AIDS drug supplier Ronald Woodroof dies; Dallas native sought out …

Editor’s note: This story was originally published Aug. 18, 1992, in The Dallas Morning News.

Graveside services for Ronald Woodroof, founder of the Dallas Buyer’s Club, an underground supplier of experimental AIDS medications, were held Monday at Restland Memorial Park in Dallas. Memorial services will be announced later.

Mr. Woodroof died of AIDS Saturday at his Dallas home. He was 42.

The Dallas native attended South Garland High School, then studied photography for a few years and later electronics at various Dallas-area schools.

He was a licensed electrical contractor until 1986, when he doctors told him that he had been infected with the AIDS virus and had six weeks to live, said his girlfriend, Deb McGregor of Fort Worth. She said he then decided against mainstream medicine and began searching for alternative therapies.

Mr. Woodroof began trying medications that had not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration because he had heard they were helping others live longer, said his mother, Billie Hughes Woodroof.

The FDA considers many of the experimental drugs unproven and even dangerous, although many people who use them feel they have little to lose and believe the drugs can extend their lives.

“When he set a goal, he met it,’ said Mrs. Woodroof. “When he first told me (that he had AIDS), I asked him, “What are you going to do about this?’ and he told me, “I’m not going to just sit down and die.’ “

A few months later, Mrs. Woodroof said, she lent her son a thousand dollars to go to Mexico to buy drugs.

She said he thought the drugs helped him, and he wanted to help others.

Mr. Woodroof made more trips, gathering more medications, and started the Dallas Buyer’s Club. It smuggles experimental AIDS medications that have not been approved by the FDA and sells them to about 4,000 people across the country.

Mr. Woodroof was responsible for finding medication sources, smuggling the drugs and finding laboratories to test them for purity. His search for medication often took him to Mexico, Japan and Denmark.

“He was a maverick, an inspiration and offered hope to thousands of people and worked hard for what he believed in,’ said Miss McGregor. “With his belief and self-will, he was able to live as long as he did.’

Other survivors include his daughter, Yvette Sweden of Odessa; a sister and brother-in-law, Sharon and Eugene Braden of Red Oak; and an uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Schulz of Richardson.

Mr. Woodroof’s father, Garland Woodroof, died in 1983.

Memorials may be made to the AIDS Resource Center, the AIDS Foundation or V.N.A. Hospice.

Spiritual Healing – A Complementary form of Treatment to Medical Science

Researches prove that 80% of problems in our lives have their root cause in the spiritual dimension. Spiritual healing is a subtle science that helps people to get rid of problems that have their root cause in the spiritual dominion. In other words, it is all about identification and elimination of the spiritual root cause of the problem.

Spiritual Healing is said to be the natural energy therapy that complements the conventional medicine by holistic treatment of the body of a person comprising mind, body and the spirit. This kind of healing makes us believe that there is an invisible power, which never lets us feel alone in this universe, a power to which we can always look up to for help and guidance. In short, it teaches us the art of living.

It can be practiced by and upon anyone irrespective of his/ her religious beliefs, caste, creed, age, gender or sexual orientation. The healer uses the imperceptible healing energy and directs it to the recipient, either by directly touching or without touching the body of the person. It mainly contemplates on working with the energy centres of the body for healing a particular part of the body.

The benefits of spiritual healing cannot be described in words. Though, it is a complimentary form of treatment to medical science, this kind of healing can help with almost all kind of human problems including physical problems such as aches and pains, arthritis, broken bones, and mental problems like depression and stress. In fact, many cancer patients undergoing spiritual healing have found relief from the pain they undergo as a result of chemotherapy.

Have a glimpse at some of the benefits that could be attained through spiritual healing.

Book Review: Wisdom Of The Gemstone Guardians

Michael Katz’ Wisdom of the Gemstone Guardians is unique among crystal healing books in many regards. One thing that sets it apart is that it makes no secret of the fact that is practically entirely ‘channeled’ from spirit entities, the so called ‘Gemstone Guardians.’

Sacagawea – watch more funny videos

At the same time as this may sound ‘airy fairy’ to many conservative health practitioners and even herbalists, author Michael Katz firmly believes this form of methodically approached crystal healing, which he refers to as Gemstone Energy Medicine, has a bright future within the conventional health field.

