On the current season of Return to Amish we’ve seen Chapel Peace and her soon-to-be husband Andrew Schmucker wrestling with the devastating news that her cancer has returned. Chapel has revealed how difficult the chemo treatment process was the first time she was diagnosed with the disease, and last night it was announced on her and Andrew’s Facebook fan page that she wants to try an alternative treatment called The Gerson Therapy. The alternative treatment is not covered by insurance and the page provides a link to a fundraising campaign at GoFundMe.com to help raise $1,500 so she and Andrew can make the trip and begin her treatment.
UPDATE – When this post was initially created, the GoFundMe page had yet to be verified, but that has since been cleared up with videos posted by Chapel herself (included below). Her aunt explained on Facebook that Chapel has been weak after receiving treatment at the Hillman Cancer Center in Pittsburgh, and as a result she was not able to post to the videos immediately after the fundraising campaign was announced.
Also, due to the success of the campaign, Chapel has raised the goal to $5,000. “I’ve bumped up my goal amount because its doing so well and a few ppl suggested I should,” Chapel wrote. “The love I feel from all of you is so overwhelming I can’t even begin to describe how I feel so I’ll start with Thank You From My Family To Yours.”
As far as what the money is for (because, as some commenters pointed out, The Gerson Therapy program usually costs around $16,000), Chapel initially said, “this money is for passports airfare food water my paper application is being mailed I filled out online application i can’t work right now im doing treatments this not free to collect all my records have copies made.. I’m not askin anyone to pay for it all or i would be askin for much much more.”
Chapel also addressed some negative commenters who assumed she made a lot of money by appearing on Return to Amish: “Let me be very clear I only made 125 dollars per episode so no I did not make much to share my life with you the fans.”
Here are the videos posted by Chapel in which she verifies that the Go Fund Me page is indeed hers, and in the clips you can clearly tell she is in a weakened state from her cancer treatments:
Chapel’s first mention of the Gerson Project was on her and Andrew’s Facebook page on Friday. “I’ve been thinking alot about the Gerson Project,” it reads. “I’ve been begging for a sign this is what I should do… Plz pray for me to find the answers I seek… ♥ Chapel”
And then last night:
We are gonna put up a fundraiser for Andrew and I to travel to Mexico so I can start the Gerson Project.. I would never beg for help but I feel strongly about this… Plz keep me in your prayers that I can raise enough to make the trip and start this treatment…. ♥ Chapel
Here is the description on the GoFundMe page:
In difficult times, we need to come together and in this very difficult time for Chapel, she needs our help more than ever. With your help and support, we will reach our goal and no matter how much you donate, it is all greatly appreciated. We thank you! The Gerson Project offers an all natural organic cure to fight cancer.. This is something Chapel feels so strongly about… Medical coverage does not cover this treatment.. Its much safer than Chemo… Last time around Chemo almost ended her life on three occasions can’t blame a the girl for wanting to find another way.. Thank You for all you do
As far as The Gerson Therapy, Cancer.org describes it as “a form of alternative cancer treatment involving coffee enemas, supplements, juicing, and a special diet that is claimed to cleanse the body, boost the immune system, and stimulate metabolism.” The site seems skeptical of the treatment in its overview section:
Available scientific evidence does not support claims that Gerson therapy is effective in treating cancer, and the principles behind it are not widely accepted by the scientific and medical communities. It is not approved for use in the United States. Gerson therapy can be dangerous. Coffee enemas have been associated with serious infections, dehydration, constipation, colitis (inflammation of the colon), electrolyte imbalances, and even death.
Obviously The Gerson Therapy website has a more positive take on it:
The Gerson Therapy is a natural treatment that activates the body’s extraordinary ability to heal itself through an organic, plant-based diet, raw juices, coffee enemas and natural supplements.
With its whole-body approach to healing, the Gerson Therapy naturally reactivates your body’s magnificent ability to heal itself – with no damaging side effects. This a powerful, natural treatment boosts the body’s own immune system to heal cancer, arthritis, heart disease, allergies, and many other degenerative diseases. Dr. Max Gerson developed the Gerson Therapy in the 1930s, initially as a treatment for his own debilitating migraines, and eventually as a treatment for degenerative diseases such as skin tuberculosis, diabetes and, most famously, cancer.
UPDATE – Chapel was not able to raise enough money to go to Mexico (although she has raised nearly $4,000 as of September 20) so she is currently undergoing chemotherapy. Click here for all the latest updates, including a photo of Chapel.
Be sure to tune in to TLC tonight at 10/9c for the Season finale of Return to Amish, which will include Chapel and Andrew Schmucker’s wedding as well as the answer to the question nobody is really asking: Does Jeremiah Raber go back to being Amish?