It is with much sadness we report the passing of Jessica Ainscough, an Australian wellness blogger who spent the last eight years pursuing an experimental treatment for her rare cancer.
Jess passed away on Thursday, the 26th of February, after a long battle with her disease. Jess suffered from epithelioid sarcoma, an incredibly rare form of cancer, and refused conventional medical treatment despite doctors’ advice that she should have her left arm and shoulder amputated. Instead, she pursued an alternative, natural treatment called Gerson Therapy.
Gerson Therapy involves consuming a large quantity of juice and supplements. There is no medical proof that it is an effective treatment for eliminating cancer.
Jess’s mother, who died from breast cancer in October 2013, was also undergoing the same controversial treatment.
This is Jess’s story…
It was 2008 and Jess Ainsough was just 22. Living and working in Sydney, Jess described herself as a party girl: “A rising magazine writer [at teen magazine, Dolly]. A champagne-guzzling, drug-poppin’, sleep-deprived, perpetually hungover party girl.”
That year, she found lumps on her left arm. A biopsy revealed the worst news – a cancer diagnosis. The cancer growing in her left arm and shoulder, epithelioid sarcoma, was extremely rare – affecting only the smallest percentage of the population (0.1 sufferers per million).
Doctors recommended that her arm be amputated. Jess refused, but agreed to undergo a targeted, high-dose burst of chemotherapy confined to her arm (a procedure known as an isolated limb perfusion). While the treatment worked initially, the tumours returned 12 months later.