And Mr. Katz does not stand alone in his conviction. Numerous athletes are firm believers in the power of therapeutic quality gem stones. Testimonials can be found on Katz’ site from Swedish Olympic Medalist Glen Christiansen, British Olympic Swimmer Mark Foster, Arizona Diamondbacks’ Pitcher Tanner Eriksen, and Olympic Trainer and Triathlete Art Dilworth.

Another celebrity testimonial comes from Larry King, of Larry King Live, who can be found quoted on the sleeve of the 1997 edition of this book as saying, “Some inner voice told me to read this book. Thank you, inner voice. What a remarkable study.”

The material in Wisdom of the Gemstone Guardians is made up of the teachings of twenty-nine ‘Gemstone Guardians,” each of whom is in charge of a particular gemstone. They tell us of the powers and healing qualities of each stone.

Even though Wisdom of the Gemstone Guardians is technically speaking a non-fiction book, it is so exquisitely well written that it’s actually a more enjoyable read, cover to cover, than most novels. It’s hard to put down once you’ve begun reading it, and I’ve heard of no other book engendering an interest in crystal healing in the previously uninitiated.

It should be noted that Wisdom of the Gemstone Guardians is not a reference book on crystals. It is an inspirational story with in-depth information about a select few of the most powerful healing gemstones and crystals available on the market today. If you are looking for a reference book, there are better choices. If you’re ready to be set on fire about gemstones, then Wisdom of the Gemstone Guardians is the book for you.

The best-selling Wisdom of the Gemstone Guardians has been reprinted numerous times. The original title of the book was Gifts of the Gemstone Guardians. A later intermediary edition was sold as Gemisphere Luminary.

Wisdom of the Gemstone Guardians contains information on Quarts, Lavender Quartz, Aventurine, Emerald, Rose Quartz, Ruby, Rhodochrosite, Amethyst, Purple Rainbow Fluorite, Blue Sapphire, Indigo (crystalline form of Sodalite), Carnelian, Citrine, Aquamarine, Green Tourmaline, Pink Tourmaline, Sodalite, Leopardskin Jasper, Poppy Jasper, Bloodstone, Ivorite, Opalite, Riverstone, Rhodonite, Malachite, Lapis Lazuli, Black Onyx, Mother of Pearl and Pearl.

Medicinal Herbs Continue As An Alternative To Maim Line Pharmaceuticals

Modern medicine and more importantly the pharmaceutical industry have long desired to refute the claimed benefits of consuming medicinal herbs, however, there are those who believe that the healing power of herbs live on. May it be recognized that contradicting many research studies is the fact that many herbs are used in the manufacture of today’s medicine, thereby cementing the notion that medicinal herbs can be useful in protecting and curing some illnesses.

In the early days of modern medicine, testing of a medicinal herb was based on patients use to record its effects. In a simplistic wayIf the result was positive as well as repeatable, the herb was prescribed for the particular illness for which id had been used. On the other hand, if the results were singular and its effect could not be repeated, its use was discontinued and put on a list of worthless theories.

In hindsight, many herbalists believe that requirements of the test may have been slanted. As with some conventional medicine, medicinal herbs do not have the same effect on every patient and they believe the test groupings may have been too small to accurately depict the benefit of the medicinal herb.

In most cases the taking of a medicinal herb usually shows no sign of ill effects, however, there are some natural herbs that can cause problems in humans. Therefore, as with modern medicine, any medicinal herb should be taken with caution and only in prescribed dosages given by a trained herbalist.

Herbs Have Centuries Of History On Their Side

It is commonly believed that the Chinese were the first to use any medicinal herb for treating illnesses. In fact there are medical journals that date back around 5000 years listing various known herbal medications, it has also been discovered that ancient Greece and Egypt counted the medicinal herb as an important part of health care, thousands of yeards ago. Many of the herbs they used are still being used by naturalists around the world and many are also marketed for the specific ailments for which they have been used back then.

Unfortunately, the use of medicinal herbs has been a cause of concern for many medical professionals due to the lack of control over their use in over the counter products sold in many drug stores and health stores. Owing to the lack of control in the manufacturing process of these herbal medicines, the claim is that mixing certain herbs and other natural products may cause side effects of which the consumer is unaware..

