Within 24 hours the bleeding had stopped; and, after several treatments, the growth began reduc- ing in size and the large holes in his chin began to heal.
Based on what was happening to these cancer patients, many of whom were terminal, eight phy- sicians and medical professionals signed a peti- tion in 1926 and sent it to the Department of Na- tional Health and Welfare in Ottawa, requesting that Caisse be given facilities to do research work on her herbal formula.
In response, they sent two investigating doc- tors with papers empowering them to have her arrested. But, when they arrived, they found she was working with nine of the most eminent physi- cians in Toronto, who told them of her work.
Stunned, one investigator gave her cancerous mice (inoculated with deadly Rous Sarcoma) to experiment on—and she kept them alive for 52 days, longer than any other method known to medical science.
Caisse kept helping people who came to her. Most of the time, they had been diagnosed as hav- ing advanced, inoperable cancers.
A battle began which lasted 50 years until her death at the age of 90 in the fall of 1978, after falling and breaking her hip. She had outlived most of her opponents.
Rene was threatened with arrest a dozen times; yet doctors, who had been referring patients to her, always came to her rescue. She never took any money for administering the treatment, only donations; and she lived very modestly. Many gave her only a dollar or two for the help they received. News of what she was doing gradually spread. As you might expect, the public was very favorable to her work.
In 1932, the first major newspaper article ap- peared in the Toronto Star. Entitled, “Bracebridge Girl Makes Notable Discovery Against Cancer.” This brought her work to the attention of many more people.
That same year, Dr. A.F. Bastedo, of Brace- bridge (her hometown, located 170 kilometers north of Toronto, with a population of only about 9,000), let Caisse treat one of his patients who had terminal bowel cancer. When the patient re- covered, Bastedo was so impressed, he convinced the town council to make the British Lion Hotel, which had been repossessed for back taxes, avail- able to Rene for a clinic.
Rene Caisse now had an entire hotel to use, free of charge. Soon patients were arriving from around the world. The King of England wrote her a letter of encouragement.
Then a personal tragedy confronted her: Rene’s
own mother was diagnosed with inoperable can- cer. But the tea brought a full recovery, and she lived another 18 years till the age of 90.
Thousands of signatures were gathered by friends and sent to Dr. J.A. Faulkner, provincial Minister of Health, imploring the government to support her work. The petition was ignored.
Then nine medical doctors submitted another one. Upon receiving it, Faulkner conferred with Sir Frederick Banting, the co-discoverer of insu- lin. Banting was interested. He had first heard about Essiac ten years earlier in 1925, when a woman treated with it no longer needed insulin. Her diabetic condition had disappeared! Check- ing into it, Banting had concluded that Essiac had somehow “stimulated the pancreas to function nor- mally, thereby healing the diabetes.”
But when the matter was again brought to his attention by Faulkner in 1935, she was invited to the Banting Institute in Toronto, to work under his supervision.
Caisse’s supporters urged her to accept this outstanding offer; but, because it included stop- ping her care of cancer patients and working on mice, she said she turned down the offer. She would have to leave Bracebridge for a time, and this she refused to do. Her patients needed her help, and would die if she left.
In 1936, a large number of physicians again put their signatures on a petition for the Ottawa Department of Health and Welfare to give her an opportunity to demonstrate her method, so it could be officially approved. Once again, it was turned down.
At this juncture, let us cite two examples of what Rene Caisse was doing at Bracebridge, which she considered too important to abandon for mouse studies:
Tony Baziuk was a CNR engine watchman with lip cancer. It was so swollen after radium treat- ments in London, Ontario, that he could see it over the end of his nose. The pain was excruciating.
Fellow workers collected enough to pay Tony’s way to Bracebridge. One injection of Essiac and Tony felt immediate relief. In six months he was back on the job, and lived 40 more years.
May Henderson went to Bracebridge, in 1937, with tumors in both breasts. Doctors told her she must have a double mastectomy immediately. Then they found a tumor the size of a grapefruit in her uterus.
Too weak to move, she had a horror of sur- gery; so her physician, Dr. J.A. McInnis, told her she was hopeless and sent her to Caisse. Describ- ing the experience later in 1977, May said:
“My color was a muddy yellow, my hair thin, my