© 2018 by Cancer Research Wellness Institute. 

Cancer Research Wellness Institute

Mission Statement

A. To collect and distribute information and educate the public about therapies which have proven medicinal qualities, with emphasis placed on treatment and prevention of cancer and other degenerative diseases.


B. To sponsor and support ongoing research into methodologies for treating cancer and other degenerative diseases.

C. To staff and maintain an advisory committee to review and evaluate various projects with respect to the foregoing.


D. To solicit funds to accomplish the aforesaid purposes and to support the efforts of scientists, doctors, clinics, hospitals, and research projects to affect the above purposes.


E. To undertake any and all other activities which may seem to the Corporation to be calculated directly or indirectly to effect the accomplishment of the above purposes, and to facilitate it in promotion of said purposes, provided that such activities are permitted for organizations exempt under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue code of 1954.

In memory of Howard Gerson-Straus (1943-2019)

Howard Gerson-Straus was the grandson and biographer of Dr. Max Gerson, and the son of Charlotte Gerson. Max Gerson originated the holistic nutritional “Gerson Therapy" for advanced degenerative diseases.

Howard passed away near his home in Carmel, California after a heart attack on June 10, 2019.

Howard had witnessed the power of the Gerson therapy as a child living for some time with his grandparents, and later as Charlotte Gerson tirelessly promoted the therapy through public speaking, consulting with desperate patients and training Gerson doctors and helpers. Nevertheless, he started his career as a computer engineer after graduating from MIT. He changed his course when his then bride-to-be Sally was diagnosed for the third time with skin cancer as they were preparing for their wedding. Sally started the full Gerson therapy with Howard taking care of her while sharpening his knowledge of his grandfather’s brilliant method.

Howard started to put more and more time into working with Charlotte and his sister Margaret in promoting the therapy. When Charlotte asked Howard to write the biography of Dr. Max Gerson, he realized it was now or never to document an otherwise soon obsolete memory of his grandfather. He dived fully into fulfilling this meaningful task and the biography, Dr. Max Gerson – Healing the Hopeless became the Gold Medal Winner for 2013 Living Now Book Awards.

As Charlotte entered her 80s yet still active in leading the Gerson Institute to continue disseminating the therapy, Howard took up all the work on the media side. He edited the Healing Newsletter, and later started gersonmedia.org, working with many countries to translate and publish Healing the Gerson Way. By now this book is available in 20 different languages thanks to his efforts. He was hosting the Cancer Research Institute, a NGO that supports Gerson therapy to broadcast not only the Gerson therapy, but also other alternative therapies on cancer and chronic diseases. In 2018, after years of observing Gerson Institute slipping away from what Charlotte envisioned, Howard played the key role in building the Max Gerson Foundation, together with Charlotte and Margaret.

Also in 2018, Howard took Charlotte’s long-held aspiration to China, to bring the Gerson therapy to the Asian region, where chronic diseases and cancer have rocketed in just a few decades with a rapid change of life-style. Howard has incorporated Gerson China with a long-term China health company that has been promoting alternative therapy for diabetic and cancer patients for a decade.

Just like his grandfather and his mother, Howard had patients’ health and well-being at heart. He took over from Charlotte to give lectures at health conferences all over the world. Every week, Howard would interview researchers, authors and experts well known in the natural healing field under his VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Channel - The Power of Natural Healing. He would discuss their views and share valuable information to people in search of health. Every day he would talk to desperate patients. On the day he had a heart attack and subsequently passed away, he was still talking to patients, getting them connected to the Mexican Gerson clinic and discussing details of the Max Gerson Foundation website for a more user friendly structure.

The loss of Howard, just a few months after his mother Charlotte, was a compounded loss not only to the Gerson family, but also to the entire Gerson world and alternative treatment domain. Fortunately, Howard’s sister Margaret Straus has taken up the responsibility of leading the Max Gerson Foundation and will continue benefiting patients and suffering populations teaching the Gerson therapy – a life-style that helps prevent and treat many chronic incurable diseases.

Charlotte Eva Ruth Gerson [Straus] 

(March 27, 1922 – February 10, 2019)

The Max Gerson Foundation will hold a Memorial Event in Walnut, CA in honor of Charlotte Gerson, and her incredible achievements during her long and rich lifetime. It will be held on March 9, 2019 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm. Space is limited, so attendance will be by invitation only, and the invitation will announce the venue. If you wish to attend, please contact Anna Maria Aliano (alianoannamaria@yahoo.com) and tell her how many people you would like to bring, and your relationship with Charlotte Gerson or the Gerson Therapy. We hope to see you there!

Charlotte's Obituary

Charlotte Gerson was born to Dr. Max Gerson and his wife, Margaret Rose Hope [Gerson] in Bielefeld, Westphalia, Germany.  She lived her early life in Bielefeld, where the Gersons had moved after WWI.  When Charlotte was 7, the family moved to Kassel, Hesse (home of the Brothers Grimm) so Max could head up a tuberculosis (TB) clinic there.  When Nazism began to rise in Kassel, the family moved to the more cosmopolitan capital of Berlin, where they lived until 1933.  On April 1, 1933, Gerson, on the train from Berlin to Vienna, witnessed Jews being removed from the train and brutalized by SS troops, and only escaped that fate by pure luck.  As soon as he reached Vienna, he told his wife to move their three daughters and come to Vienna. 

