Gawler Foundation Celebrates 25 Years
13 August 2007 at 4:20 pm
The Gawler Foundation, described as Australia’s first life-style-based cancer support service, will celebrate its 25th anniversary in September.
A pioneer in mind-body medicine and long-term cancer survivor, Dr Ian Gawler founded The Gawler Foundation and conducted the first self-help cancer support group in Australia 25 years ago.
Dr Gawler moved to the Yarra Junction in Victoria in 1980 and established his veterinary practice in the same year. As the cancer groups expanded, he continued to work as a veterinarian until 1984.
Since then Dr Gawler’s ideas and concepts have since received scientific recognition and validation both in Australian and internationally, with many doctors addressing lifestyle factors when treating cancer.
A recent study in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that three to nine hours of exercise per week reduced the risk of dying in women with breast cancer by 50%.
Another study also found that regular exercise halved the risk of dying for people with stage two and three colon cancer.
Dr Gawler who has been cancer free for three decades says that 25 years ago when someone was beyond curative treatment, they tended to be told rather bluntly and given few options.
He says many of these people came to The Gawler Foundation and were highly motivated. They stuck to a low-fat vegan diet and meditated intensively. They worked on the state of their mind and their emotions. Many did exceptionally well.
In fact, the Foundation will soon be launching its new edition of Inspiring People: Stories of Remarkable Recovery and Hope from The Gawler Foundation, detailing the extraordinary recoveries of cancer patients who have attended the Foundation’s programs.
The Foundation says over 15,000 people have attended their residential programs in Victoria’s Yarra Valley and more than 75,000 people have benefited from its support services.