Wednesday, 28 January 2009

John Carter gets his dream a year too late

Updating this post, CV247 now has its own dedicated blog which lists vets and GPs willing to prescribe. It also follows people whose pets are currently trying the diet and regime and includes links to other information. This blog below was written on the night I heard that CV247 had at last been given a licence. There was also a major article in April and May 2009 editions of Dogs Today magazine.

If you are in the London region you may have caught this evening's London Tonight on ITV. It has made me cry, smile, cry again... luckily I pressed record while I was doing all that.
(Click here to see the item - link will only work for 7 days.)
I was making my son's tea and the TV was just on in the background. I heard the name John Carter and I looked up and there he was.
Which was a bit of a shock as John died quite suddenly last year.
It was library footage of course, but it still brought all sorts of memories flooding back.
John, if you don't already know his work, was a proper old fashioned genius. An eccentric vet that broke all the rules, but with the best possible intentions.
I first heard of him in 1991. I heard that a vet in Harrow was having huge success with cancer with an oddball but gentle method. I sent off a reporter who was pretty sparky and not easily impressed. She came back raving about him. She was a diabetic and he'd come up with all sorts of interesting theories about that, too. She wrote under an alias - Steph Freeman - as she was doing it in her spare time - she was quite high up at the Dogs Trust (NCDL in those days).
We put it on the front cover - it was a yellow background and we had two Bassets wearing a dunce's cap and a mortar board - even though the headline was "Mr Carter's cancer miracles" the item on doggie IQ tests still took precedence. (Hindsight's a great thing!)
Every few weeks after that story ran someone desperate would phone us up for his phone number and we'd give it out.
Then a few years later my beloved Sally was diagnosed with liver cancer. Inoperable and ghastly and a terrible shock.
I was told all we could do was to manage the distressing symptoms. She was only seven - a baby for a Beardie.
It was off to John Carter or give up all hope.
At that stage I was still a huge sceptic.
He was very, very odd. And he was very late - there was no appointment times, no receptionist. Just a room full of people waiting patiently with their pets.
And everyone in that waiting room had big flasks of coffee and cool boxes full of food and big fat books to read.
Eventually, Sally had CV247 squirted down her mouth and we got firm orders for her very peculiar diet: raw NZ lambs liver, organic carrot juice and some green capsules containing pig's pancreatic juices and some very high potency vitamins C and E.
I paid some random amount of money and John put it on a shelf. Next time I came the pile of money was higher. If you wrote a cheque, he'd never get around to cashing it for around six months.
John reminded me of the mad scientist in Back to the Future crossed with someone in a Quentin Tarantino movie. When he got to know us, every other word was an F and most of his passion was focused against the drug industry and mainly chemotherapy. I'm sure he never swore until he really got to know you.
As Sally started to get dramatically better I started to adore this wonderful man and realise the tremendous privilege of waiting around for hours to see in him in a draughty old house in Harrow. Talking to the wonderful people in the waiting room - many of whom had travelled many 100s of miles to save their pets - that was just priceless, too.
I started to hear whispers of another surgery down the road - at which John was treating people.
And I started to hear of tremendous saves - people who had taken their pet first and when they themselves had been diagnosed with terminal cancer they'd begged John to treat them, too.
Sally bounced back and lived till she was 16.
We'd stopped having to have our regular trips to Harrow after only about six months, but we stayed on the weird diet for the rest of Sal's life.
When my Dad collapsed and was rushed to A&E he was found to be in end stage inoperable cancer. There was no treatment offered whatsoever and only the prospect of a horrid painful death ahead.
So that's how my Dad became one of those whispered about people in the other surgery.
