OCTOBER 1998  

Letter from Valerie Emerson

Dear David Rasnick:

There are no words strong enough for me to express the depth of my gratitude to you. My son has a new lease on life now thanks to you and all my other supporters.

My daughter Tia was sick before she took AZT, but after she started taking it she went downhill fast. I asked about all the new problems that suddenly appeared along with it. The answer to all of my questions was -- HIV.

My son Nikolas was nowhere as sick as Tia had been, so when got worse while taking AZT, it was obviously the AZT, not HIV.

I knew little then about HIV and AIDS, just what the doctors told me.

I read Duesberg's article, "With Therapies Like This, Who Needs Disease?" That is what finally convinced me 100% that my ideas weren't ludicrous. Duesberg writes about Cheryl Nagel's baby girl Lindsey, and compares her with Doug and Nancy Simon's daughter, Candice. If you look at my two children and those two children, the experiences are exactly the same. That was the first time I had any evidence backing my ideas about these drugs. It felt so good to realize that I was not alone with my ideas, that I was not "making up notions to disregard AIDS" as I had been told.

I am just a country girl and mother. The only education I have is I graduated from high school with honors. If I can come up with the same conclusions that you and Dr. Duesberg and Dr. Giraldo have with all your expertise, why is it so hard for everyone else? To me it is as clear as black and white based on my experience and the limited amount of research I've been able to do. Why do doctors with all this information at easy access so adamantly reject your ideas? Yours is the only conclusion that makes any sense at all.

You and Dr. Giraldo are the first to accept my beliefs without question. You gave me the self confidence I needed to get through this court battle. I was so scared my son's life was going to be sacrificed just like Tia's, for a bad idea. As the judge wrote, "She feels that she has willingly and in good faith surrendered up the life of one child to the best treatment medicine has to offer and does not want to do the same with the next." He also wrote: "Dr. McIntosh best sums up the medical observation of having to suffer a terminal illness by stating that all people suffer from the terminal illness called life."

Awesome judge -- I think!

His decision has set a precedent that will help other parents protect their children from the HIV doctors. But it can't help them if they don't know about it. This is why I speak to reporters every chance I get. This is the way I can help others, the way you and Dr. Giraldo and Hillary Billings helped me. I feel it is my duty as a human being, my "calling."

I can remember my grandmother sitting in the kitchen on the old homestead peeling apples for an apple pie. She said to me, "Val, for everything in life there is a purpose -- we may never know what that purpose is, but God has a purpose for everything in life." I believe the purpose of my family's ordeal is to help save others from the HIV doctors. That gives meaning to my daughter's death, that it may help many others to live. This eases the pain in my life, and makes me welcome it.

Thank you so much for enriching my life. You and Dr. Giraldo are my heroes. Please tell Dr. Duesberg how much he has helped. If it wasn't for doctors like you three, my child might be on death's door right now. I cannot express the depths of my gratitude.

Sincerely, Valerie Emerson