An example of one of the medicinal herbs used today is red clover, which grows wild in many parts of the country. It is claimed to have healing tendencies for skin ailments such as eczema and psoriasis as well as chronic degenerative diseases and dry cough. Unfortunately, there is little information concerning the proper dosage and application of the clover to achieve the most benefits.

Irrespective of the innumerable documented successful treatments of cases of eczema, psoriasis etc modern medicine still refuses to recognize that medicinal herbs do have healing qualities preferring to promote the products of large pharmaceutical companies instead.

Pastors use hyperbaric chambers as alternative medicine


When you or your loved one is really sick, you may be willing to try just about anything. The Channel 4 I-Team went undercover to a church where the pastors say they can use hyperbaric chambers to treat everything from hair loss to depression.

The problem is health experts say these pastors are making potentially misleading promises.

Pastors and twin brothers Dale and Gale Hammond are singers in the gospel group The Hammond Brothers, and they also say they’re doctors. Even their business cards say it.

They told us over the phone and in person they’re natural medicine doctors, but no one is quite clear what that means.

Those in alternative medicine say “NMD,” as those business cards read, typically refer to a naturopathic medical doctor. Yet, the practice of naturopathy is banned in Tennessee.

But it’s not the healing herbs they promote that’s controversial. It’s hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Using hidden cameras, the Channel 4 I-Team spotted several portable hyperbaric chambers in a building the Hammonds call their clinic.

The FDA has only cleared portable chambers for certain medical uses, such as mountain sickness. Typically, doctors use bigger chambers to treat decompression sickness from deep water diving, but the Hammonds’ chambers are in a building next to their church.

When we told one of the nation’s experts on hyperbaric chambers about what the Hammonds are doing, he had this advice for anyone who is being treated at the clinic: Turn around and walk away.

“Go try to find a legitimate hyperbaric treatment facility,” said Tom Workman, director of quality assurance and regulatory affairs for the Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society.

We started investigating what the Hammonds call their clinic after a source requested an investigation by the state and the Channel 4 I-Team.

First, we went into the clinic ourselves, wearing a hidden camera and asking why would anyone in Middle Tennessee go into one of the chambers that’s typically used to treat problems like decompression sickness or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Dale Hammond said all of us are deprived of oxygen and their chambers boost your oxygen levels. Plus, the Hammonds added, these chambers can be used to treat all kinds of problems.

When asked how long their patients have to go into the chambers, Gale Hammond said, “It depends on what’s going on. Typically, we do 40 treatments.”

Sometimes those treatments last up to an hour at a time, and we watched as people went in, wearing what appeared to be oxygen masks.

We took all this to Dr. Richard Moon, the medical director of the Duke University Center for Hyperbaric Medicine.

“There is no evidence that hyperbaric oxygen therapy reverses hair loss, and I can tell you, from having treated thousands of patients who are losing their hair, no one has ever said, ‘My gosh, I am delighted that my hair is coming back.’ That, I would say, is a false claim,” Moon said.

In another visit, Dale Hammond told us the hyperbaric chambers could help treat depression. But an expert we talked to says that’s not true, and the FDA says it hasn’t been established.

“Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is not a panacea. It is not a golden wand,” Workman said. “You will frequently find claims for off-label use that just, as you said, for everything all the way up to hair loss, I can assure you that’s certainly not the case.”

So, what does all this cost? Dale Hammond said they do take insurance, but only with a doctor’s prescription. Then, their attorney told the Channel 4 I-Team the Hammonds sometimes get prescriptions from patients’ physicians but not always.

The hyperbaric expert we talked to says a prescription is always required for hyperbaric oxygen therapy. “If they are not requiring a licensed practitioner prescription for the use of the chambers, then they are in violation of federal law,” Workman said.

Dale Hammond also said most patients pay by making a donation of a minimum of $100 per visit. And, if you need 40 treatments, that could be a $4,000 donation.

They also claim they will work with people who can’t afford to pay for treatment.

We also wanted to know what qualifications they have to administer hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

“I’m a DMO: a diving medical officer. I’m already a DMO. It took me four years to get there,” Gale Hammond said.

They say they’re certified, but when we contacted the international association that certifies diving medical officers, the organization wrote, “We at the International Board of Undersea Medicine are very concerned that a couple of our members may have misrepresented themselves and their credentials for certificates and membership.” That statement goes on to say, “Anyone who shows evidence that they willfully misrepresented their credentials will have their memberships immediately revoked.”

