About 200 turn out to support Bigelsen at Sunday’s fundraiser | TheUnion.com

About 200 turn out to support Bigelsen at Sunday’s fundraiser

Keri Brenner
Staff Writer

Dr. Harvey Bigelsen speaks at a fundraiser at Summer Tymes restaurant in Grass Valley. His arraignment in Nevada County Superior Court will be June. 30.

An estimated 200 supporters of Nevada City holistic physician Harvey Bigelsen packed a fundraiser and celebration Sunday in Grass Valley.

"I'm really overwhelmed," Bigelsen told the group at the afternoon event at Summer Thymes restaurant.

"Maybe this is like the back door to heaven.

"I've always wanted to be recognized," he added, "but it was for my work, not my persecution."

Bigelsen, whose office was raided and shut down March 20 by investigators from the California Medical Board, will be arraigned June 30 in Nevada County Superior Court on nine counts of practicing medicine without a license and related charges.

Bigelsen, who has been under fire several times in the past, claims his work involves examining and analyzing blood samples as a consultant to a naturopathic physician and an osteopath, not practicing as a medical doctor.

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"I've had enough," he told the group, referring to this latest chapter is his story of facing an attack from the medical establishment.

"This is not just about me; it's about all out-of-the-box practitioners.

"This is going to get big," he said. "The world is going to hear about this. It's about your privacy, your rights, your freedom of choice."

Former Nevada City Councilwoman Reinette Senum, who helped organize Sunday's event, said more than 90 items were donated for the silent auction.

"It's crazy," she said of the response to the event, which also was a 50th-anniversary celebration for Bigelsen and his wife, Judy.

"We have everything from guitars to locally grown raw honey (donated for the auction)."

Senum said both she and her family members have been helped by Bigelsen.

"This is our lives, our bodies," Senum said. "And this (persecution) is not OK."

Others at the event also had stories, including musician Saul Rayo, who performed with fellow musician Elena Powell at the event. Rayo said his father got help from Bigelsen after medical doctors told him the only option was surgery. Rayo also got help from Bigelsen.

"I'mhappy to see him here," said Grass Valley artist Dixie Moore Procopio.

"He kept me alive for six years."

To contact Staff Writer Keri Brenner, email kbrenner@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.

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