2017-01-25 / Front Page

My Healing Journey & The Red Chapel

Mary Ellen Finger


Mary Ellen Finger recounts her battle with cancer, and desire to create a healing center at The Little Red Chapel. 
Photo Provided Mary Ellen Finger recounts her battle with cancer, and desire to create a healing center at The Little Red Chapel. Photo Provided Editor’s Note: Mary Ellen Finger is well-known to Philipstown residents. She is a longtime civic volunteer. She is a farmer and a veterinarian who attended one of the nation’s leading veterinary schools. She and her husband Dave Vickery supply organic eggs from chickens that really do scratch in the yard, among other livestock (the eggs are sold exclusively at Foodtown). And now, she is in the last few days of a 24-year battle with cancer. This is the story of her final quest, to create a healing center at The Red Chapel. Read her letter from the following week here. 

In June 2014, I was in Budapest at their National Institute of Oncology, participating in a trial with Kaqun oxygenated bath water, when I read an online interview in the PCNR about the Lil' Red Chapel. I had always been enchanted by that sweet little structure, knowing nothing of its history. But a light bulb flashed in my head, and I immediately determined to save it from demolition, and find a new purpose for it.


Mary Ellen Finger and Dave Vickery in front of the Red Chapel. 
Photo Provided Mary Ellen Finger and Dave Vickery in front of the Red Chapel. Photo Provided My story started 40 years earlier: Kansas farm girl fresh out of Veterinary school arrives in New York during the bicentennial year of 1976. NYC is Mecca for anyone who loves medicine: weekly lectures and clinical pathology seminars at the largest veterinary teaching hospital in the country, programs at Rockefeller U, the National Academy of Sciences, and of course, museum mile.

But when I was homesick, I was drawn to the rural spaces in the northern suburbs, and I discovered the paradise that is Philipstown. I found the Depot Theater and Guinan's at a little whistle stop called Garrison, the mystery of the Little Red Chapel overlooking the Hudson River across from Manitoga, the quaint village of Cold Spring. So I started looking for farmland. The 20 acres at the corner of 9D and 403 was available for $6,000/acre, the neighbor had horses, and I started dreaming. It took another 10 years before I could afford the farmland that has become Horsemen Trail Farm, an old gravel mine with 5 different soil types and a piece of the Lake Valhalla mountain range, where wild ginseng still grows. Truly a piece of paradise.

But in 1993, the arc of my life took a sudden turn. Shortly after a series of vaccinations, I developed an aggressive form of breast cancer, metastatic HER2, and was given a prognosis of only five years. So I promised God that I would do whatever he guided me to if He would let me live to see my young children grow up. And that is when my real journey started.

As a veterinarian, I had been trained in the practice of herd health, based on good nutrition and animal husbandry, promoting a healthy lifestyle for livestock. But over the course of my career, I observed a change in emphasis, from prevention in the form of vaccination rather than stress reduction, and treatment based on pharmaceutical drugs rather than elimination of causative factors, like poor animal husbandry. So now we have concentrated animal feeding operations, where animals are crowded in warehouse conditions and preventive measures consist of antibiotics, hormones and steroids to treat the stress-related conditions.

This led to my decision to leave the East Village Veterinarian, my hospital in the city, move to the country and rely on a "Food as Medicine" approach when faced with my own health crisis. I rejected the radiation and chemotherapy, even though my surgeon called me up in tears begging me to "start tomorrow, before it is too late!"

And so, Horsemen Trail Farm began as my medical approach to recovery. First, chickens and sheep, then Quarter Horses trained in the feedlots of Dodge City, and finally the Barnyard Critters 4-H Club to engage my children in the wonders of their rural lifestyle. And I found a way to connect to my new neighbors through volunteering with the ambulance corps, serving with advisory groups like the county Agriculture Board, and becoming a member of organic farming organizations.

But I soon realized that I had to leave the U.S. to find the immune-supportive therapies to reverse my metastatic cancer, first to the Bahamas, and then Europe, where I eventually found the Kaqun bath water that has kept me vital these last three years, after developing terminal metastatic disease in January 2014.

As I write this story, I am in my home under hospice care. I have seen my children grow up, I have never lost my hair, nor suffered the side effects of chemotherapy. I have had the quality of life that comes to those who choose to nourish their bodies rather than battle a feared invader. This is a common theme for those I've met these last 24 years, high quality life for much longer than for most who go through the heroic treatments, and then the rapid, relatively painless decline when the body can no longer sustain itself. No prolonged suffering. No regrets.

This is where the Red Chapel Center comes into the picture. Since pursuing alternative therapies, I have discovered the wonders of quantum medicine, those modalities based on Einstein's theories of physics. These include cold laser, PEMF devices, homeopathy and acupuncture. When used in the Red Chapel, with the energy embodied within, their effects are magnified. But the Kaqun water is by far the most important component in the healing process, because it provides an element that is essential to life, oxygen. It has 15 years of scientific studies backing up its efficacy, and has centers opening up throughout Europe and Asia. The first center in the U.S. opened in Las Vegas last August, and is now booked two months ahead. The oxygen baths support any other treatments utilized, for example, enhancing chemotherapy while minimizing side effects. I have seen it save a gangrenous leg scheduled for amputation, reverse developmental disorders from birth traumas, restore mobility to people who arrive in wheelchairs with fibromyalgia or metastatic bone disorders, improve the performance of a 40-yearold soccer player who outran all the other young men half his age in competition.

My husband Dave Vickery and I have been planning a healing center on our farm for 15 years now, and the Kaqun baths will provide the cornerstone for the Red Chapel Center.

So we are now reaching out to the community, asking you to participate in developing the Red Chapel as a wellness center, where the emphasis will be on Food as Medicine, and various practitioners will offer many therapeutic approaches. We are establishing a nonprofit to run the Kaqun baths, which will be used to improve sports performance, provide pain relief, reduce stress related insomnia or anxiety, aid post surgical healing, support response to many aspects of the American Standard of Care, slow aging and cognitive decline, promote detoxification in this polluted environment, the list is endless. But the main reason is to improve quality of life and reduce suffering, no matter what problems a person is experiencing.

If this concept appeals to you, please contact us at Horsemen Trail Farm for more info, email horsementrail@gmail.com or call Dave Vickery at (845)590- 8846, or visit redchapelcenter.com.

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