Dr. Reams often did rather impromptu seminars a couple of evenings a week. It was always a packed room….Doc was a great story teller. He also would do several on-the-spot readings for people who had just been tested. He always asked for their permission to reveal his analysis (never a diagnosis!) Almost always the guest was delighted to hear Doc’s interpretation of the numbers; occasionally, they were chagrined when he suggested that they definitely needed to get on the program, if not at the retreat, then at home. He would describe the condition of the colon, or the stomach, heart, lungs….whatever, and would let them know that they really needed to clean up their act starting with drinking distilled water in the proper quantity for their weight and drinking lemon juice daily so that toxins could not find a home in the body. It certainly made for some interesting discussion!
Every day brought new challenges and new insights into the inner workings of the Reams program. There was always too much to do and too few hours in which to accomplish it. Did I mention that we often had a motel full of people…up to 125! Luckily, we had a very competent kitchen crew that prepared the bottles of lemon water and distilled water for each one, fed all the guests that were not fasting (including staff members) and a lab crew that did the testing twice daily. There was scarcely time to think, let alone study and learn what we needed in order to counsel the guests. Lots of evenings were spent with guests who wanted to know what was going on in their bodies and if Dr. Reams was not available, we met with small groups and explained what we could about their progress. They were also fascinated by the testing, with the numbers posted daily; they wanted to know why the numbers bounced around so much, and we explained that as the body detoxified, the chemistry was being changed dramatically, trying to bring everything back in line.
Another astonishing thing that happened with so many of the guests was the level of energy they had even though they were fasting. We could see the difference in their eyes, how much more alert they were as they cleared out the debris in the system. Most could hardly wait to go home and tell the world about what was happening at Tinker Mountain Retreat.
The program was so simple, it seemed incredible that the medical profession could not see the benefits of it. Perhaps they thought it was far too inexpensive to work! Dr. Reams always said that to give a disease a long, fancy name was not a cure and if you would only give the body the proper amount of water, the right foods and find out where the deficiencies are for each individual, the body is built to take care of itself. By the way, after thirty plus years of working with the program for myself (and a few thousand people), I am convinced of the truth of both statements. I am on only one type of medication, that for high blood pressure which was uncontrollable for many years before I met Dr. Reams, and I’m sure it led to the many problems that I had back then. At 84 years of age, I feel I am a pretty good example of the benefits of it. I am extremely active and involved in many activities at my church and at our local Senior Center, where I direct the chorus. I do an exercise program at the center and also participate in water aerobics. I actually feel healthier and stronger than many individuals a lot younger than myself. I drive my car and make trips back home to New York state often; I travel to Maryland and to Ohio to visit dear friends at least twice a year and I look forward to each day with anticipation! I am also equally certain that God has truly blessed me by giving me a ministry of healing in our church which certainly ties into the work I have done in the program. I have the best of both worlds! (Sorry…I digressed there a bit.)
Betty and I had been at Roanoke for only a few weeks when we received a call from Canada. Betty’s friends, Corinne and Jim Gillespie, who originally introduced us to the program, were working out of their home in Toronto, doing testing and really were developing quite a clientele in their area.
They had just tested a 10-year-old boy who had Hodgkin’s disease. He had a large tumor in the shoulder area and had already had several operations as well as radiation and chemotherapy. At this time, the doctors were planning a radical surgery which would have removed most of the left side of his body, all the way down to his waist….this in order to ‘maybe’ prolong his life for a short period of time! The boy’s teacher and her husband were appalled by what was happening and they asked Corinne if he could possibly come to Roanoke to go through our program, basically to save him from this horrendous surgery…they were willing to pay his expenses and try to give him hope rather than a death sentence.
His name was Tony Anthony diLorenzo. His family were fairly recent immigrants from Italy, spoke very little English and were terrified of losing their oldest son. Fortunately, the teacher had gotten very close to Tony, had visited him in the hospital and after hearing what the doctors had planned for the boy, they contacted Corinne about the Reams program at Roanoke. We immediately contacted Dr. Reams and asked about the possibility of bringing Tony to Roanoke.
After hearing Tony’s story, Dr. Reams said to get him on the next plane, but it wasn’t quite that simple! However, Corinne and Jim arranged for his travel to the states and got permission from the parents. Dr. Reams said that the boy was very ill and we didn’t know whether there was enough reserve energy left in him to turn him around, but one thing was certain – we would save him from the horrific surgery that was planned and which Doc was sure the boy would not survive.
