Information was buzzing around the blogosphere about a man called Wayne Dolcefino. Details had emerged about him having contacted a family, of which one member had been a patient at The Burzyński Clinic.
In the email he makes the following statement:
“Dr. Burzynskis office has retained my company to assist them in establishing, how should I say it, more mature conversations with people who have issues with the clinic.”
This is a pretty bold claim. The family in question had raised some legitimate concerns about treatment and cost. In fact, they feel that they were completely deceived when it came to the cost of ongoing treatment. He went on to say:
“First, I am glad from the last posts I see that your husband is doing well. I hope that is still the case. If there any questions I can answer going forward please feel free to e mail me.”
This certainly appears to be the language of a man who’s working for the Burzyński Clinic. I’d also noticed, with a bit of digging, a few photos of Wayne at this years Burzyński Clinic Christmas Party. This doesn’t confirm a connection but it does show a familiarity with the clinic and the Burzyński’s. Nor does the fact they have both been represented by the same legal team in the past. When you live in the same City, these things happen.
For some more detail, I highly recommend the words of Keir Liddle, in his recent guest post on Josephine Jones’ blog.
A polite email and an unusual reply
Well, I had this guys email address, so I thought, I’ll just email him. So, I did. I was polite and give it the ‘soft sell’. I wanted to talk to this guy, not piss him off with my first contact. Here’s my email:
On Feb 12, 2013, at 11:48 AM, David James wrote:
Dear Mr. Dolcefino,
I hope this email finds you well.
It has been brought to my attention, over the past day or so, that you have taken instructions from The Burzyński Clinic to represent them in a media and pubic relations capacity.
I would be interested in hearing from you on this matter. Whether you can indeed confirm that this is the case. Or, if you have been asked to represent the Clinic in any other capacity.
I have followed Dr. Burzyński’s clinical work closely for some time now. While I am still to be convinced that his facility and treatment processes are fully efficacious, I look forward to him publishing Phase II trail data soon, that should end this debate, one and for all.
Well, a few hours passed. Then just when I was thinking Wayne wasn’t going to get back to me. I got a very short reply. No words, just a mobile (cell) phone number:
From: Wayne Dolcefino
Date: 12 February 2013 18:42:12 GMT
To: David James
Subject: Re: The Burzyński Clinic
Sent from my iPhone
So I checked online and sure enough, it was a Huston area telephone number. Good start! I emailed a couple of folks and kindly was given a few possible questions to ask. Pitching the questions was all going to be very dependant on how friendly or adversarial he was going to be.
Summary of the call
I know people are interested in this call. I’m currently recovering from an illness that’s kept me off work, so I haven’t go the energy to get every single detail covered. I’ll go over my notes again later and update if I’ve missed anything interesting. Here’s probably the main highlights:
1. He has worked for the clinic. Speaking to patients in person and on the phone. He’s also made some videos of these interviews for the clinic.
2. He confirmed that the FDA are at the clinic. He says this is standard procedure when a trial ends.
3. That the trials have ended.
4. The clinic are getting ready to publish.
5. He has heard of the Merritts and if asked to, he would speak to them. When I asked him about their requested refund, he said he’d read about it and that “refunds were a funny thing”. He didn’t say if he’d already been in contact with them.
6. Despite saying he would speak to the Merritts if asked, he didn’t work for the clinic at the moment.
7. He was aware of Marc Stephens past behaviour. He said, “he didn’t muddy the water, he peed in it”. He went on to say, if asked to speak to bloggers, he would do so in a polite and respectful manner.
8. When I asked him about the legitimate questions that Burzyński needed to answer, he said that the cost and trial data were legitimate questions.
Like I said, I’ll have more time to review my notes another time. Hope this is of some interest.