It’s a busy time of year for Ilona Wojdylo.
It’s prom season, and Mother’s Day is looming large at her family’s flower shop.
But Wojdylo is also fighting stage four cancer.
“I’m going to kill cancer, or the cancer’s going to kill me” says the 43-year-old mother of three, who isn’t waiting around to find out.
Wojdylo tried traditional treatments like intense chemotherapy and radiation during her first bout with breast cancer in 2003. In time, she received a clean bill of health.
But in 2015, Wojdylo had an accident, which lead to a second diagnosis, a tumour in her spine.
“If this kind of treatment is working, why did I have secondary cancer? I should be fine, healthy right now!”
So Wojdylo started looking for alternatives, which led her to the Chipsa Research Hospital in Tijuana, Mexico. Within days, she had consulted with a doctor.
She will fly to Mexico the day after Mother’s Day to undergo three weeks of treatments.
They will consist of immunotherapy, insulin potentiation therapy, hyperbaric oxygen treatment and coffee enemas. Wojdylo will also learn ways to improve her diet and take a steady dose of raw juices and vitamins.
“We have to look outside the box” proclaims Wojdylo. “I want to be successful. I know this disease could be cured, because you see more and more people being successful right now.”
But will her $40,000 trip prove successful?
Ken Schneider, the chief oncologist at Windsor Regional Hospital, admits these therapies actually make a person feel better.
“Sometimes people feel better with alternative therapies, you can’t take that away from their desire” admits Schneider.
But he says alternative treatments present a challenge for traditionally trained physicians because the treatments aren’t proven successful through the scientific method, which provides a guideline for evidence-based results.
Schneider tells CTV News all doctors have an obligation to look out for the best interests of their patient.
“Work with patient and family to support them, but we need to be clear about what the realistic expectations are of those treatments” adds Schneider.
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, 555 Canadians receive that diagnosis every day.
A Go Fund Me page has been created to help Wojdylo and her family cover the cost of the treatments in Mexico.