Note: This is a repost of an earlier patient case.
Luna P. was 18 months old when her parents noticed that she was quite unwell in early August 2008. They took her to the hospital and over the course of the next few days she was diagnosed with an ependymoma. Eleven hours of emergency surgery took a hard toll on Luna and left her very weak on her left side and unable to swallow (she was fed through a tube after that). Conventional therapy was very hard on Luna, but in December 2008, the tumor had shrunk enough that the doctor could attempt surgery, and they went through a course of dangerous surgeries over the next few months, which Luna tolerated fairly well, according to her parents’ website. But the tumor kept growing, and this made them desperate.
They met with Anthony Michalski, their consultant in pediatric oncology at the Great Ormand Street Hospital. This interaction and the collaboration of the pediatric oncology department at GOSH was partially documented in the BBC 2 film, A Tough Line. When they review scans following her string of surgeries, the entire team–an entire room of specialists–agrees that the tumor, which is now compressing her brainstem is recurring and that the current treatment is not working. Michalski wants Luna to go on etopocide to prolong her life; a cure, while possible, would likely not be the ultimate outcome. They agree to go on the meds, but when no physician in the UK can offer them a cure, they find Burzynski on the Internet.
In so many of these cases, we hear the parents of children with cancer describe their gamble as an all or nothing game. Either physicians save their child or fail their child. There is no in between, and their desperation is understandable. However, there are halfway points, and while they will feel unacceptable to the parents at the time, there is such a thing as palliative care, which reduces the suffering of everyone involved, especially the patient. It is at this point of abject misery and desperation that Burzynski springs with what he calls “hope.”
In my years working on sketchy claims, I have come to realize that there are two things that anyone can sell, and people will buy it eagerly. The first is flattery. The second is hope. And there is no limit on the price you can exact from desperate parents who are looking for the latter.
And he always tells them exactly what they want to hear. According to Luna’s website:
There is no more treatment that can be done in the UK. We went home and cried for several days then we looked at Luna and thought hang on she’s not crying we cannot give up she has fought so long and hard and not a day passes that through all of this she hasn’t smiled. So we searched and searched asked questions and somehow found contact with another family who’s daughter had exactly the same disease and discovered there was something out there.
A treatment call Antineoplaston therapy which has had amazing results in the US. We have to try this.
The cost to meet the Doctor for assessment is £20,000
If Luna is accepted the treatment then costs £50,000 a year.
This is absurd. There are limited cases where a patient might expect to pay to be in a clinical trial, but the types of trials that Burzynski is doing certainly don’t qualify. Most pharmaceutical companies, when they are developing a drug, offer patients care and treatment free of charge because the patients are volunteering to put their bodies on the line. Burzynski does not technically charge for the antineoplastons, but he charges for everything else that could possibly be related to ANP–visits, phone calls, consults, etc. This does not resemble the business model of someone who expects to eventually make a return on an approved drug, and remember, if he is genuinely going to cure cancer, he is going to be able to charge whatever he likes. The fact that innumerable other startups get their drugs to market without B’s revenue stream is deeply, deeply suspicious.
In late May, and early June, Luna’s story was in the media, in The Sun, in the Watford Observer, and the Sunday Express as the family was actively raising money for Burzynski.
At the end of July, 2011, the family arrived in the United States searching for a cure. By the end of August, back in the UK, they knew that they would be in Houston by September 12.
The traditional treatment seems to be having an effect, keeping the disease from growing. It is an “effective agent,” perhaps the best possible outcome at this point. Nonetheless, the family presses ahead fundraising for Burzynski. They raised £100,000 for Burzynski in a mere 8 weeks.
They report to their consultant in the UK after their trip that Burzynski told them that he has 30% of patients have a good reaction, using the metric of “stable disease.” This is criteria is problematic, though. According to a site review at Burzynski’s clinic:
“Moving from protocols to results, I am surprised by Dr. Burzynski’s statement that stable disease is a positive outcome. That runs contrary to established criteria for trial design. In the context of phase II trials, which are short-term studies, stable disease is not reported as a positive outcome.”
