Some might call it a “miracle,” but alternative and holistic medicine healers aren’t really surprised to learn that a 12-year old Amish girl is now cancer-free — after her doctors testified in court just six months ago that she would be dead by now if her family were permitted to refuse her chemotherapy.
As reported by the Medina Gazette, of Medina County, Ohio, Maurice Thompson, head of the libertarian non-profit group 1852 Center for Constitutional Law, said young Sarah Hershberger now shows no signs of being stricken with cancer at all and appears to be healthy.
“She had MRIs and blood work, and the judge over the last year helped facilitate at least one trip to the Cleveland Clinic. The MRIs did not show any cancer,” Thompson told the Gazette in October, adding that her family was continuing her treatment with less invasive alternative medicine.
“Once you have it, you’re never 100 percent out of the woods, whether or not you get chemotherapy,” he said. “I know how she looks isn’t really an indication of whether she has cancer, but she’s looking very healthy.”
What’s more, the cancer that she once had no longer showed up in any subsequent blood tests.
When Sarah was diagnosed with cancer in 2013, her parents accepted chemo treatment for her at Akron Children’s Hospital. But Andy and Anna Hershberger, of Homer Township, said they felt the treatments were killing their daughter and ceased her treatments.
Akron Children’s Hospital responded by filing in Medina County Probate Court to obtain “limited guardianship” of the girl, which would grant them the power to make medical decisions for the girl. That’s when doctors testified Sarah would die without chemo treatment.
Probate Judge John J. Lohn, who has since retired, at first ruled the girl’s parents were competent to make their own decisions about their daughter’s health. The case then bounced between probate and appellate courts before Lohn was ordered to appoint a guardian.
Sarah’s family responded by fleeing the country last year to seek alternative treatment in Mexico and Canada. Months later, the hospital relinquished its guardianship.
Thompson said Probate Judge Kevin Dunn — who replaced Lohn when he retired in 2014 — formally terminated Sarah’s guardianship on Sept. 24. Thompson said the judge acknowledged that Sarah, who will turn 13 in November, showed no symptoms of cancer and that she appeared to be healthy.