The International Board of Undersea Medicine said it does have the Hammonds’ younger brother, Johnny Hammond, on record as a chamber operator, but the agency adds he has no medical credentials and the course he took, they say, is an entry level course.

The Hammonds also say on their business cards they’re members of the ACHM: the American College of Hyperbaric Medicine. We checked, and the ACHM says Dale and Gale Hammond are not members but have taken some online courses with the group.

We asked the Hammonds to answer our questions on camera, but they denied our requests. On another occasion, a man who appeared to be Dale Hammond headed for the door when our news crew arrived.

The Hammonds’ attorney sent us a letter, saying some of the chambers we saw are hard-shell chambers and are not even hooked up or being used. We’re told they were donated to the Hammonds’ church to sell. Their attorney also tells us there is no indication they have done anything wrong. And, they say, they have not received any complaints that anyone is being harmed in anyway.

The attorney adds the Hammonds have never claimed to be medical doctors. He says they even have their patients sign a waiver that says they are aware the Hammonds are not medical doctors.

It’s important to note we checked with the Tennessee Health Department, and they confirm Dale and Gale Hammond are not licensed by any of their health professional boards and were even unapproved applicants for licensure as reflexologists.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Saying it saved her, Abate brings holistic healthcare to LES

Catherine Abate and her son, Kyle Kliegerman, onboard the Oct. 22 fundraising cruise for the holistic healthcare clinic at 150 Essex St. Photo by Bob Buchanan

Catherine Abate and her son, Kyle Kliegerman, onboard the Oct. 22 fundraising cruise for the holistic healthcare clinic at 150 Essex St.
Photo by Bob Buchanan

BY HEATHER DUBIN  |  Alternative medicine is gaining increasing acceptance in the Western world. In the case of Catherine Abate, president and C.E.O. of Community Healthcare Network, she not only accepts alternative medicine — she firmly believes it helped save her life.

Diagnosed with stage-four uterine cancer in May 2012, Abate’s positive experience with holistic medical practices prompted her to bring these same modalities to Community Healthcare Network’s Downtown Health Center, at 150 Essex St. on the Lower East Side. The nonprofit C.H.N. provides medical care to underserved New Yorkers at 11 federally qualified healthcare centers.

In an interview last week, Abate spoke about the new Essex St. integrative health center — which will incorporate alternative therapies with traditional medicine — as well as about her own personal journey regarding her condition.

Abate has always worked in public service, striving to help others. An attorney, she is a former New York state senator, and before that was the commissioner of New York City’s Department of Corrections.

C.H.N.’s Essex St. center caters to 6,000 patients a year. According to Abate, this population has “a tremendous interest” in acupuncture, herbal supplements and medication, but lacks access to them.

“Medicaid and private insurance doesn’t cover it, and there’s a great need,” she said.

State, city and federal grants help cover the cost of medical services currently offered at the center. While there is a sliding-fee scale based on income, patients are never turned away.

Abate noted that C.H.N. centers are sited in the poorest and most underserved areas of the city. They have sites in every borough except for Staten Island.

The Essex St. center offers complete primary care, pediatrics, nutrition, social services and other basic medical care. While these services will continue, Abate wants to add holistic medicine as an integral component to improve patient health. The program is in the planning process, and Abate anticipates the revamped facility’s opening next February.

“It’s the perfect site to do this,” she said.

The demographic the center serves is mixed ages with the majority of patients under age 50, while the ethnic breakdown is mostly Latino and Asian. Abate also noted that many patients suffer from chronic diseases, such as asthma, obesity, hypertension and diabetes. These patients are familiar with and eager to try alternative therapies that could potentially benefit them.

Thanks to federal money, additional exam rooms have already been constructed to accommodate the expanding center. As part of the holistic approach, there will be more time focused on personal nutrition. Yoga, acupuncture, energy healing, reflexology and meditation will also be part of the new program. Abate wants patients to take ownership of their care, and she thinks these modalities will help them do this.

“We want the patients to feel better about their care, and improve communication between them and their provider,” Abate said. Three years ago, she started a health literacy program. Results show patients, during an office visit, do not receive useful information that encourages them to go home and change their lifestyle, which is often essential for dealing with their health problem.