After this consult in the UK, Luna’s doctor remarks,
“But what you hear quite a lot is, ‘how do you know that he or she is going to be ‘the one [who has a successful ‘miracle’ treatment]? … And the phrase that makes my heart sink is ‘We’d never forgive ourselves if…’. Actually, it’s not about them forgiving themselves. It’s about them doing the best for their child. And the focus should be what’s happening for the individual child rather than parental emotions. It’s tough because it’s so understandable […] that you are going to do everything in your power to hunt down the last chance of cure, but where that becomes a futile exercise is a difficult call, a difficult line.”
This is the point that an ethical, concerned doctor takes away from a professional lifetime of caring for children, something that Burznyski seems to have never considered. (It apparently doesn’t fit his business model.)
On October 10th, the family posts a photo of themselves in front of the Burzynski Clinic. As best I can tell, a lot of patients take the same photo. It’s like being forced to watch a horror movie again and again.
Only one week later, however, on October 17, the message goes out:
Little Luna is currently in hospital and not too well. Our thoughts are with all of you xxxxx
So quickly does Luna’s condition deteriorate it’s difficult not to think about how quickly Rachel M. nosedived this fall after starting ANP and how groggy she was. According to an interview with Luna’s mother in the Watford Observer, the treatment put Luna in the hospital:
However, Mrs Petagine said the treatment at The Burzynski Clinic was actually killing her daughter.
She added: “The treatment was – what was happening – was actually killing Luna because it put this pressure on her brain stem.”
Once Luna was on the Burzynski treatment, her sodium level went insanely high. Her REAL physician’s reaction to this news, which was captured on film by the BBC, tells the whole story about what a horror antineoplastons are:
This is much the same deadly side effect that nearly put Adam M. into a coma. Antineoplastons are toxic chemotherapy. A patient informed consent form for one of the ANP trials (dated from last year), included the following as a partial list of ANP’s side effects:
- severe or life-threatening increased sodium concentration in blood;
- risk of death;
- difficulty arousing;
- severe or life-threatening low potassium concentration in the blood;
- decreased levels of consciousness;
- upset stomach;
- low platelet numbers requiring transfusions;
- severe fatigue interfering with activities of daily living;
- fever greater than 104F;
- frequent urination at a rate of urination at least once every hour of more often or a requirement for a catheter;
- liver toxicity;
- irregular heartbeat;
- decreased white blood cell count;
- slurred speech.
This goes on for 3 pages. The quantities of water that patients need to drink (I’ve seen up to 11 liters a day) is obscene.
At a checkup at GOSH, that Luna is in a sorry state is immediately apparent. She is chugging water incessantly throughout the clip and slobbering uncontrollably. No matter what a Burzynski supporter says, this is a potentially toxic treatment and its terrible effects are written all over this little girl. (I should note that this disturbing film is really important to understand the horrible choices that parents are forced to make. I recommend it, lest you think anyone can take writing about these issues glibly. You can’t.)
By February of this year, the ANP has proved to have been a resounding failure. Burzynski, just like with Adam M., tries to get them on his ridiculous “gene-targeted” therapy; it’s basically a Chemo Colatta, apparently mixing drugs that have never been tested together, often applied to cancers that they have not been tested on, but don’t take my word for it:
Luna and her family have been talking to Doctors in the US at the Clinic, who have agreed it is unsafe to put her back on the Anteneoplaston Therapy because her tumour is so close to her brain stem. They have however suggested they put her on a treatment called Gene Targeted Therapy. This is where they take a sample of the tumour and in a lab test it’s genetics and test what drugs will work against it. Then then will give those drugs to Luna. The family are very excited because they knew the Anteneoplaston could eventually be too much for Luna, with possible fatal consequences and of course they are desperate to cure her. The Gene Targeted Therapy is having amazing results in adults so we pray it will do the same for Luna. We now need to continue to fund raise so the family can start the treatment and carry on with it. Any fund raising ideas please email us via the website. Thank you x
Charging $30,000 to start up (again, according to Adam M’s wife) and $20,000/month thereafter for off-label drugs selected via the genetic equivalent of palm reading, the Burzynski boys are shameless. For an illustration of a patient who is on this course of treatment, see the case of Denise D.
From this point on, it is uncertain to me what their relationship with Burzynski is. They seem to have continued fundraising but were working with doctors in Boston.
