Elephants and Tea - December 2019 - 1

LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT

My Brother Changed
My Life Forever
WHEN WE DECIDED TO LAUNCH THIS 'DEAR CANCER' ISSUE I never
thought it would turn out the way it did. Frankly, I wasn't 100% sure what to expect.
What we found out is not one cancer diagnosis is the same as another. The emotions
that cancer brings out in people is different from person to person.
We have patients, survivors, mothers, daughters, grandfathers and siblings all
writing about their story and sharing their experience with cancer. Some giving
cancer the middle finger while others thanking cancer for showing them why we
love and fight to live. Thanking cancer for helping them find new meaning in life.
It is a mix bag of emotions and everyone experiences cancer in their own way,
for better or worse. I decided not to write my own letter to cancer but if I did, it
would be just like the other letters: filled with mixed emotions.
As many of you know my younger brother Steve is a two-time cancer survivor:
first with stage IV osteosarcoma and his second secondary AML. Since our last
issue in September, things have changed for Steve in a way that none of us ever
expected. Steve has been diagnosed with not one but two new cancers.
Steve has a sarcoma tumor in the soft tissues of his back and a renal cell carcinoma tumor on one of his kidneys. Steve will have begun proton therapy (radiation)
by the time this issue is released but now he is about to begin a new journey with
cancer after more than 10 years of being cancer free.

JOIN THE
CONVERSATION

Conversation

Damn it.
I am sick to my stomach just thinking about
it and so angry as to why Steve has to endure
this all over again. While we gear up for Steve's
latest fight with cancer, there is a part of Steve's
journey that you do not know, and one that I
personally want to share.
While Steve was living for more than eight
weeks on his pediatric cancer floor at Rainbow Babies & Children Hospital in Cleveland,
Ohio, he introduced me to one of his nursing
aides. Steve, along with one of the experienced
nurses on the floor, encouraged me to ask this
specific nursing aide out on a date.
And now, here I am, more than 10 years
later, married to Camilla, the love of my life,
my best friend, and we are expecting our first
child. I can't say whether or not we would have
ever met if not for Steve being diagnosed with
his second cancer. And, I will not thank cancer
for making it possible for Camilla and me to
meet. I will not give cancer the credit for doing
so because of what it has done to my brother
and countless others like him. The pain, the
suffering and the heart break.
But I will thank my brother for finding a
flower in the hardest of places. Finding the
time to think of others in his time of fighting
for his life. Finding the light in a time so dark.
If I were to write a letter to cancer, like many
others, I'd tell it to go jump off a bridge and
never return.
If I were to write a letter to my brother,
I'd simply say thank you. We will always be
grateful to you, and we will always fight beside
you as you take on cancer yet again.
To the rest of the Herd that submitted their
letters to cancer, I thank you for sharing what
you have endured. You and everyone reading
this should know that we are here for you
whenever you need a hand. All you need to
do is simply ask.

➥ NICK GIALLOURAKIS,
PRESIDENT AND COFOUNDER OF ELEPHANTS
AND TEA

IF YOU WOULD YOU LIKE TO SUBMIT A STORY TO BE PUBLISHED IN
ELEPHANTS AND TEA, PLEASE CONTACT NICK@ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM

ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM
DECEMBER 2019

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Elephants and Tea - December 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Elephants and Tea - December 2019

Contents
Elephants and Tea - December 2019 - Cover1
Elephants and Tea - December 2019 - Cover2
Elephants and Tea - December 2019 - 1
Elephants and Tea - December 2019 - Contents
Elephants and Tea - December 2019 - 3
Elephants and Tea - December 2019 - 4
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Elephants and Tea - December 2019 - Cover3
Elephants and Tea - December 2019 - Cover4
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