fragile, and from my understanding, this fragility increases over time. His doctors did the only thing they knew how to do – they performed eight additional surgeries in a vain attempt to find two pieces of skin that would hold together. Finally, through a doctor I knew from my public relations business, I found Silverlon, a product that had been FDA-approved for all non-healing wounds. Miraculously, I convinced Tim’s doctors to let me put Silverlon on Tim’s head, over his non-healing suture line. And miraculously, for the first time, his skin began to heal, literally overnight.
I was sure Tim’s doctors would be excited. After all, this problem, a brain tumor patient’s suture line not healing is more common than they like to admit.
But I was wrong. They weren’t at all curious about Silverlon. They even suggested that this product had not healed Tim’s skin. Rather, it was Vancomycin, the IV antibiotic Tim had been on for at least six weeks that had healed his skin. When I reminded one of his doctors that Tim had been on this antibiotic for six weeks, his answer stunned me. “Vanco is like that. It kicks in.”
That was when I decided that something was terribly wrong with the medical system in this country. I promised myself that, when I had the time and energy, I would do my best to inform patients about treatments their doctors probably wouldn’t know about for life-threatening diseases. Products like Silverlon. Hence, my book, Honest Medicine: Effective, Time-Tested, Inexpensive Treatments for Life-Threatening Diseases, which I wrote five years after Tim’s death in 2005. It was published in 2011, and featured four lifesaving treatments, including Silverlon.
NaturAlley: Low Dose Naltrexone and intravenous alpha lipoic acid are two treatments you feature in Honest Medicine. And the Ketogenic diet is another. What specific health issues do these recommended treatments address?
Ms. Schopick: A great question. As I previously mentioned, the treatments I feature in Honest Medicine help people with life-threatening conditions. What I didn’t mention is that the medical establishment, with its use of drugs produced by Big Pharma, often does not have effective treatments for these conditions.
Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN), pioneered by Bernard Bihari, MD, in the 1980s and promoted until his death in 2010, is extremely effective for many, if not all, autoimmune conditions, including multiple sclerosis (MS), Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus, to name just a few. It even helps some cancers. Intravenous alpha lipoic acid, pioneered by Burt Berkson MD, PhD, over 40 years ago, is extremely effective for treating end-stage liver disease. Dr. Berkson has saved many people from needing liver transplants. He has also had extremely good results treating autoimmune diseases and some cancers. One of the chapters in Honest Medicine is about Paul Marez who had pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest of all cancers. With IV-alpha lipoic acid, Paul lived nine years, after being told by a major cancer institution to go home and get his affairs in order.
The Ketogenic Diet, which is now the rage for people seeking to lose weight and gain a healthy lifestyle, was, and still is, used to treat childhood epilepsy. It was the standard of care since the 1920s at institutions such as the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins. It was a non-physician, Jim Abrahams (writer/director/producer of the iconic movie Airplane and others), who kept the diet alive. At the time when his infant son Charlie was cured with the diet, it was nearly extinct. Jim and his wife Nancy created a non-profit organization, The Charlie Foundation, in 1994, through which doctors and patients are being educated about the diet for epilepsy, as well as for other neurological conditions.
NaturAlley: Why are medical treatments you introduced controversial?
Ms. Schopick: A good point. Yes, they are controversial because they aren’t the standard of care. And as most of us know, standard-of-care treatments most often, in the U.S., are the products of big pharma and big industry. But the treatments I feature in my book are science-based, and they are all effective. And all of them are what I refer to as patient-evidence based. Certainly not anecdotal.
NaturAlley: What about side effects? As bad as prescription drugs we see advertised on television.
Ms. Schopick: The treatments I write about in Honest Medicine do sometimes have side effects, but the side effects are not like those introduced by the prescription drugs we see advertised on TV. LDN’s main side effect is described as vivid dreams. I remember when my mother had a slow-growing cancer, we convinced her doctor to prescribe LDN for her. It is recommended that LDN be taken at bedtime. After just a few nights of taking LDN, she called me to tell me how much she has been enjoying her dreams. LDN was one of the only two medications she took until she died at the age of 102.
NaturAlley: Do you know of many others who have followed your advice?
Ms. Schopick: Oh, my goodness, yes. I have been a guest on over 200 talk shows and podcasts. After my appearance on one national talk show, Coast to Coast AM, Honest Medicine shot up to Number 49 out of all the books on Amazon. Not only that, but hundreds of people wrote to me asking for help finding doctors to prescribe the treatments I write about. The treatment that has gotten the most requests is Low Dose Naltrexone for autoimmune diseases. I think this is because there are so many autoimmune diseases. And, just as important, the drugs doctors prescribe for autoimmune conditions are usually extremely toxic. Not only that, but they also aim to kill the immune system. And just as bad, they often don’t work. LDN on the other hand, modulates the immune system, causing it to work properly. And it is not toxic. I often say that LDN is the only drug I know that acts more like a nutritional supplement than like a drug. In other words, its side effects are good effects, not bad ones. I got so many requests for help in finding doctors to prescribe LDN that I wrote a second book, The Power of Honest Medicine, which features patient experiences with LDN for several autoimmune conditions. It was published in 2018.
NaturAlley: So, if such products can help an ill person live longer, how easy are they to locate?
Ms. Schopick: The treatments are often difficult to find because doctors usually don’t tell their patients about them. Patients find these treatments through their own online research. Many of the people profiled in Honest Medicine echoed the sentiment, thank goodness for the Internet. Without it, they wouldn’t have found the treatments that changed their lives.
NaturAlley: Where are your books sold? And how can people reach you?
Ms. Schopick: Honest Medicine is found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords. The Power of Honest Medicine is on Amazon. Both books are in print and e-book formats. The website is HonestMedicine.com and you can also find me on Facebook.