It is with a heavy heart that we write this update. Despite battling against all the odds over the last 3 years it saddens us to tell you Luna is losing her battle. Lucy and the family took her back to GOSH on Friday after she appeared to be deteriorating in front of their eyes. A CT scan gave the devastating news that not only had the tumour grown but that it now appears inoperable and beyond treatment. The family have been told to take Luna home and cherish the time they have left with her. The picture here shows Luna, her siblings and cousins enjoying a family day for their Popsies birthday. The family continue to show unprecedented strength and dignity throughout and we have nothing but admiration for them – especially Luna x
They carried their daughter very, very far. Her father ran a damned marathon for her. These parents did everything that their instincts told them to do.
On August 8, 2012, the sad, sad news came that Luna had died:
On behalf of Lucy and Mario It is with great sadness that we share with you that our Beautiful Luna fell asleep very peacefully with mummy and papa holding her tight to become a shinning star, and we thank her for all the wonderful memories she leaves with us, and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your support and love you have shown us in everything that you have done.
On the 16th, the family–and the whole community that sprang up around her—said farewell to their daughter.
Her family has continued to memorialize their daughter, and I do hope that they continue to press Parliament for more funds for brain cancer research.
After reading so many stories of so many patients and their families, you learn a vast empathy. Every time you start a new patient story, if you are not carried along by the power of the emotions attached to every decision that these families make, something is wrong with you. This is a story of a magnificent woman who died too soon. She she was young, only 50, but her children were almost all grown and as you read her story, you have the sense of a major character being yanked unceremoniously from an otherwise complete narrative.
Maria V.‘s daughter kept a blog of their experiences, starting with their trip to Burzynski Clinic. Maria had stage 4 uterine leiomyosarcoma, a very rare cancer which had metastasized to her lung, liver and bones.
Maria and her daughter flew into Houston on 13 Nov 2011. On the 14th they are at the Clinic, and it’s interesting to get a number of close-ups of the photos adorning the walls of the clinic. They are completely self-serving. One is of Albert Einstein, and features the quote: “Great spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds.” Another one is of Louis Pasteur and it reads, “Nobody knew his name when he got started either.” This difference is that both Einstein and Pasteur, of course, published their results. Pasteur was a master experimentalist. Einstein made extraordinary claims who won over the scientific community when others were able to observe what he predicted. Burzynski, of course, is neither. Most doctors will not work with him, and despite his 60+ clinical trials, he has only ever finished one (a completion batting average of .015). He’s published none of them. When you consider how many patients have paid to be included in those apparently unpublishable trials, you realize the magnitude of what is happening in that place.
Right away, we get a sense of what is going on, as the family is in the waiting room, where they met a patient from Georgia with bladder cancer:
She sat down next to my Mom and in true [V.] fashion my Mom looked over at her and asked, “What’s your problem?” she said it in a sweet way of course. The lady proceeded to tell us about her hardships and was soon called into the Dr.’s Financial Dept. When the woman came out, my mom noticed right away that she was upset, the woman’s brother went to get their car and when he left the woman burst into tears, right away my mom ran to her and started comforting her and telling her it would be ok. I swear it took all the strength I had not to burst into tears at that very moment! It was like watching two injured puppies console each other. I could hear my Mom whispering to her to be strong and I had to look away because one of us had to keep it gangsta.Later my Mom told me the woman was crying because she couldn’t afford the treatment.
We hear that the family can afford the treatment but there’s this:
Today was hard but filled with hope. The doctors definitely had a plan of action and offered us options. I look forward to the days that follow. I know there are people out there that think we are crazy for spending our entire life savings on this without a guarantee, I used to be one of those people but when the person you Love most on the planet is told to go home and die you will go to any lengths and spend any amount of money for another shot.
The next day, Maria begins her “gene-targeted therapy.” This is an untested chemo cocktail based on a blood test which is the genetic equivalent of palm reading:
On a technical note, Mom began her first gene targeted therapy today. She’s taking a medication called PB, it obviously has a longer name but that’s the acronym,that attacks tumors on a cellular level and makes it easier for other medications to kill and break up the tumor. Her new doctors are approaching her disease with gene targeted therapy. Their goal is to stop and shrink her tumors. Once they get her blood and caris results back they will choose medications that match up with the markers present in her blood and design a specific treatment just for her. I have a good feeling about this.