“Whether it’s positive thinking about their healing, stopping smoking or eating healthy, or cleaning up their home environment from mold, or whatever,” she said, “there has to be better communication to really make them a partner in their healthcare.”

Abate feels this improved informational dialogue empowers patients, providing them with more balance and control, which will improve their overall health and well-being.

She understands this firsthand.

“I don’t think I’d be in the shape I am in today if I didn’t use the complementary and alternative-use therapies,” Abate said.

Her initial diagnosis, following her first operation in June 2012, gave her 12 months to live. Abate, who is in her mid-60s, turned to Western medicine for surgeries and chemotherapy, and saw an immunologist, which is a field she wants to implement at the center. But she also went to a life coach and energy healer, who taught her the power of the mind.

“Mind, body and spirit come together,” Abate said. “Everyone has the power to heal themselves. I had a lot of healing, and I’m not saying chemo didn’t have something to do with it. But even my oncologists would say, ‘It wasn’t just the chemo.’ ”

One doctor told Abate that he thought her mind was one of her most powerful weapons in her recovery.

The healthcare C.E.O. believes visualization, diet and acupuncture all help effect a change of attitude toward life.

“It adds up, I’m feeling strong,” she said. “I’m not totally cured yet, but I’m on the right path.”

Abate still receives some low-dose chemo treatment, but she has spent many months playing tennis, and, as she put it, is doing “quite well.”

She partially attributes her health status to alternative therapies.

“I’m not suggesting people turn away from Western medicine,” she said. “I’m suggesting Western medicine becomes that more effective when you also utilize holistic and integrative approaches.”

She used to receive holistic treatments weekly when she was sick, but now only goes every couple of weeks. Abate does practice daily visualization and takes herbal supplements.

“I wake up with gratitude every day,” she said. “I see the beauty in things and in people, and the promise of the world.”

To help foster this same hopefulness for others, Abate has submitted grants for the holistic program. She wants the therapies to be free or low-cost for patients.

With that goal in mind, a boat cruise fundraiser around Manhattan was held on the evening of Tues., Oct. 22, with 240 people paying $250 per ticket. Demonstrations of alternative therapies were conducted onboard the boat.

The Villager encourages readers to share articles:

Comments are often moderated.

We appreciate your comments and ask that you keep to the subject at hand, refrain from use of profanity and maintain a respectful tone to both the subject at hand and other readers who also post here. We reserve the right to delete your comment.

‘Living With Spirit Festival’ to be held in Burnham-On-Sea tomorrow

Published: November 1, 2013
‘Living With Spirit Festival’ to be held in Burnham-On-Sea tomorrow

Clairvoyants and mediums will be among the exhibitors taking part in a ‘Living With Spirit Festival’ in Burnham-On-Sea this Saturday (November 2nd).

The event at The Princess Theatre runs from 10am-5pm and will also include tarot readers, crystals, acupuncture, healers and workshops.

“Visitors will be able to explore alternative or complementary therapies, or just chat to a practitioner to find out more,” organiser Rob Dumbarton told

“There will also be a programme of workshops throughout the day for people to find out more about subjects that have fascinated us for hundreds of years.”

Entry costs £1 and children are free. The workshops will include Auras with Shane Adams, Reiki Healing, Philosophy and self-cleansing with Debbie Thorne, Crystals and Crystal Healing with George Stone, and Healing Meditation with Patsy Croxon.

Borders Moves Buds to Tenino

Tenino will soon become home to what is likely the city’s first bud business.

A medical marijuana dispensary is closing its location just north of Centralia Wednesday and is reopening in Tenino on Monday.

Though Lewis County does not allow the pot pharmacies, Borders Alternative Medicine, dubbed for its advantageous location just across the Thurston County line, has been operating on Old Highway 99 since last spring.

Co-owner David Luttrell said after the landlord canceled the dispensary’s lease, the new location on Gibson Road just outside Tenino offered the only available site to house Borders.

“It comes with the territory in this business,” he said.

Customers will not see much change, Luttrell said, other than the new, more out of the way location.

Borders will continue to carry about 15 different varieties of smokable pot in addition to marijuana-infused oils and edibles, he said. Additionally, the business will still deliver weed to green card carrying patients in Thurston, Lewis and Cowlitz counties.

In the future, Luttrell said, he expects to move Borders into a larger commercial space.

“We’re looking forward to continuing our services,” he said.