Why We Must Document Hope

A Call to Action by Beth Lambert, Josie Nelson and Martha Herbert PhD, MD

Silhouette photo of relaxing young child at the lake in sunset

Our Children, Our Planet, Our Future

Currently, a majority of our children are chronically ill, an exponential increase over previous generations. This epidemic of childhood illness is taking place as we head into an unprecedented crisis of planetary health. Our relationship to the environment has a direct and immediate impact on our health, yet modern healthcare seems to all but ignore this inconvenient truth.

Our children, our “canaries in the coalmine,” are telling us that something must be done, today. We can stop the escalating epidemics of chronic childhood illness and redefine the human relationship with the planet by clearly and scientifically demonstrating that human health is directly correlated with the condition of our surroundings.

By proving that serious chronic illnesses can be reversed by optimizing the things that interact with our bodies on a daily basis, we have the opportunity to profoundly impact the future of our children and of life on this planet. Reversing these conditions in children through the proper application of tools and knowledge already available to us is the goal of the Documenting Hope Project—and the method through which we will inspire millions of people to restore their own health and the health of our planet.

Why we won’t accept the “new normal” of chronically ill children


Bach, N Engl J Med, Vol 347, No 12, Sept 19, 2002

Many families have refused to believe that the symptom suppression offered by their doctors is all that can be done to help their children. They have gathered into communities to share healing approaches, and many have fully reversed their children’s conditions. Every member of the Documenting Hope Team and Advisory Boards has been profoundly moved by witnessing these transformations from serious sickness back into health.

While many doctors might dismiss these recoveries by saying the child “never had the disease in the first place,” we have seen many cases of recovery where these sicknesses were well documented and rigorously diagnosed.

The idea that childhood illnesses like autism, asthma, ADHD and autoimmune diseases are life sentences has actually never been proven or rigorously tested. It is just a belief system held in conventional medical circles and perpetuated in the media. This perception, exacerbated by a prevailing belief in genetic determinism (the discredited belief that disease is due mainly to genetics), has allowed medicine to slide into complacency where large numbers of sick children are just accepted as the “new normal.” This prevents us from giving our children the kind of care that can restore their health and full functioning. Few have questioned the veracity of this belief system. Until now.

Why we must Document Hope today


*spending on suppressing symptoms or managing of symptoms

As modern industrial nations are being consumed by a tsunami of chronically ill children, it is an economic necessity, a moral imperative and our ethical responsibility to Document Hope. The U.S. alone spends 3/4 trillion dollars annually just managing the symptoms of the top 6 chronic types of illnesses that impact the most number of children today:

In order to transform this situation, we need to document rigorously that these recoveries are real which will both illuminate the root causes of disease and give people the tools they need to replicate the process of reversing chronic disease. There are abundant recovery videos and anecdotal accounts all over the internet. The gap that needs to be filled is the science – no one has rigorously and prospectively – documented the process of how these recoveries have occurred.

How we transform this health crisis into an empowered movement to save our children and our planet

To effectively transform this health crisis we must:

  • Document THAT these recoveries are real – using rigorously ascertained diagnoses, and similar rigor to show that after treatments and intervention the diagnoses no longer apply
  • Document HOW these recoveries are accomplished – using rigorous and systematic data capture along with state-of-the-art laboratory and imaging methods to track the sequence of interventions during the recovery process, and show how they are associated with a series of changes in the body and brain
  • Share this learning with everyone—through a series of broadly distributed media and education projects including a feature-length documentary film and training for parents and clinicians to ensure broad adoption of these new ideas about our health and our relationship to the planet.

By showing that recovery is possible and how it can be obtained, our goal is to revolutionize the way we think about health and shift the current health care paradigm from a “sick care” system to a true “well care” system. The successful completion of this project will be the first step towards preventing the suffering of millions of children, saving billions of dollars from being wasted on symptom suppression and realizing the untapped potential of millions of human lives.

Scientifically we are testing three radical hypotheses, drawn from our direct experience and supported by a recent flood of scientific literature:

  • Children who have different diagnoses (autism, asthma, allergies, ADHD, obesity, autoimmunity, mood disorders etc.) actually share similar disturbances in immune and metabolic function, nutritional status and toxic body burden. Furthermore, the development of these sicknesses is largely due to common environmental and lifestyle factors that can be effectively addressed.
  • Genetic differences don’t directly cause the diseases so much as they determine the capacity for an individual to tolerate repeated negative, health-impacting environmental inputs and influence which systems will suffer first.
  • We can restore optimal health by
    • systematically identifying underlying disturbances in immune and metabolic function and nutritional and toxic body burden status
    • removing toxic environmental, immune and infectious triggers and giving individually customized nutritional and other supports.

Our approach operates in the spirit of systems biology by appreciating that our bodies and brains are self-organizing systems fully capable of upgrading themselves toward full healing when environmental obstacles are removed, and these systems have what they need – and have been lacking – to operate optimally.

In essence, the Documenting Hope Recovery Program is a 21st century study of systems biology as a new paradigm for understanding and enabling recovery from chronic illness. This is true “translational science” that links research directly with effective patient care and addresses a massive public health crisis.

The Documenting Hope Project will:

  • Execute a Proof of Principle Recovery Program: Get 14 chronically ill children better and track and document the entire process on film and through laboratory and non-laboratory testing. Proving Our Children Can Get Better
  • Inspire parent and medical communities to make these recoveries possible for many more children by producing an inspirational documentary film and groundbreaking scientific publications. Recovery Stories on Film: Moving Hearts; Recovery Science: Moving Minds
  • Scale up our technology and scientific infrastructure to recover many more children, capture even more evidence that OUR CHILDREN CAN GET BETTER– and transform medicine so that prevention and recovery become universal goals and the standard of care.  Our Children, Our Planet, Our Future

To do this in the most powerful way – as it must be done – we need to build a solid and potent platform for the recoveries, the science and data capture, and the movie.

  • We need to pay for clinicians’ time, the necessary supports and treatments for the children and their families, and the tests and imaging to inform our individualized treatments.
  • We need to build the user-friendly technology infrastructure we have conceived and planned to capture the data.
  • We need to support the documentary filmmakers in capturing the stories of personal and family transformation.

We have already made substantial progress on each of these steps and we have partners for every task.


Please help us fund the full implementation of this unprecedented, urgently needed, and history-making project: Documenting Hope  Make a donation today.

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