In between Sally and Dad, John had had something awful happen to him.
Investigative reporter Roger Cook was doing a story on cancer charlatans that were conning ill people out of their money and giving them cruel false hope.
I guess a vet treating people sounded perfect Cook material and he set about trapping him.
At first he found lots and lots of terminal patients that had recovered against all odds, but they didn't fit his story so he kept digging.
He eventually found a disgruntled relative of a woman who had died.
John had agreed to treat this patient even though she'd had "f-ing evil chemo".
He knew it was pointless as his method needed a chemical free body able to fight - not one already ravaged. She'd died as predicted, but the relative hadn't approved of her family member's decision to give John a try instead of dying neatly in hospital - so she tried to set him up with secret filming.
John was doorstepped by Roger in a very aggressive style and you can imagine from my earlier description John already looked startled by ordinary life and often behaved like he was from another planet as he really was such a free thinker, but with a camera pointed at him he made great TV and the programme ran on primetime ITV.
John and all his patients were devastated by how he was depicted.
The only hope was to complain to the ITC - the equivalent of today's Ofcom.
And to be successful he'd need to prove he wasn't a quack, he needed to prove his method worked.
It hadn't been a priority to him before, just like money wasn't important or time! He knew what he was doing was working - all he wanted to do was tweak it until it was perfect.
He submitted his CV247 and odd diet to Imperial Cancer Research (now CR UK) to independently test. They took it away and used it on mice with cancer.
The results were extraordinary.
Significant reduction of tumours with no side effects.
Head of research Professor Andor Sebesteny had never seen anything like it in his very long career. He resigned his post and went to help John.
The proof was there, John was on to something highly significant.
He won a complete victory against the programme and a full retraction was transmitted just before the News at Ten.
But Cook wasn't having it and came back on air after the apology saying John was still a crook. He was wrapped over the knuckles for that very strongly. Cook wasn't on TV much after that. (Click here for a Hansard reference to Cook's antics )
A long piece in the Guardian shamed him and praised John Carter as a genius.
Around this time, some of the people that John had saved - an oncologist, a lawyer, a GP etc all got together to focus on getting John's method licenced - they formed Ivy Medical Chemicals and organised John to move towards getting the method licenced and established for others to use.
John was always paranoid about getting bumped off by people who made their money out of ineffective cancer treatments - he knew the drug companies made millions out of cancer.
Cook had frightened everyone who cared about John and made them realise how much could be lost if something did ever happen to John.
A very bad thing had turned out to be a good thing - although John would never trust the media again.
I wasn't media though.
I was friendly press.
It was our readers that gave John the chance to prove his method worked. Our lovely readers travelling miles and miles for the chance to save their beloved pets - as I had done, too.
When Dad was told he was dying, John was my first thought.
But we had to as a family decide to all put our faith in John Carter.
My brother Neil lived in Canada and he was always the very, very sensible one - a significant historian, an academic. His wife was a brilliant financier. Their combined intellect - both Drs - wasn't going to be easily convinced by little old me - that my vet friend could be our Dad's best chance.
But they had to agree that John wasn't just our best shot - he was his only one.
The human diet was even more exacting than Sally's and the daily trips to Harrow were harrowing as Dad was already so very ill. Brother Neil did the driving, I am a rubbish driver and it was before Sat nav, I did the sourcing of the food.
