A former international cricketer thanked scientists yesterday after they ‘saved his life’ using – Mistletoe.
Former England batsman John Edrich MBE was given seven years to live in 2000 after he was diagnosed with a rare form of incurable leukaemia called Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia.
John, 75, said just five years ago he was practically housebound feeling lethargic due to his condition and told his wife Judith he was on the brink of death.
But after receiving twice weekly injections of mistletoe John, who now lives in Ballater, Aberdeenshire, is now playing three rounds of golf every week and said he feels on top of the world.
Dr Stefan Geider, a GP at Aberdeen’s Camphill Medical Practice, and Aberdeen University’s cancer specialist Professor Steven Heys, are now conducting more tests to see if extracts from the green kissing plant actually improve the immune system of cancer patients.
Speaking yesterday John said: “I was given a maximum of seven years to live when I was diagnosed in 2000.
“But after just five years I’d had enough, my quality of life was grim. I said to my wife, Judith, ‘this is the end’, I was so tired and lethargic, I couldn’t do anything.
“Then three or four days later a friend of a friend rang me and said I had to see Dr Geider because his treatment had worked wonders with another patient.
“When I went along, I asked him whether he thought I could really get better and he said ‘you will be alright John’.
“The difference now is incredible. I am 75-years-old and I’m still able to play golf three times a week.
“Mistletoe is not the final cure, but whatever is inside it certainly helped me – without it I don’t think I would be here today.”
Dr Geider said he had been aware of the mistletoe treatment for 20 years and believes it has a significant impact on those who undertake the injections.
He said: “I’ve had experience with the treatment in Germany and the number of cases that showed a remarkable improvement after the treatment was incredible.
“So I’ve been administering the treatment to my own patients and has similar successes.
“From the results I’ve got, the injections give people a better quality of life, whether it’s a better sleep, an increased appetite or just an overall improvement in the energy of patients.
“But there’s never been extensive research conducted on mistletoe and what needs to be done is to find what exactly it is about mistletoe that improves cancer patients’ immune system.”
The study will be carried out at the University of Aberdeen where scientists will try to understand what effect mistletoe has on immune cells in the blood of patients with cancer.