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ABOUT THE AUTHOR - AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Copyright 2000 by Thomas Lee Hesselink, M.D. All rights are reserved.
This article may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the author.
Thomas L. Hesselink, MD 
Author & Presenter 
Of The Lectures In Hypertext Series
At this juncture I deemed it appropriate to introduce myself so that the readers can know something about me. I felt some may be curious about who exactly I am, where I am coming from, why I am here doing all this, and where I will be going with it. This chapter, as you can readily see is written in the first person in contrast to the less personal style of conventional scientific writing. I hope you will enjoy this diversion. However if it bores you, feel free to skip on to other sections.

My name is Thomas Lee Hesselink. I was born in Chicago in the year 1950, which makes me a latter twentieth century person and a "baby boomer". I grew up in the northern suburbs of Chicago, Illinois.

PATERNAL INFLUENCES

My father was raised on the farm in eastern Wisconsin by caring parents of Dutch Reform religious persuation and of whom I retain fond memories. While practically bored to tears working in a Cedar Grove shoe factory just out of high school, my father elected to study electronics by home correspondence through the Devry Technical Institute of Chicago. This was the days of windchargers and tube radios. Graduation from this program led to a job opportunity in Chicago with the newly expanding Zenith Radio Corporation. This opportunity was to remain our bread and butter for the rest of my father's working carrier. He worked his way up to a supervisory position in the quality assurance department, which was responsible to surveil any and all problems with Zenith merchandize that might develope in an unforeseen manor after it is released to the market. His department also maintained testing rooms of Zenith products which were kept on continuously, or repeatedly switched on and off, or otherwise abused with extremes of temperature and humidity to evaluate their endurance and longevity. His department made sure that "The quality goes in before the name goes on." Impressive to me as a little boy, when on rare occassions Daddy had to work on a Saturday and brought me with, was the copper screen room and all the other fancy electronic test equipment.

My father was a pleasant, mild mannered, ever helpful, ever supportive provider. He made it possible for me to go to college and to medical school. He lived as a true week round Christian. His qualities as a father were exemplary. He did much to encourage my interests in science and mathematics as I grew up.

MATERNAL INFLUENCES

My mother was the youngest of a family of five and grew up in a neat old house in northwest Chicago. She graduated from Foreman High School. While not technologically minded herself, she maintained a life long interest in matters which pertained to medicine and health. Her skill in the culinary arts was excellent being both mother-taught and self-taught. She met my father at Midwest Bible Church down the street. Together they provided a cohesive family unit with strong traditional Christian values. And of course having lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins in the area made for terrific birthday and holiday parties. When I was five my mother bore a sister whom I enjoyed teaching, entertaining, and teasing. In the Sixties my mother altered much of the homestlyle menu according to the advice of a nutritional cook book by Edele Davis. This was to become my first exposure to biochemical principles: not wasting nutrient minerals in the cooking water, avoiding junk foods, getting enough vitamin E, etc. Before this I thought sugar was the most important nutrient because it gave me so much energy. My mother to a large extent urged me to go into medicine in later years.

THE BUDDING SCIENTIST

As a student of the public schools I remember getting good grades in academics but also getting in trouble goofing around as the class clown. As the academic side of my personality developed I found my strongest points were in the areas of mathematics and science. I had the hardest time with English literature, especially poetry. For me poetry and literature was tediously obscur. Much of it was so subjective that it just didn't seem logical. I often felt it unfair to be graded for my answers to theme questions, which had no clearly discernible answers. My love for science blossomed beginning in Junior High with the interesting laboratory exhibits of science class. Quite spectacular to this twelve year old was the demonstration of spontaneous combustion using sodium peroxide. My father helped me construct a large parabolic solar heat collector for the science fair that same year.

HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE

Later during my teenage years I developed a fairly well equipped home chemistry laboratory. I followed instructions for experiments out of chemistry books and used products from Gilbert, Perfect, Schluter Scientific, Sargent-Welsh, etc. My mother's chief complaint was all the disgusting smells eminating from the basement laboratory. My father's biggest concern was that I not burn the house down. One of the closest brushes I had with danger as a home chemist was when I consulted my table of redox potentials and determined that potassium permanganate together with hydrochloric acid would produce chlorine gas. It worked and did a fair job of burning my nose and throat followed by intense coughing at which point a friend called on the telephone finding me barely able to talk. Fortunately I got over this before my parents got home who might have insisted at that point I stop such a dangerous hobby.

High School at Maine Township East was a lot of hard work but also a lot of pleasure. I participated in numerous after school clubs and theater productions. I enjoyed lots of wholesome activities provided by the parachurch organization Campus Life (a.k.a. Youth For Christ). Academically Maine East prepared me well for college by providing advanced placement credits.

Northwestern University where I completed my B.A. degree was distinctly challenging, the hardest part being the great volume of material required by its courses, as I am sure many of you can attest about college. My interests at college remained broad and hard to narrow down, but chemistry remained a favorite and I did well in it except when I got spread too thinly by taking on too many hours at the same time. I developed the most profound interest in biochemistry, deeply admiring the intricate molecular complexities, the automatic feedback controls, the phenonmenally clean reaction yields, the step by step organization of the molecular conversion pathways, the self perpetuation responses, etc. I viewed medicine as a way to apply this wonderful knowledge for the benefit of mankind.

