“There’s absolutely a potential within the human body to recover from a major illness. It only has to be done once to show it’s possible.”
Ian Gawler was only 26 years old when he was told his cancer was incurable and he had weeks to live. He’d been first diagnosed with bone cancer in his right leg in 1974 and doctors decided amputation from the hip down was the best treatment for the young athlete. But despite the major surgery, the cancer spread to his chest and his pelvis.
As a young veterinarian, Ian had seen animals healing against the odds and decided he would try everything he could to help his body recover. With the guidance of Australian psychiatrist Ainslie Meares, Ian began mediating and embarked on an intensive program of self-reflection as well as following a strict plant based diet.
Ian also sought help from the best medical practice of the day and had palliative radiotherapy and underwent three cycles of experimental chemotherapy. He also traveled to India where had an audience with healer Sai Baba.
Two years after he was told his cancer was terminal, Ian was declared healed. People all over the world heard about his story and wondered what he’d done and whether it could help them. He wrote a best selling book, called You Can Conquer Cancer and began running support groups and retreats. This has now become The Gawler Foundation, which runs health and well being programs for thousands of people.
He is the recipient of the Order of Australia Medal (OAM), which in the Australian honours system is awarded for outstanding achievement and service.
Ian does not claim to have a cure for cancer, but believes people can create their healthiest lives whatever their circumstances.
Scott Stephens, who is also featured in the film as a cancer survivor draws upon the techniques he learned at a Gawler Foundation retreat.
There have been many thousands of people who’ve tried these things over thirty years now and really my stories got less and less significant because the real body of the work is the testament of all the people who’ve done these things over many years.
Sign up to The Connection newsletter and stay in the loop.