Looking at Eric Quezada's career over the last couple years, you certainly wouldn't have guessed he'd been fighting cancer since 2004. The longtime Mission activist and executive director with Dolores Street Community Services ran a failed campaign for supervisor against David Campos in 2008, and won a seat on the Democratic County Central Committee in 2010. He and his wife, Immigrant Rights commissioner Lorena Melgarejo, had a daughter three years ago.
But during all of this, Quezada had also been battling alveolar soft-part sarcoma. Chemotherapy over the last eight months failed to put him into remission, so Quezada has now decided to seek an alternative therapy known as the Gorter Model, which is not approved by the FDA.
He will be getting his treatment in Cologne, Germany, of all places.
Quezada is flying with his wife and daughter to Germany today and will
be start the eight-week treatment Thursday. Melgarejo says Gorter, the doctor who created this therapy, visited the family in San Francisco last week while he was in town on business.
"He made no promises and said the best thing that could happen is Eric is going to feel better [after] the year of chemotherapy." Within four weeks,
doctors will know whether he is responding to the regimen, Melgarejo
"Here, they basically can't do anything anymore," she says. "We might as well do it, because otherwise we just sit
here and wait for the worst. We want people to send their good energy to
us and if they know other people with cancer, to do the research. Don't
think there's only one way" to fight the disease.
says Quezada's friends have been helping them out financially so that
she could leave work and take care of him full-time for the past couple of
months. The family has taken out loans for the German trip, but still
face a steep $35,000 bill for the treatment, which Kaiser insurance doesn't
could work," Melgarejo said, sounding hopeful Monday night while packing. "If it works, we have more time. If it doesn't work, at least