Betty and I became temporary guardians of Tony; when he arrived at Roanoke, we put him in a room next to ours. Tony was a frightened little boy; he wore a cap at all times because he had lost his hair during chemo. He walked slightly bent over, holding his left arm protectively against his body. Everybody’s heart went out to this youngster. Luckily, our retreat director had a 10-year-old daughter, Amy, who promptly took Tony under her wing, showing him around and making sure he got to the lab on time, and he actually smiled for her!
The next morning, we took Tony to meet Dr. Reams. All of Tony’s exposure to doctors had been extremely negative, and he burst into tears as we entered the office. Dr. Reams was a large man with snow white hair; he walked with a cane and looked a bit like Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame. He also had a very raspy voice due to injuries to his throat during World War II, and he definitely was a scary figure to this little boy. But Dr. Reams also had a wonderfully loving heart; he took Tony by the hand, sat him on his lap and reassured him. “Son,” he said, “don’t be afraid. No one here is going to hurt you. There will be no needles and no surgeries because that is not what we do here. We need you to drink lemon water and distilled water; we need to test you (and all that means is that you have to pee in a bottle twice a day.” Tony listened to Dr. Reams and he slowly relaxed, even tried a little smile. We left the office with a much happier child than when we went in.
We only fasted Tony for one day….he was too weak to do more than that. He was very cooperative because everything we said to him was positive and encouraging. This little boy wanted to get well. He wanted to play baseball….he never would have had a chance to do that if he had stayed in Canada. Amy supervised his schedule, even going in to sit with him to make sure he rested. These two youngsters were all over the retreat. As Tony began his program, getting the proper foods and supplements, we saw a change in him. Within two weeks, he began to gain a little weight, walk straight up…and we saw the numbers begin to change for the better. Luckily, Dr. Reams was at the retreat to monitor Tony’s progress. At that time, Laetrile was the great hope for cancer patients. We were able to get it from Mexico, via California, under an affidavit that stated that it was for personal use by cancer patients. Tony responded very well to the Laetrile, and one day, as he was taking a tub bath, that ugly tumor literally began to expel itself from the boy’s shoulder….scaring him, and us, half to death! We called Dr. Reams in and he looked at what was happening and he was delighted. He covered the shoulder with a bandage and told Tony that his cancer was on its way out of his body.
Tony was with us for about 6 weeks, and the change in him was dramatic and exciting. He became a normal little boy, and the other guests were horrified when he and Amy started skateboarding down the hill toward the dining hall. We reassured them by reminding them where Tony had been a few weeks ago…sick, scared, and without any color in his face. This was hardly that child; he had a new head of curly, dark brown hair, his eyes were sparkling, he could laugh and run and play. It was a wonderful experience for all of us.
When Tony left us to go back home, there was a sense that we had saved his life, and we gave the Reams program full credit, along with a special ‘thank you’ to God for answering our many, many prayers.
When we sent Tony back home, it was with full instructions for diet, supplementation and a source of obtaining Laetrile at home. Sadly, a few months after his return to Canada, customs was confiscating his Laetrile supply at the border, the Canadian Medical Association was beginning to harass Jim and Corinne Gillespie, who were faithfully keeping Tony on his program and working with more and more clients who saw how well the boy had responded to the natural therapies we were using. Finally, the authorities shut down Jim and Corinne’s operation, and they had to stop testing altogether. They were told to cease and desist or face prosecution for ‘practicing medicine without a license.’ It was a long, sad story and as I think back on that time, it seems that we were on the forefront of a revolution in the treatment of the metabolism of the human body which had been ignored for far too long.
Unfortunately, for people like Tony, it was a battle which they could not win. He ended up back in the care of the physicians and surgeons who were very angry at the ‘interference’ of the Reams program, even though we sent back a healthy, normal little boy. When Tony returned home, there was no sign of the disease that had wracked his body. For our part, we saw numbers on his daily testing that were coming in line, and an energy level that was truly remarkable.
Due to the fact that the Laetrile was no longer available and the supplements that were so important to Tony were also being confiscated, the Hodgkins disease came back. The doctors finally got to do surgery on him, and two years after he had made this marvelous turnaround, Anthony diLorenzo died at age 14. To this very day, I am certain in my heart that if he had been able to stay in the states, he would be alive today.
There were many, many more stories to be told about the retreat at Roanoke. Maybe they can be told later on; I just wanted to share Tony’s story in this chapter.
[So ends Part 4 of Elinor's RBTI story. There is one remaining part in this series for Tinker Mountain. She is also working on the Mexico retreat segments.]