Growing up in the Sixties and Seventies did something for me besides just exposing me to counter-culture and to great music. I could observe much social unrest boiling to the surface as the direct result of many social injustices. Some of these problems were resolved, but far too many remain to this day. Especially grievous is a society that claims to foster benevolent individual liberty, but in practice oppresses the same. Similarly disturbing is when government deceives its citizens to their detriment, while bringing reproach upon and criminalizing expositors of the truth.

MEDICAL TRAINING

I got my M.D. degree through the University of Illinois. Upon exposure to the wide range of clinical specialties, I found most enjoyable the variety involved in providing primary care as a generalist. I found most frustrating the treatment of patients baring chronic degenerative diseases. For these there was no better help than to paliate by means of prescribing symptom relieving drugs. I completed my internship in Flint, Michigan and struggled to survive this, not because my internship was more rigorous than any other doctor's, but because early that year I developed infectious mononucleosis followed by a chronic fatigue syndrome. This developement was highly influencial in my subsequent decision to quit further post graduate medical training after one year. Of course staying up 36 hours straight is not appropriate care for such an illness. Besides, drugs-only style allopathic medicine had no better care to offer than to advise me to "grin and bare it".

ALTERNATIVES APPEAR

It seemed fortuitous that during this same year through some people I met at my church, I was introduced to an unusual book by Salem Kirbin about the therapeutic dietary programs of the even more unusual person of Carey Reams. The claimed health benefits of these diets were based on testimonials and anecdotal experiences. To be intellectually honest, however, I knew bad statistics alone do not prove claims of benefits to be false. Even more interesting to me was that I was able to observe how many of the conditions benefited were just those same diseases I had all along felt so frustrated not being able remit with drugs. My backround in molecular biology had already prepared me to understand that a system designed to accept only certain specific parts cannot function optimally until it receives those exactly correct parts. This is true no matter how well the system (be it mechanical or biological) is otherwise taken care of. Xenobiotic drugs could be no substitute for suboptimal nutrition nor could they be expected to correct every nutritionally related metabolic imbalance.

This view led me to later study with reserved but open minded zeal many other alternatives to conventional drugs-only medicine. Incidently my chronic fatigue syndrome dragged on for six months after my internship ended. I just could not sleep enough to get over it until I myself got a urine/saliva test and began to follow for several weeks the program of Carey Reams.

KOCH THERAPY APPEARS

Among the many alternative healing arts I have encountered, one of the most fascinating is the program of William Frederick Koch,MD,PhD. It was first introduced to me about 1980 by a naturopath who dedicated himself to preserving the knowledge of this method. Particularly awesome to me was the fact that the seemingly unrelated disease catagories of allergies, infections, cancer, and miscellaneous degenerative diseases, all responded to this program. When successful, the program did not just temporarily paliate illness, but could induce long term remissions and even complete cures in some cases. Even more spectacular is the fact that after suitable dietary and colon detox type preparation of the patient, one injection of a miniscule amount of substance could initiate a cascade of physiologic changes. These often would culminate in disease remission. Getting the names of a remnant of physicians having past experience with Koch Therapy and calling them revealed these phenomena to be quite repeatable.

However there were some practical and theoretical questions which deterred me from further involvement with Koch Therapy at that particular time. Firstly, quite unlike allopathy in which patients are treated as they come, Koch Therapy requires thorough colon detox and close adherence to a very strict diet. The substances given to initiate this healing cascade are extrememly sensitive to in vivo deactivation by a long list of chemicals and natural foods. Knowing how difficult it is in practice to get patients to comply with lifestyle changes, especially diets, I felt the diet of Dr. Koch was impracticable except for the most dedicated of patients. Secondly, besides the strictness, many of the foods forbidden by this diet, (such as oranges, grapes, eggs, and selenium) are normally thought of as being nutritionally beneficial. If this prohibition was hard for me to understand, then how could I justify this for a patient, much less a skeptical colleague? Thirdly, there was serious controversy over the exact chemical identity of some of the Koch catalysts. Therefore if the treatment failed, how would I determine if the fault was with patient noncompliance or with the medicine itself? Chemical analysis could not be relied upon for samples provided in strengths on the order of one part per billion. Fourthly, no clear explanation for how exactly this strange and novel therapy worked its wonders was available. Dr. Koch himself tried his whole life to explain it, but his writings scatter his explanatory comments in a haphazard manner betwixt and between other topics. Thus a step-by-step cohesive explanation was not to be found. Trying to piece one together by myself by studying Dr. Koch's writing's revealed that his explanations were at best highly speculative. Furthermore, they were quite forgivably hampered by the level of progress in biochemical knowledge of his day. Most of the great breakthroughs in biochemistry were yet to take place in the latter Sixties, the Seventies, and the Eighties. No wonder chemists of today will look at the older literature of Dr. Koch and consider it "gobbeltygook". Being thus deterred, I more or less put the issue on the shelf for about ten years. Yet I never ceased to think of Koch Therapy, however it worked, as anything less than one of the most important medical discoveries of the century.