Burzynski’s definition of gene-targeted therapy is so broad that even eating an orange could be considered a type of gene targeted therapy, because metabolism reacts with the products of gene expression. Of course, no matter how “targeted” it is supposed to be, you always have to buy Burzynski’s phenylbutyrate. Of course there is always a cheaper alternative available through Ucyclyd Pharma in Hunt Valley, but patients are apparently encouraged to buy it through the in-house pharmacy.
On the 16th we get the photo of the exterior of the clinic, the same one that so many patients have put on their blogs. And then money becomes an issue, including the bizarre practices of forcing patients to buy in house meds:
The very first drugs they prescribe you at Burzynskis you have to buy there, after that you can get prescriptions filled by your local pharmacists and hopefully your insurance can pay for it. Today, my Mom was given an injection for her bone metastasis, One injection once a month is, are you ready for this, brace yourselves, 3,300 American dollars! ONE INJECTION! This is apart from what she had to pay to get started and that’s not even ¼ of the medication she will eventually be prescribed. Her Blood markers showed that she has a lot of very active HER 2 receptors and will eventually be prescribed Herceptin and that only runs about 500 dollars A PILL, one single pill!
My heart breaks every time we go into the financial office but like I tell my Mom, I don’t need an inheritance I need a Mama Bear! If the treatment works we will find a way to pay, nothing is impossible. There is no way I can let my Mom die because we couldn’t afford it. To break the tension and make my Mom laugh I tell her she better start getting ready to sell some tamales!
The nutritionist was telling us that 70 percent of cancers can be prevented with nutrition alone. WOW. Basically people with cancer should avoid all red meat, eat 5 small meals with healthy proteins and complex carbs, also 1/3 cup of nuts is recommended and a wheatgrass shot every morning.
So far MB has been feeling good, she’s been holding up nicely and responding well to the new meds. She is such a trooper, taking up to 6 pills every two hours. The pills are the doctors special concoction, they refer to them as PB but they really are the antineoplastons in pill form. The doctor has cleverly found a way around the FDA by prescribing them for off label uses. Sneaky doctor;)
One of our nurses, Amanda, took a liking to us and made sure to bring over Joan, Joan has been fighting stage 4 colon cancer for 5 years, MD Anderson told her there was nothing more they could do so she came to Dr. Bs and is THRIVING! After only 2 months her tumor markers have dropped 70 percent! She said she’d never seen such a drop at MD Anderson,We’ve noticed a trend so far, everyone we meet is stage 4,they have been told, by their oncologists, to go home and make the best of the time that they have, they get a kick in the ass and a “See you later…but probably not”, by “modern medicine”.Ironically, what Dr. B is doing with his gene targeted therapy, seems a million times more modern and advanced than what we get at home.
I made this video in anticipation that I would be receiving the antineoplastons. Apparently after spending over 30,000 here I found out that the Antineoplastons are only reserved for brain cancer patients who have already undergone chemo radiation. FDA put this restriction on the Burzynski Clinic, so any other cancer patients are BASICALLY ONLY GETTING THE TRADITIONAL ALLOPATHIC TREATMENTS OF SYNTHETIC ANTINEOPLASTON PILLS THAT DID NOTHING FOR ME. HOWEVER I CAN SAY THAT THIS WAS PART OF MY PATH AND EVEN THOUGH I WASTED MY MONEY HERE I HAVE TO SAY THIS PART OF MY PATH LED ME TO WHERE i AM NOW. […]
MBs doctor’s in TX called today and urged us to start chemo again ASAP, they said MB has a very narrow window of time to get it done before it’s too late and her body is to weak to take it. WOW, [J] has purposefuly been wasting our time, she’s not retarded, or maybe she is, she must know about this window but never bothered to tell us.
Today, I rubbed lotion on [Maria’s] back and saw the toll cancer has taken on her body. She looks like one of those starving kids in Africa. Her arms are skin and bone, her belly is bloated because of the tumors, her skin is thin because of the meds, her hair is gone and her legs are swollen. When she takes off her shirt I’m shocked but unaffected, I don’t cry, I don’t feel like crying, I just rub lotion on her back and demand that God start doing something!Lately [Maria] sits in her chair in silence, I ask her questions and she doesn’t respond. She’s checked out. Her body is here but her mind is elsewhere and its not good. She’s numb too. It’s weeks like these that I pray God take her. She prays God take her too. I tell her to hang in there and she says she tries but that its getting harder.
