Alternative Cancer Treatment Works for Billy Best
In 2004, NCI announced that due to insufficient data, it would not pursue research of the compound as an alternative treatment for cancer.
“That was frustrating after the long wait,” Sue Best admits. “But I still have hope. It’s the right thing. It should happen and so I feel that eventually it will happen.”
NCI’s decision was discouraging for Billy, as well, but it hasn’t altered the fact that his life changed dramatically as a result of his decision to run away that day in October, more than 10 years ago. The futures of the cancer patients who gather weekly in the basement of Saint Joseph the Worker remain tenuous, as is anyone’s who suffers from this disease. It’s just that these patients have taken a different path.
The Bests’ work promoting the forbidden Canadian substances continues, sometimes thwarted by customs and other agents. “The boxes are now ripped open at the border, and sometimes they arrive with just a few bottles left in the box. This never used to happen, but things are getting tighter now, after 9/11,” Billy says. “I’m scared now. I’m very scared.”
Today, Billy is a healthy, handsome man of 26. He moves around from job to job–bartender, ski bum, auto mechanic–but his life’s mission seems to have been preordained. Recently, I sat with him in the kitchen of his parents’ modest home. While Billy ate a cabbage leaf stuffed with tofu and rice, we talked about how the last decade had unfolded. Perhaps the most moving experience for him was not his own healing but the healing of Katie Hartley, who came to him in what were supposed to have been the last days of her life.
“She could not walk, she had a stomach tube in her, she looked like a skeleton,” Billy says. “She had a tumor the size of a grapefruit on her face that they said they could not treat. I thought she was going to die right in front of us. I was like, whoa! So I told her all about what we had done. And her mom was shoving carrot juice and beet juice down that stomach tube and all this organic stuff and putting the Essiac tea down there and giving her shots of 714X. Eight months later, she’s still doing it, and she’s starting back to school and getting better and better. And eventually, they went back to get the scans at Dana-Farber. And the tumor was gone. That was about 10 years ago. She’s still fine.”
Like so many doctors who treat patients with conventional methods, Billy has also seen those who have used 714X and later died. “714X is not a miracle,” he says. “But I think those who take it, no matter what the outcome, have a better quality of life while they’re taking it. It doesn’t work for everyone.”
Ironically, through his own struggle, Billy has found his way. He went from the desperation of those days before he ran away to trying the alternatives to becoming a mentor for many. “All these people were calling up, and I was on the phone all the time,” he says. “Everyone wanted to know what happened to me. I just kept telling people I’d be dead on a beach in California if people hadn’t seen my story and been touched by it and called to share their experiences. So I felt like I needed to pass this along, too. This is my purpose in life now.”
And Sue’s as well. “It’s very energizing,” she says. “When you are able to help someone, there’s no money that you could pay me for an experience like that. No, sir.”