Neil met others who were getting better and became totally sold on the method, too. His analytical brain sucked it all in. He met a young man with a very visible facial cancer that was reducing all the time against all other medical predictions - he had kids and a very successful business, he needed to survive. A GP who had been coming for years who had been written off with prostrate cancer. Lots of rational, intelligent people were seeing the vet, too. And they were getting better and feeling great.
The cancer had started in Dad's lungs but had spread to his brain and to many other parts of his body before it had been detected.
But hope made Dad keep going, trying to beat it was better than giving up and we were all together, in one house, in one country. United in giving it our best shot.
He wasn't in a hospital drugged up to the eyeballs with wires coming out him, either. He had dignity.
One night, about three weeks into the regime, we were told by John we needed the GP to urgently prescribe some heart medication as he felt Dad's heart was under a lot of strain.
I had the GP in the house and she was arguing with me and calling me deluded, "You don't give a man with end stage cancer heart medication - you've got to face it, he's going to die. He should be on morphine in hospital - not heart meds."
I was on the mobile to John and he was urging me to convince that stroppy GP when my Dad died... of a heart attack.
The young GP went into shock. Don't think she'd ever seen someone die - or been told by a vet just before it happened that she could have prevented it.
If she had given Dad the drugs John wasn't allowed to prescribe, maybe Dad would have watched tonight's show with me. Seen his grandson born.
So you can imagine, seeing John again got me thinking about that fateful night.
Late last year I heard that John had died and with that news so did a part of me.
That bit that always hopes for the happy ending. That good triumphs over evil.
I heard that he'd had the animal licence turned down for CV247 in the UK by "those f-ing b*****rd bureauprats".
He used to say all the time, "How can they licence chemo when it kills nearly everyone, when my method hurts no one and has such a high success rate. Chemo is crap and it costs a fortune - mine's cheap. No one's going to make money out of my method."
He went into a decline after that licence was cruelly refused on a technicality.
The two trials on terminal human patients in cancer hospitals had been very, very successful in their first two phases, but after John died the money to fund the third and final part dropped out.
But Professor Andor Sebesteny didn't given up.
It was lovely to see him on the TV tonight, too.
He went back home to Hungary, and in Budapest he set up a fresh trial on pet dogs with cancer.
The method was more warmly received by their establishment.
The animal licence for CV247 has been granted in Hungary - and my understanding is that if a drug is licenced in a European country, vets here can use it, too.
The London Tonight report revealed Dr Ros Taylor medical director of the Hospice of St Francis in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire is still prescribing CV247 to named cancer patients. Bless that wonderful woman for her vision.
And they'd also found a man who many years ago had a terminal diagnosis from two cancer hospitals - kidney cancer.
A decade later, thanks to John's method, he's alive and well with no tumours. That could have been my Dad. (Wonder how many people and dogs could have been saved already if our establishment had got their finger out and granted the licence here?)
For many years I've been saying I want to write two books and make two films - I have been a thorough bore about it.
The first, Endal's story, has at last been written - by Allen and Sandra themselves which is wonderful!
And even though it's not yet out officially for another couple of weeks, it's already number 16 on the bestseller list - so my instincts were bang on and it's only a matter of time before Brad and Angelina sign up for the leading roles in the film!
I also always said John should win a Nobel prize for his discovery, can you get them posthumously?
I still want to write the story about John and all the wonderful people who helped him make history.
Perhaps I can write the whole thing up, the journey that my beloved Sally took me on that led me to find John, Allen, Sandra and Endal and the other amazing people and dogs - of course the wonderful Lord Rothermere has to feature large and how he was to change the Government for the love of his dogs!
Come to think of it, I'd like to start writing that story now, but I've got to put my son to bed!