[The fall has] forced us to reconsider many of the decisions we’ve made. We do not regret fighting,never that, we are just at a place in [Maria]’s disease where all of us have stopped to think, “Is it still worth it, should we keep encouraging her to do chemo when we see that it leaves her bedridden, her body falling apart piece by piece, at this point is this a life worth living. Is all the suffering, the swelling, the wounds, the bed sores, the mouth sores the sadness worth it?” I still don’t know, someday’s I think yes and some no. Everytime she gets mouthsores or a wound it’s like I get punched in the stomach. I don’t know how nurses do it. Whenever I help heal [Maria]’s wounds or even give her water to drink I’m forced to look away. I just don’t know anymore.
This installment is going to be a little bit different as there is primarily one source, but it comes straight from the Houston Chronicle (5 Jan 1997), so I trust it is reliably trying to get the story correct. The reason why we tend to believe Edward’s widow, Michele, is because her account lines up precisely with so many other stories on this website.
Edward P. had brain cancer, a glioma. It was diagnosed in 1995, when he was 28. He underwent surgery and had radiation therapy, which seems to have delayed the progress of the disease. In March of 1996, however, the tumor came back. A course of chemotherapy was apparently offered, and with it a 30% chance of recovery. (This seems high to me.) Edward and Michele elected to go to Burzynski’s clinic based on something that they had seen on CBS’s 48 Hours, who I hold responsible for not protecting the community or doing due diligence on this case. This man is still out there, still doing exactly the same thing to patients, and you let him get by you.
In May 1996, the family went to Houston to begin the antineoplastons. They spent the customary 3 weeks learning how to administer the therapy. They were home by early June. On June 10th, Edward was behaving oddly. Michele called the clinic and Edward was admitted to the emergency room. There doctors found that the glioma had gotten into the lining of the brain and was blocking cerebrospinal fluid. (This made a friend of mine ineligible for an experimental treatment at St. Jude.)
What happened next is absolutely unfathomable.
While the doctors said that Edward was dying (such a blockage is a severe complication), Burzynski, when he was given the MRI, according to the Chronicle, told them “the medication was working and that he saw no evidence that the tumor had invaded the brains lining” (meninges). As Michele described her June 14th meeting with Burzynski to the reporter:
“He blew off the tumor. This man was telling me that my husband was going to make it when the other doctors were telling me my husband was going to die.”
They stuck with antineoplastons.
During the last week of June, they were told the same thing again. According to the Chronicle:
“[Michele] said [Burzynski] told her that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said he could no longer treat her husband, but that he could not stop her from continuing. He told her the dosages to use.”
This is by itself bizarre. Edward continued to decline, and on July 12 Michele called the clinic to tell them that they were discontinuing treatment. Edward died on 14 July 1996.
By itself, maybe the doctor was just wrong. It happens. But we have seen this OVER AND OVER. Burzynski or his staff tell patients, apparently as a matter of routine, that worsening symptoms are indications that the patient is getting better. This is not a fluke. Need I list the patients who have reported over and over and over the same thing?!
“[…] she’s been there for 10 years & has seen this before & many times, the more severe symptoms that are seen as a result of the therapy is really a good sign that it’s working better.”
What about Leo D? And now Edward P. THIS is why this site exists. To put the experiences of patients in the context of the experiences of other patients. This has been going on for decades–this same line has been fed to how many patients? God only knows! And they put off other treatments to see this quack.
But that’s not all. There is some question about what this family was told, why they even decided on Burzynski in the first place. Michele claimed that they were told that they were told that there was an 80% chance of recovery. The Clinic’s spokesperson, Dean Moucher, replied:
“Every patient signs an informed consent that states very clearly that the treatment is experimental in nature, that we cannot promise a cure, that we cannot promise a response and we cannot promise anything whatsoever.”
I’m sure he means, “…other than a HUGE whopping bill.” Michele admits she signed the informed consent form, but she sticks by the statement that Burzynski and another doctor quoted 80%. I’m not going to accuse a cancer patient of lying.
This self-serving, legalistic defense of clearly deficient care–care that is part of a pattern now stretching back decades–is abominable.
