Friday, February 20, 2015

Mile Marker #3

Hello Friends! 

We have some encouraging updates to share at Mile Marker #3.  Let us kick off this mile marker with 
the following scripture, “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me.”  Psalm 138:8

First and foremost, we continue to stand in AWE at the community of support that we have seen in action this past month.  We have been showered with love in such a variety of ways!  It is a truly a beautiful picture to see how such a large variety of needs can be met by serving others in ways each are uniquely gifted in from the Lord.  THANK YOU!  

As mentioned before one of the BIGGEST needs at this point is financially.  We have learned that the cost of receiving treatment at the Get Well Center will be a very large financial burden the first year of treatment and it will continue to have a significant impact on a monthly basis thereafter.  To be honest, we were very discouraged and had heavy hearts after hearing this number ourselves because of how large it is.  However, we have seen and witnessed ways God has knocked our socks off in the past by softening the hearts of those here on earth and are confident he will provide us with exactly what we need every step of the way if we are obedient to following His lead.  So let’s all rally together to see what teamwork in God’s name we can achieve!  

In the meantime, please pray for our minds to stay continually focused on God's promises and not allowing the fear of finances or what results we may or may not see get in the way.  He clearly led us to the Get Well Center for now and we will continue to take His lead in the treatment plan.  

Many have asked if and when John begins treatment, so we wanted to provide you with an update.  This past Monday, February 16, John began his 2 week detox program.  This involves various infusions ranging from 2 to 5 hrs a day at the Get Well Center.  John should be receiving results back from the Greek Test in approximately 1 week.  This test determines which treatments will be most effective for John and his specific kind of melanoma, so they can ensure that whatever they introduce into his body will give him his best chance of fighting.  After receiving these results, they will determine which treatment path to pursue.

John has also completely changed his diet, which no longer includes meat, dairy, sugar, most grains or processed foods.  WOW, this is a huge change for those who know John!  He has made the switchover cold turkey and is doing a really good job at it.  What he is allowed to combine and eat at certain times is very limited (ex: no combining fruits/veggies, eating only certain fruits/veggies, has to wait 2 hours after having a detox shake and supplements before he can eat, etc.)  So please pray for continued persistence in this area of diet as well as for Jill and her continued energy, time management and wisdom in the buying and preparation of the food.  There has also been a Phase #1 chemical purge at the house, which involved disposing many bags of products from the bathroom containing harmful chemicals and replaced with cleaner options.  The kitchen will be Phase #2.  

There are 2 exciting pieces of news to share with you all to help the Gurneys!
Twice as Strong Together 5K Run/Walk: We are so thankful to the Shelby YMCA & Mechanics Bank for heading up a Fundraising 5K to rally around and support John.  It is a HUGE undertaking, and we are so thankful for the many people and businesses who have helped to pull this off quickly so that all the proceeds can go directly to John’s Health Account!  The Twice as Strong Together 5K will be on March 21.   In order to secure a t-shirt, please register by March 4th; however, same day registration will be available.  Please click on the following link for more details and registration.  

We thought we would share the article in the Mansfield News Journal about the Race as well in case you haven’t yet seen it.

3 Donation Options are Now Available:  Many have asked how you can donate.  We now have answers :)  Please donate in one of the following 3 ways listed below.  All of these options will be funneled into one Health Account for John at Mechanics Bank to be used toward his medical expenses. THANK YOU and GOD BLESS!
  1. P.O. Box - Send a check to John 0r Jill Gurney at P.O. Box 41, Shelby, OH 44875.
  2. Mechanics Bank - Visit any of the 8 locations and make a deposit into the Gurney Health Account.
  3. YouCaring: Pay online via paypal, credit or debit.  A 2.9% and $.30 fee will be applied by either paypal or the credit/debit card company.
Thank you again for your continued prayers and love for our family!  It means the world to us!

With Much Love, 

The Gooney Gurneys

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Mile Marker #2

Hello Friends - We have arrived at Mile Marker #2.  

As many of you may recall, we asked for prayers for God's clarity on which treatment path for John to head.  And guess what, God gave him clarity!  We sure love how God always delivers on His promises!  We thought the scripture below was very appropriate for this post, given what has taken place over the past couple weeks.

Proverbs 3:5-6  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight."

First, let's share the path John will be proceeding after considering IL-2 at the James, IPI at Mansfield and a few alternative options.  The option John will be moving forward with is the Get Well Center in Mansfield, who offers intensive and comprehensive alternative treatments.  Here is their website if your curiosity is peaked:

Now, let us share the really cool part about how God made it clear which path he wanted John to head.  John knew the President of the Get Well Center from many years ago.  John had been in recent contact with her before he was diagnosed and had a reminder to follow up with her for weeks (before he was diagnosed).  Those of you who know John, he never leaves things on a To Do List for that long. He has been looking at the reminder daily for a handful of weeks, which he himself said that was strange.  After John was diagnosed, he called his daughter Megan and asked her to research the Get Well Center and speak to the President to find out more about their approach in treating cancer right there in Mansfield, as he thought they did similar treatments to what Megan's husband had gone through in his battle against cancer.  Again, this is amazing that John initiated asking Megan to research this place.  Based on Megan's prior research, she was told that there were only 2 places in the country that currently administered mistletoe therapy via IV (Namaste - Colorado & Rudolph Steiner - Michigan).  This place was not on most people's radar at all.  Well, it was clearly on God's radar as this place does administer mistletoe therapy!  

At John's meeting on 2/5/15 with the Get Well Center, without John/Jill prompting or initiating anything about God, the President made the following statement about halfway through their meeting, “I believe healing comes from God.  You give yourself to the Lord. No one knows or has the right to say how long you can live, only God.  It’s between you and God.  Patients need to have a good relationship with God and prepare to change the rest of your life.  THIS MEETING WAS FROM GOD, NOT FROM US.”   Wow, WoW, WOW!!!!!

For those of you who haven't had a lot of medical treatment over the course of your life, know that very few Dr.’s ever give God ALL the glory to healing and remove themselves from needing at least some of the credit that they were part of in the process.  The President was extremely humble and removed herself from the equation, giving God ALL the praise for the healing regardless of her part in it.  And at the end of the meeting they all held hands and prayed together.  

The really cool thing about this is that God could have directed John down a path that he was the least comfortable with.  However God knows John so intimately and is directing him to a treatment that will allow him to continue working, be home in his own bed at night, not have harmful side effects, and not lose his hair (lol).  And this was the only treatment that both John and Jill both felt comfortable with.  How loving is that? what?  Toward the end of this week, John will hopefully meet with the Get Well Center to go over when his treatment at the Center will officially begin.  He began his detox last weekend which involves a SUPER strict diet and detox shakes.  Their goal being to starve out cancer with eating no sugar, dairy or meat.  Even most fruits and some sweet veggies are out of the question and he can not combine eating fruits/veggies at the same time.  Those of you who know John well know this is going to be extremely difficult.  So please pray for his strength in changing over his lifestyle in this area as well as for Jill as she learns to prepare food for John in this whole new approach that is very specific and time consuming.  This will be a long term change, not just a temporary diet that will change in a few weeks, to give him his best fighting chance.

This week the Get Well Center will send John's bloodwork to Greece to have the "Greek Test" performed, which researches the most effective alternative types of treatments for John, not just for patients that have melanoma.  It's very individualized.  That typically takes 10 days to get the results back.  This program will require John to be at the Get Well Center for 2 full months ranging from 3-5 hours a day for a variety of infusions depending on what part of the plan he is in at the time.

How Can You Help?    
1.  Financially - This treatment is very costly and will place a large financial burden on John and Jill, as this is not covered by insurance because it is an alternative option.  As a reminder, the conventional paths offered to John had very low effective rates.  Know that details on fundraising for them will be coming out very soon, so please stay tuned.  We know that so many people want to love and support the Gurney's during this difficult race.  Financially is one of the bigger areas at this point to support funding the entire treatment protocol including a very specific way they require him to now eat.  
2. Prayer - Pray for both John & Jill and family - prayer requests are located on the right hand side of the blog at
3. Encourage - Please do not make them feel badly for choosing an alternative path, as this is the path God directed them down.  We know that many don't understand or haven't had experience with treating diseases alternatively and we need to encourage vs. discourage them in following God's lead.
4. Food - Please try not to make food be the center of your conversation with them unless they initiate it.   They are already experiencing the hard way that our culture revolves around food and not in a way that they are able to participate in at this time.  However, please still include them in living life together!

Thank you again for your love, support and encouragement!   John & Jill are so incredibly thankful for all of the calls, emails, texts, cards, gifts, etc. you have been showering them with.  It means so much to know they have so many supporters to help them through this race.

With Much Love,

The Gooney Gurneys

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Mile Marker #1

Hello Friends!

We have arrived at Mile Marker #1 of the race for John.  Each Mile Marker we will be including a different scripture. This mile is marked with the following, "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:20

We have some updates for you that we are asking for your urgent prayer on.  The most critical right now is for God's crystal clarity on the path of treatment He wants John to pursue.  Below is some detail of those options which will more than likely help you understand more of why this is such a hard decision.  At this point, John is willing to pursue whatever option God makes clear.  We are now trusting in Him for clarity.

Originally John was scheduled to see the oncologist at the James Cancer Hospital in Columbus that specializes in melanoma next Tuesday, 2/10.  PRAISE JESUS for connections that helped get his appointment moved up to yesterday, 2/3.

At the appointment yesterday they talked to John about 2 main options to consider:
1. IL-2 - The Dr. recommended this option saying it is the best shot.  However, there are some very serious short term side effects/complications that could arise during the course of this aggressive treatment.  And it would require time hospitalized in Columbus.  Effectiveness rates are as follows: 4% curable, 10% no re-occurence for 10 years.

One cycle of this treatment would involve being in the hospital for 5-7 days in Columbus, 1 week off work at home, 5-7 days in the hospital in Columbus, 1 week off work at home and then possibly resume back to a normal schedule for the next 4 weeks of work.  They would possibly do this for 3 rounds and see what the results were to determine whether or not to do an additional 2 rounds.

2. IPI - This treatment would take place in Mansfield and would be outpatient.  So John could go home every night.  This treatment is to help shrink and/or stabilize the cancer.  It isn't known for having a cure result.  The effectiveness rate is 10% no re-occurence for 10 years.  Every few weeks he would go in for treatment and do a total of 4 doses.  There are also some very serious short and long term side effects from this option.  John will be meeting with the oncologist in Mansfield this Friday, 2/6 to discuss in further detail.

If he pursues either option 1 or 2 above, and there are no positive results, then they will consider PD1's (newer drugs fall under).  Insurance will only cover this after option 1 or 2 has first been tried.  The benefit to this treatment is that there are no side effects, 25% response rate, 75% disease control rate.  

3. Natural - The third option John is considering is not one that most MDs understand or agree with.  It is a holistic approach to treating cancer.  There are a few different places that have been researched and a meeting will be taking place this Thursday, 2/5 at a local option in Mansfield to discuss options of treating the cancer either 100% alternatively or combining the alternative with one of the options given by the Dr. at the James.  The good news is that there are options in the area that include mistletoe therapy as part of their treatment which has been used overseas for many years and has shown to have good results.  Mistletoe Therapy is part of a clinical trial at Johns Hopkins at this time which is very encouraging.  These steps need to be taken in order to be considered for FDA approval which then insurance would cover down the long long road.  For more information on this please visit the Believe Big website at and go to the clinical trial tab.

Again, we can't thank you enough for your continued prayers, love and support!  If you haven't yet signed up for the prayer chain yet, please visit the blog at and click on the Prayer Chain Link at the upper right of the page.

Much Love,

The Gooney Gurneys

Monday, February 2, 2015

On Your Mark, Get Set, PRAY... Prayer & Fasting Chain

Thank you so much for your love and support for John and the whole family!  

We have decided to start a prayer/fasting chain during this journey.  Please click on the following link to sign up to participate:

We are opening up daily time slots. We believe that there is great power with prayer and fasting together, so it may be worthwhile to pray and decide if God is leading you to also fast on the day of your commitment.     

While multiple people are able to sign up for the same day, we ask that you try first to fill dates that are not yet signed up for to spread out the coverage over as many days as possible.  

Many Thanks and God Bless!