PREVENTOLOGY

During the Eighties I developed a strong interest in methods of preventing and regressing arteriosclerosis. Much of this centered around slowing the oxidative modification of cholesterol, which more and more came to be accepted as the preeminent toxic biochemical event in the genesis of arteriosclerosis. A proper understanding of this involved: learning the reactions of various reactive toxic species of oxygen, (such as superoxide radical); learning the roles of special nutrients which quench free radicals; and learning the roles of chelating agents which remove metallic generators of free radicals. The principles concerning free radicals and their neutralization by "antioxidants", I learned, had important implications in other diseases such as allergies, arthritis, cataract formation, and the initiation phase of carcinogenesis. Little did I realize at this phase of my career that some of the chemistry I was learning pertaining to the combatting of free radical pathology, would later prepare me to better understand the "oxidative therapies".

NEW CALLINGS

In the early Nineties through conversations with colleagues about various alternatives, the subject of Koch Therapy and its occassional spectacular results resurfaced. This prompted me to go back and dig out of my archives the old literature that I had kept about Koch Therapy. While perusing this I was deeply moved by how such devastating tragedies of human illness had been turned to triumphs by Doctor Koch. The grief of knowing that his methods had been cruelly suppressed and its advocates persecuted nearly to oblivion in the Fifties was once again heartbreaking. I prayed, "Dear Lord! If there is any possible way I could help to reintroduce this wonderful therapy for use in this present day and age, please help me". What followed was the clear conviction that as long as my primary motive is the benefit of my follow man, then of course I would be helped. What also followed was a clear recognition of the need to develope a theory for how the therapy works in the body. A sound theory would aid acceptance by both patients and practicianers, by dispelling some of the hocus-pocus-ness of the therapy. I also opined, that the vast array of literature accessible, since the explosion of biochemical knowledge in this latter twentieth century of my lifetime, should provide plenty of answers. The biochemical literature just needed to be looked at from a new perspective. Lastly, I knew from everything else in medicine, the better our understanding is of what we are working with, the better is our ability to intelligently modify or adapt our protocols to produce optimal results. Therefore, since somebody needed to come up with a reasonable scientific explanation, and since I was already so deeply concerned about it, and since I liked chemistry anyway, I might as well be the one to do this. So I dug out old organic and biochemistry books, went to libraries, and commenced literature searches. I stayed up late many nights writing notes to myself and puzzling over molecular structures, reactive groups and reaction mechanisms. In short, I became quite obsessed with my new quest. I cannot fairly describe this as a neurosis, as neurotics are in pain. I, on the contrary, enjoyed this immensely. Learning what the literature unfolds and what clinicians working in the field of oxidative therapy report, is for me an ongoing fascinating experience. So I suppose you could best describe me as "pyrotic".

Being unhindered in my thinking by allegiance to any one particular business entity, or bureaucracy, or medical dogma, or singular therapeutic method, I was free to persue this quest to whatever conclusions towards which the chips would fall. What began as the preparation for a review article about Koch Therapy continually expanded. I found that I was likewise uncovering information of relevance and importance for all of the other "oxidative therapies". I came to regard these also as highly valuable and well deserving of recognition.

For example, in the middle 1990s William C. Douglas, MD came out with his new book "Into The Light". It reveals the amazing clinical benefits of irradiating anticoagulated blood with ultraviolet light. This was a forgotten American discovery and yet was proven effective in treating a wide variety of infections. Light energizes reactions involving oxidation. About the same time I became familiar with the work of Charles Farr, MD, PhD who through his own research had developed yet another version of oxidative therapy. He found that a profoundly dilute solution of hydrogen peroxide (3 parts per 10,000) can safely be administered intravenously with beneficial results in treating allergies and infections. Much of this was presented at the ACAM conference in Houston, Texas. Subsequently, I attended IOMA conferences which specialized in presenting all aspects of oxidative therapy. In 1996 Dr. Farr graciously accepted me on his teaching staff, which included the privilege of teaching along-side Dr. Rowen (ozone & ultraviolet therapies), Dr. Steenblock (hyperbaric oxygenation), Dr. Gordon (various great alternatives), Dr. Morales (various great alternatives), and of course Dr. Farr with Robert White (hydrogen peroxide). For this I prepared slide presentations on a variety of topics related to oxidative physiology and medicine. These lectures "have been modified to fit on your screen", hence this website.

Believing that all was not yet discovered in the field of oxidative medicine, I remained open to yet more options. In 2006 I was introduced to the use of acidified sodium chlorite (<2mg per kg) diluted and then taken orally one time as a successful treatment for malaria and other infections. As more versions of oxidative medicine are discovered, I hope to remain close to the cutting edge of describing, explaining and encouraging further research in them.

CONCLUSION

This completes the presentation of who I am, where I am coming from, why I am here doing this, and where I will be going with it. I sincerely hope that all readers of my literature and attendees of my lectures will capture some of my enthusiasm for the oxidative therapies. So hop aboard and join me as we explore the inner space of biological electron transport.

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