If you or your dog was treated by John, can you email me your details so I can include your story?

John was a great believer in the afterlife, he found it a tremendous comfort. I have a precious piece of paper he gave me when my dad died that outlined his theories.
I have to say, tonight John is laughing wherever he is - I suspect, knowing his sense of humour, if he can arrange it he's round Roger Cook's house writing "see you idiot - you missed the greatest story of life, you ****er!" on all his mirrors.

Delighted to hear from John's son last night! By any chance does anyone have the London Tonight bulletin saved in a format that can be passed on to his family? They missed it.

Some links that might interest:
Human trial
Background and trials
More about trials
Ivy medical chemicals website

If any vet surgeries might interested in finding out more about being able to prescribe CV247 I can hopefully point them in the right direction.

I have been delighted to hear from so many people that remember John. I was blown away when his son emailed the same night as the programme aired, and yesterday his wonderful vet nurse for many years Yvonne emailed and I've heard from Gunner's owner, a Belgian Shepherd that had bone cancer that visited when I did. Would love to hear from more people who knew him. I'm also talking to friendly vets interested in CV247, in Hungary the drug is available over the counter at veterinary pharmacies - but over here it must go through vets, stocks of CV247 are already in this country in a veterinary wholesalers - just needs some nice vets to start using it.
Just heard from Brian Kelly, my partner when Sally was ill and for many years either side of that! Brian is an Aussie journalist, we met at the Kennel Club and he is often sighted as the reason there was a small degree of scandal associated with my leaving! I helped select him to take over from me and trained him up during my notice period, but then at my leaving do he announced he was leaving, too! He'd hated the job but loved the people. We got together for the next eight years or so. Anyway he's now married with two kids and back in Oz working on Aussies papers again.
He struggled using the comment section so emailed his comment for me to post:

"A revelation to read all this. some details in there I didn't know about.
"I was alongside Beverley for pretty much every one of those visits with dear old Sal (yes, I drove; yes, she is a bit hopeless with directions ... !). And it panned out just as B says - kindly old chap, battling at times to make sense of everyday life, but with such an enormous gift to give. Each visit ate up most of a Saturday morning but each one was much anticipated - I knew I'd walk out of Carter's little old semi-detached feeling more inspired, more hopeful, more upbeat with the world.
B and I had gone our separate ways by the time her dad got sick (he too an eccentric old-fashioned Englishmen in his own way, I know B won't mind me saying) so it has been interesting to read how much progress he had made under the Carter regime. And I have watched the progress of CV247 with interest since; did not know and very sad to read about it being knocked back for licence. I'd say that - and the whole Cook episode - were the two worst things to happen in John's career. I remember him saying how "that bloody so-and-so" had set him back at least 12 months with progressing the treatment.
Thinking back, I think it was me who alerted Beverley to the news of John's death.
Anyhow, great to read that his name and his work is living on.
Brian Kelly"

Updating this post, CV247 now has its own dedicated blog which lists vets and GPs willing to prescribe. It also follows people whose pets are currently trying the diet and regime and includes links to other information. This blog below was written on the night I heard that CV247 had at last been given a licence. There was also a major article in April and May 2009 editions of Dogs Today magazine.


Anonymous said...

The world it would seem is a little poorer once more. :(

Mutthouse xx

Julia L said...

What an amazing man. I didn't know anything about him before. And how wonderful that he cured your dog. My dog died of cancer on Monday and I'm devastated. If it had been a few years previously, and I had heard of John Carter, I would have certainly gone to him.

jo siemieniowski said...

What a wonderful story, I wish i had met this wonderful man, please please write a book about him Beverly, I for one will be first in the queue to buy it. also I will make sure that if any of my dogs get cancer as they are prone to, I will remember this story.

Anonymous said...

I have a distinct memory of John but it is a rather trivial one. He was my parent’s vet in the seventies and I remember one particular occasion, which I believe to be in the summer of ’76, but my memory could be wrong, sitting in the waiting area of his surgery, on an extremely hot, bright, stuffy day with a lot of people wearing not much clothing (probably cheese cloth cropped tops!). I remember feeling nervous as I had quite a crush on him. I was only seven! Thanks for sharing his pioneering work – didn’t know he had treated Sally.


bugs said...

Having lost a dog to cancer, I wish I had known about this man, he sounds wonderful.

Julia L said...

I hope you are going to write about John Carter in the next edition of Dogs Today.

Chapstaff said...

I remember you talking about John before. Was it on here or in dogs today?

Fascinating stuff.

What a tragedy Cook got involved.

What a tragedy John died before being able to licence his method :(

Not sure if you were serious...but I hope you really do write a book about him.

Claire said...

This is the first time I have immediately printed a copy of a blog entry! Two copies actually; one to keep and one for my vet.

Claire said...

P.S. A book would be fantastic!

Jan said...

An amazing man. I am pleased to have been able to hear about him via this blog.

What a pity he wasn't around a bit longer.

Anonymous said...

The feature should be on the London Tonight website if you're quick.

Anonymous said...

Can someone please tell me where I can buy the green capsules containing pig's pancreatic Juices. I live in Edinburgh Scotland, and my cat has just started CV247 but the herbal shop I have been to suggested the internet. You help will be very much appreciated. Thank you.

Beverley Cuddy said...