Gerson worked at the Westend Sanatorium in Vienna, but due to the difficulty of getting the proper food, Charlotte contracted TB of the bone.  This would have been a terminal diagnosis for anyone else, but Gerson applied his special dietary regime, and she recovered totally. 

When an aborted Nazi coup resulted in the death of Gerson’s patron, Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss, and Nazism began to rise in Austria, the family again moved to Ville d’Avray, a village between Paris and Versailles, where Charlotte learned French, and Gerson ran a sanatorium with a French doctor.  But anti-German sentiment in France was running high, and the French doctor was drawn into the Army.  The Gersons moved again, this time to London.  They realized that the Continent was becoming unsurvivable for Jews, and looked for any opportunity to emigrate to the United States.

When Lady Greville (nee Grace) called Gerson to treat her sister in Philadelphia, he got his opportunity.  Though her physicians never let Gerson treat the wealthy woman, he was in the US.  He sent for his family again, and they traveled to New York on the SS Normandie, a French luxury liner that later sank in New York Harbor. 

Charlotte graduated from Julia Richman High School in New York City, and enrolled in Smith College.  In her second year there, she met Irwin Straus at a Manhatten party for German refugees, and they soon married.  When they did, Charlotte dropped out of college to be a housewife.

Irwin, also a German refugee, enlisted in the US Army the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked, and spent the duration of the War in the European Theater of Operations as a translator and interpreter in psychological warfare operations, taking part in many battles, including the Bulge. 

During the war, Charlotte had her son, Howard, in New York City, delivered by Dr. Max Gerson, his grandfather.

After the defeat of Germany, Irwin served briefly with the occupation forces in Germany, running a German language newspaper for the occupation forces.

On returning to the US, Irwin founded an import/export business, which he ran until his death in 1980.

Charlotte was always peripherally involved with her father’s therapeutic career, but after Gerson’s death under suspicious circumstances, and with several thousand of his books on hand, began to lecture at cancer conventions to sell the books.  When they sold out, the demand was still there, so she had them reprinted, and became a regular lecturer.  When no successor to Gerson could be found, and people still needed the Therapy for their ailments, Charlotte accepted an offer to start a Gerson clinic in Los Angeles, CA.  This was a short-lived effort, since the state was determined that no such clinic would be allowed.  Another try at a clinic by invitation from a woman MD in South Bend, IN, ended quickly when the MD was found hanging in her kitchen.  The sheriff ruled it a suicide, on no evidence whatsoever. 

Charlotte and Irwin divorced in 1963.

Finally, Charlotte and Norman Fritz, President of the Cancer Control Society, started a clinic in Tijuana, BC, Mexico.  Though crude, it provided the Gerson Therapy for patients at a sufficient level to heal many, including Beata Bishop, who, decades later, would help Charlotte author Healing the Gerson Way, an update of her father’s half-century-old A Cancer Therapy: Results of 50 Cases.  Charlotte had helped sell nearly half a million of her father’s book, but changing challenges, techniques, therapeutic substances demanded an update.  To date, Charlotte’s book has sold a quarter million copies in 20 languages, around the world.

Meanwhile, Charlotte had started The Gerson Institute in San Diego, CA, with Mr. Fritz.  The Institute is charged with maintaining, preserving and promoting the Gerson Therapy, and is still in operation in San Diego, CA.  Over the years, the clinics in Mexico have evolved, improved and learned to deal with the evolving challenges. 

Charlotte lived long enough to see a clinic develop and thrive in Dobogoko, outside Budapest, Hungary, and to see the beginnings of clinics in China and India.

Over the years of her lecturing, making rounds at the Mexican clinic, training doctors, patients and caregivers, Charlotte has become a Grande Dame of alternative medicine.  As such, any serious documentary on cancer in the past 20+ years has a mandatory vignette with Charlotte Gerson.  She developed a reputation for integrity, speaking the truth to power, compassion, uncompromising honesty, courage, generosity, strength, towering intelligence, unparalleled skill and success in reversing cancer and almost every other existing chronic illness.

Charlotte was predeceased by her two sisters, Johanna Gerson Cohen Oberlander, and Gertrude Gerson Selten Leston.  Her ex-husband, Irwin died in 1980. 

Charlotte’s daughter, Margaret Edith Straus Dego has been championing the Gerson Therapy and helping patients in Europe for more than 30 years, and now lives in Colico, Lake Como, Italy, with her husband, Giuliano Dego.  Her son, Howard David Straus, publishes her books, booklets and documentary DVDs, and resides in Carmel, CA with his wife Sally.

Charlotte’s granddaughter, Francesca Dego, is a world-class violinist, recording high quality CDs for Deutsche Grammophon, and performs with orchestras around the world, often with her husband, the brilliant young conductor, Daniele Rustioni.