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Karim's Story

New York, USA

In 1995 Karim Noack was told that she had six months to live. She underwent three lumpectomies and then against her doctors' objections, refused a mastectomy and chemotherapy, opting instead for alternative medicines and holistic healing. Not only has Karim survived, but she has lived the most healthy, productive and joyous years of her life since. She made her first trip to the Casa de Dom Inácio in August 2001.

Before travelling to Brazil in August 2001, doctors told me that I had 5 different cancers and that I couldn't possible live for more than two months. I spent two weeks in Abadiânia. During that time I had many wonderful, many strange, many amazing experiences.

I had invisible surgery at the Casa and was also aware of being worked on during the night at the pousada. I cannot emphasise enough how much my trip to Abadiânia has helped me spiritually, I think this is very important. I understand, of course that people often find it easier to measure healing with medical reports and tangible results, without knowing that the treasure relies in the spiritual not in the body itself.

When I returned home I found that my fear of dying had disappeared and the feeling that I could survive got stronger. In December 2001 I got really sick. No doctor - alternative nor traditional - could figure out what was wrong. I had terrible pain and I couldn't move, they thought that the cancer was finally killing me. I did the CT scans and strangely nothing came out, but I was in terrible pain. I felt really bad so I called the Casa. After a couple of days I got progressively better and started dancing again, as if nothing had happened.

All this year I have been dancing 4 to 8 hours a day, feeling absolutely great and full of energy. The doctors continue to scare me with statements like the cancer must be in the bones or in the brain. In two more weeks I will have the results of bone and brain tests. The tumour in the breast is growing and for the last three days is hurting a little. But I AM STILL DANCING AND AS FULL OF ENERGY AS ALWAYS. I feel it is a good thing that the tumour is growing out and not in .. better than growing into a main organ.

Doctors can't explain why I look so good even though they say I'm about to die. They asked me why I think I have survived without any regular treatment. When I told them about my experience in Abadiânia, they referred me to a psychiatrist, convinced that I'm crazy. They believe I'm in denial and that I want to kill myself because they cannot understand any other reason why I would refuse the conventional treatment. For me, I just think their methods are the quickest way to die. Sometimes I feel like a witch in the Inquisition, they don't burn me at the stake anymore, but they punish me, not supporting me emotionally or economically, just because I believe in healing through alternative or spiritual paths.

My story is confusing because even today I don't know my status. The medical establishment suggest that the doctor (since deceased) who originally told me that I had five forms of cancer probably misinterpreted the scans. They accept that I'm a medical miracle but they don't know why and how.

I'm convinced that I am alive because of my dancing and my strong spirit which is totally in love with life. I want to go back to Brazil as soon as I can. For me it has been one of the most important spiritual experiences that I have ever had, and even if I die tomorrow I would never regret having taken this alternative path.

My wish through my work and this story is to help people, give them hope and lessen their pain.

In spite of immense struggles, in the summer of 1999 Karim created and produced Six Months to Live, a dance production through which she wants to educate the world about a better way to heal - through joy, love and trusting in one's dreams and most importantly, through the celebration of dance. With a cast of some 35 musicians and dancers (including Karim) the production tells her story through a variety of Latin dance styles such as tango, flamenco, rumba and salsa. "One of the most important goals of these performances is to bring a message of hope to women living with breast cancer". Karim wants the show to be a forum that will enlarge the dialogue about breast cancer and educate women everywhere about alternative treatments.

Sadly Karim passed away in July 2010.  Dance Karim wherever you may be ...
See Video clippings of Karim on