I've just blogged about this on the CV247 site.
They're called Tryplase!
Do check out
for all the latest CV247 info, bet's prescribing and people trying C247 on their pets.
Best wishes

Andrea Downing said...

I first met John 40 years ago when he had a surgery in Wembley. He treated my dog who had glaucoma with his usual massive dose of Vitamin C. Unfortunately it did not work but we did try hard. He became a good friend and was anxious to give me a list of vitamins to take when I became pregnant with my first daughter some 3 years later!!! We lost contact when we moved but I had heard via a vet who had started her career working for him that he was having success with developing a cancer cure. She became my horse vet some 20 years later. I was upset to hear of his death, he was a wonderful and unique man who was too good for this world.

Lesley said...

My little black cat recently went through her third operation to remove a lump. Weeks later she developed yet another lump. I couldn't put her through another op', it just wouldn't have been right. My wonderful vet had heard of CV247 and was prepared to prescribe it for Ebony.

The results have been truly remarkable, the lump has gone, if it hadn't been seen by not one but two vets I would now be totally convinced it had been a figment of my imagination.

My mother too has cancer, no chance her consultant will prescribe cv247.

I can not express how much I hope the success of cv247 will provide an undeniable weight of evidence in it's favour. One day, in the (hopefully, near) future I hope cv247 becomes the norm for treatment of cancer in both animals and humans.

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone. John sounds like a remarkable man. I have a dog that I think has lymphoma. Biopsy should be here tomorrow.
The poor darling just got done beating an auto-immune disease (AIHA) where she was on prednisone, azathioprine and cyclosporine.
Do you think that CV247 would be appropriate for my little girl? Where can I find the whole diet that would go with this or where can a find a vet that will consult.
I'm worried sick for her right now and would love to give this a try.

Thank you.

Beverley Cuddy said...

Dear Jon
Really sorry to hear your news. There's lots more information on the dedicated CV247 blog - there's lots on the diet etc. There's a list of vets that have prescribed CV247 including some that will do it remotely if you're too far away. As it is such a gentle method with no side effects there shouldn't be a problem in trying it. My old Beardie had suspected liver cancer and had almost every other problem you could imagine over the years and she was never better than when she was on CV247 and the special diet. The diet is in my opinion VERY important. Here's the link:
Go to the panel on the right under the front cover of the mag - click on the links for the vet list, info on diet and method etc.
Good luck and let us know how you get on. My email is

Rosie Ison said...

I have just come across your blog, trying to find some answers for Jake. You may possibly remember me and Jake, we came for a photo shoot for dogs today about 8 years ago.
Last Wednesday Jake was diagnosed to Lung Cancer. My daughter is distraught and can't come to terms with the fact he may only have wks to live.
I need to know how we can persuade our specialist to try CV247. We already feed a raw diet which we can adapt with more Veg I am sure.
I shall be following this blog regularly with interest.


Susan Calvert said...

What a heart-warming tribute to John Carter! I linked this post from your blog to my blog:

Cordelia said...

I am so distressed to learn that john Carter has died in 2009. I knew John well and was telling someone the other day how, following a fall down a flight of stairs and ending up with crushed vertebrae, I was diagnosed with osteoporosis. My first point of call was John. He rattled off in his machine-gun delivery the formula of supplements I had to take. "Do that for a year, and your bones will turn around!" I trusted him implicitly for I had seen at first hand how many animals and people he had helped. I did exactly what he said and my bones did indeed "turn around". That was twenty two years ago. Now he is in Spirit, I know he knows his work will live on. I too, believe he deserves a Nobel prize. But he already has the best prize; he had a son who I know was his most long for, dearest wish and his most precious joy. Blessings light upon you John Carter. Your old friend, Cordelia

hannah said...

After years of reading about john carters treatment in dogs today, my own dog was recently diagnosed with osteosarcoma,he has had his cheek bone removed and now has to have chemo every 3 weeks,i admit i have panicked i just cant imagine life without my boy is it too late to try the treatment and does it have to be one or the other.Hannah and Alf