Michele reported charges totaling $32,000 for seeing Burzynski. This included 15 charges of $200 for two-minute calls to the clinic. Barbara Tomaszewski, Burzynski’s account manager, said these were for calls that the clinic had made. Michele said that she initiated the call terminating treatment and that the clinic charged her $200 for it. I’m not going to accuse a cancer patient of lying.
Barbara was stone cold. She was the one who shook down breast cancer patient Denise D. As Denise told it at the time:
When I talked with Barbara T (the Financial Manager) at the Burzynski Clinic and told her that the charge of $1000 per infusion AND an Additional $1500/month to handle” the (3 small vials of) Zometa was just more than I could afford, she told me “Well, we have to survive here”.
Excuse me? How About Me Surviving Here? If I can’t afford to stay at the Clinic, then I can’t pay for You to “survive” and if I’m dead, then I certainly am not paying for Your “survival”…
And it’s not like the damage was limited to just Michele and Edward. Edward’s parents mortgaged their house to loan the couple $30,000. The Clinic benefited from their desperation too.
We challenge the members of the Burzynski Patient Group to consider this case. How is this ethical? How is this even competent? How could you support someone who has done this to so many people for so long? And why would you expect them to be any more honest with you, especially when you’ve shown that you are willing to fall all over them? There are dozens and dozens more cases just like this waiting to go up. Do you really support the people who are behind this? At what point will you doubt yourself?
We’ll let Michele have the last word:
“Maybe I’ll deter someone someone else from making a bad decision. And it was a bad decision.”
[Note: This story is video heavy, and given the formatting problems that storify has been having, we’re just going to do the story here, not cross-post it like we usually do.]
Kathy B. had breast cancer. She was diagnosed on February 15, 2011. She kept a video journal of her experiences at the Burzynski Clinic in August 2011. While this is an important story, like all the others on this site, this one documents what happens when you are at the clinic in rather fine detail. And what you see how the Clinic deals with patients. Watch the second to last video, Kathy’s consult with Greg Burzynski. He knows she has breast cancer, and notice what he does not tell her the entire time. We’ll put Kathy’s own comments ahead of the video so you can see what is actually going on and maybe get a sense of what’s really happening at the Clinic.
Kathy is a raw food chef. Here she arrives at the Clinic:
She meets Renee, the Clinic’s PR person. No. Menial. Job. Kathy reveals that her family had pushed her toward proven medicine. She believes that her diet will play a crucial part of her cure.
Renee: “We’re going to take such good care of you.”
We’re going to hold you to that.
In the waiting room, we meet Gloria, a stage iv cancer patient who can trace her path to the Burzynski Clinic through Susanne Somers to the person at the health food store. It’s so depressing.
Even though she has told Renee that she does not want chemo, even though Greg Burzynski should know that Kathy is not eligible for ANP, we see that she signs on the dotted line, with the predictable result. In her words:
Uploaded on Aug 29, 2011
I made this video in anticipation that I would be receiving the antineoplastons. Apparently after spending over 30,000 here I found out that the Antineoplastons are only reserved for brain cancer patients who have already undergone chemo radiation. FDA put this restriction on the Burzynski Clinic, so any other cancer patients are BASICALLY ONLY GETTING THE TRADITIOINAL ALLOPATHIC TREATMENTS OF SYNTHETIC ANTINEOPLASON PILLS THAT DID NOTHING FOR ME. HOWEVER I CAN SAY THAT THIS WAS PART OF MY PATH AND EVEN THOUGH I WASTED MY MONEY HERE I HAVE TO SAY THIS PART OF MY PATH LED ME TO WHERE i AM NOW. USING THE BLACK SALVE IS THE ONLY THING LEFT FOR ME TO DO.
It’s right there in the file, Greg! Look under “type of cancer” and then check it against your memory of the types of cancer that you can treat with ANP! Or maybe someone wrote it down somewhere! Then you can check to see if her cancer is on the list!
Or take her money. Great PR, Renee.
The depressing thing is that this rationalization trap gives the Burzynski boys a stay out of jail free card. No, this is not part of your journey, Kathy. They could have been upfront. This was an unnecessary detour that made it harder for you to get other treatments.
Kathy stopped posting to her facebook page last year. She apparently posted something on her youtube channel about 6 months ago, and she sounded like she was still afflicted, but we have no information about how she ultimately fared. We wish her the best.
UPDATE, 17 April 2014: