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The Road to Remission?

Yael Schuster

It sounds too good to be true — a drink that aids in the success of cancer treatment, nourishing the cells and preventing them from becoming resistant to chemo? Rabbi Yaakov Kairy knew he had to tell the world

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

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BREAKING THROUGH When Rabbi Yaakov Kairy spoke with the president of a pharmaceutical company who has spent his career bringing drugs to FDA approval, the results were discouraging. “He told me that for a product like Haelan 951, it would be almost impossible to get FDA approval. This is because there are dozens of biologically active compounds in it, and each one would need separate testing before the substance as a whole could be approved. He said that with the present guidelines, this would take at least 20 years, and an astronomical amount of money, making it an unrealistic venture.” (Photos: Amir Levy)

B y day, Rabbi Yaakov Kairy is a first-grade rebbi in a Brooklyn yeshivah. At night, back at home in Lakewood, he wears a different hat — that of a consultant specializing in cancer research.

“I’m simply a research consultant, who, b’ezer Hashem, provides people with useful information,” says Rabbi Kairy, who is quick to qualify that he’s not a medical professional. “What I do is counsel people about things they can do to maximize the benefits of their cancer treatments, and I’m there to support them through it. I always encourage clients to discuss this information with their doctor, and to do their own research as well.”

Rabbi Kairy has spent the forty-something years of his life within the walls of yeshivos, yet is comfortable analyzing scientific studies and speaking in jargon one would expect to hear in molecular biology and cell genetics research labs. How did an elementary school rebbi land in this rarefied stratosphere?

“It’s all siyata d’Shmaya,” he says. “The Ribbono Shel Olam gave me a strong interest in science, particularly in cancer, since unfortunately there has been so much of it in my family.”Both maternal grandparents passed away from cancer and his paternal grandmother had cancer as well.

The scope of his knowledge and his intense desire to help others notwithstanding, self-effacing Rabbi Kairy has always shunned publicity — people find him by word of mouth. In fact, it took three years of negotiation before he even agreed to an interview, and then only upon the approval and encouragement of Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky, his rosh yeshivah from his years in Philadelphia.Rabbi Kairy advocates that cancer patients consider following a comprehensive program that incorporates nutrition, immune stimulation, and detoxification, in conjunction with their standard medical protocol. While he believes that following the complete program offers the best chance of a positive outcome, sometimes patients choose to implement only one or two components, which still have significant benefit. He stresses that whatever they choose to incorporate should have the approval of their physician.

A chief component of his approach is to encourage patients to consider taking a nutritional supplement called Haelan 951, a soybean derivative that has been shown in some studies to help patients through cancer treatment.

About 18 years ago, when his grandfather was struggling with recurrent colon cancer which had spread to the liver, Rabbi Kairy came across an article about Haelan, which, he emphasizes, was clear Hashgachah pratis. He called the Haelan Corporation to find out more, and was impressed by the supplement’s track record. “I called my grandfather and said, ‘Poppy, do you want to live?’ He answered, ‘Of course I want to live!’ I told him, ‘Let’s try something I think can help.’ ”

At the time, the FDA had approved Haelan as a safe nutritional supplement. There was no risk of toxicity build-up, so Rabbi Kairy figured that the worst that could happen was that it wouldn’t help. “At this point my grandfather was in a lot of pain, weak, and basically housebound. He took Haelan for about two weeks, during which time his pain was greatly reduced and he got much of his energy back. I’m not suggesting he had been miraculously cured, but he was definitely feeling better. Due to certain circumstances, though, the Haelan was discontinued, and unfortunately he regressed and died a short while later. It was this experience that first convinced me of Haelan’s potential.”

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