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Dr. Gary Storkan, a local chiropractor, spent seven-and-a-half years in battle. Now, he is announcing his victory.
Storkan, who has lived and worked in Los Alamos for 20 years, came face to face with his enemy, Squamous Cell Carinoma, when he was diagnosed with the cancer, which was found in one of his tonsils, on May 31, 2001. The cancer had manifested in a bronchial cleft cyst in his neck.
This diagnosis started a seven-and-a-half year ordeal to beat this foe.
In June 2001, he had a tonsillectomy and decided, because of his background, he would resort to alternative methods to beat the cancer.
Storkan explained chiropractors are more oriented to natural, alternative practices.
He investigated several clinics in Mexico and throughout the world before selecting the Paracelsus Clinic in Lustmuhle, Switzerland.
Storkan said he chose a clinic outside the U.S. because at the time he did not know of any clinics in the states that utilize alternative cancer therapies. He stayed at the clinic for a month before going to its sister clinic in Santa Fe, called Whole Life Clinic.
So was alternative medicine beneficial? Storkan said it was.
“What I found was, yes, it helped strengthen my body,” he said, but it did not get rid of his cancer.
While at Whole Life Clinic, Storkan said the cancer grew in the lymph glands on his neck. Therefore, he decided to go into surgery.
But, because the cancer was so extensive, he first had to undergo chemotherapy and radiation.
He received this treatment at New Mexico Cancer Care Center in Santa Fe.
Storkan finished his radiation treatment program on Dec. 11 and is now cancer-free.
He attributes his victory to the combination of alternative and Western medicine.
Having to deal with cancer for almost eight years has had an impact on Storkan.
“After coming close to death, I certainly gained a much greater appreciation for life … I appreciate every day … I appreciate friendships,” he said.
Before being diagnosed with cancer, Storkan preferred being self-reliant to accepting help from others. After recovering from cancer, he said he is more open to receiving outside assistance.
Other changes included an increased spiritual awareness.
He added he has a “much deeper understanding of what life is all about.”
Storkan not only experienced changes in his life, but also in his business. Last year, he moved his chiropractor business to suite 22 in the Mary Deal Building, located at 2610 Trinity Drive.
He offers techniques that desensitize people of allergies and is introducing a new weight loss program. Storkan is also providing detoxification footbaths and lymph drainage.
Storkan plans to expand his work with Austistic children and hopes to do work with the VA for post-traumatic stress disorder.
For more information, call Storkan at 662-2077.