Over the years, BeatCancer.org has been proud to receive numerous foundation grants. The Susan G. Komen Foundation granted us $25,000 to deliver breast cancer dietary prevention training to African American minorities in West Philadelphia. We have also received thousands of dollars from the Schrenk Foundation, the Scholler Foundation, and the Schmoldt Foundation for our Youth Nutrition and Prevention Project, as well as grants from the Kelly Hefflin Foundation, the Carla Rose Foundation, and the Fox Chase Bank Foundation in sponsorship of cancer counseling services for indigent patients. Recently, we received an unexpected grant that has special meaning for me.
Several weeks ago, The Nutritional Research and Education Foundation in New York City sent us a grant of $1500, along with this letter from its Director, Linda Isaacs, MD:
Dear Dr. Silberstein:
As you probably know, Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, a long-time practitioner in the world of nutrition and cancer, passed away in July 2015. He and I originally set up The Nutritional Research and Educational Foundation to foster research and education in the areas of nutrition and cancer. In the wake of his loss, the new Board of Directors has decided to make grants in his memory to organizations whose goals overlap ours. I remember that your support was very valuable in the early days of our work, and I remember meeting you years ago at a conference. I am enclosing a check in support of your work.
The loss of Dr. Gonzalez has been devastating, but we are doing our best to continue to promote his work and vision.
Linda L. Isaacs, MD
I, too, was devastated at Dr. Gonzalez’ death. As Dr. Isaacs correctly stated, I knew him early on, hosted him at conferences I sponsored, and referred him about 125 patients. Last summer, in his memory, I posted an obituary blog in which I featured a major article he wrote about his work.
Nick Gonzalez was simultaneously an internist, immunologist and nutritionist – a unique embodiment of health disciplines ideally suited to help patients dealing with cancer. His academic credentials were impeccable. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Brown University, completed postgraduate premedical studies at Columbia University, and received his medical degree from Cornell University. He completed an internship in internal medicine at Vanderbilt University and a fellowship in immunology under the supervision of immunologist Dr. Robert Good at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. His research project on Dr. William Donald Kelley’s metabolic therapy – originally designed to disprove its effectiveness as a cancer therapy – changed the way he practiced medicine and set him on his future path of offering “the Gonzalez protocol” to cancer patients.
Not surprisingly, Dr. Gonzalez’ methods have been generally rejected by the medical community, and he was characterized as a “quack” by health fraud watchdog groups. In 1994 Gonzalez was reprimanded and placed on two years’ probation by the New York state medical board for “departing from accepted practice.” Despite this tremendous pressure, he persisted.
And many patients have benefitted because of that persistence. At the end of my post, I stated: “Kelley and Gonzalez are gone now, but their patients have survived. Just as Dr. Gonzalez carried on with Dr. Kelley’s work, I trust that Dr. Gonzalez’s partner, Dr. Linda Isaacs, will continue on with his important legacy. One day, I hope, other oncologists will follow.” I truly mean this. I am grateful that Dr. Isaacs is continuing their special work, and I truly appreciate the generosity of their Foundation.