Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - 1

LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Conversation

Being a Father in 2020
NO EXCUSE FOR BEING OBLIVIOUS ANYMORE
THE PAST 9 MONTHS HAS BEEN
AN EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER
FOR ME AND SO MANY OF YOU
READING THIS.

It all started in February with the birth
of our daughter. The new emotions that
being a parent brings is something I never
could have imagined, which also drives a
lot of my feelings right now.
The day after becoming a parent, literally, our family watched my brother
Steven go into another intense surgery
NICK GIALLOURAKIS,
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
to remove a cancerous tumor from his
OF ELEPHANTS AND TEA
back. He then had a 2nd surgery in June
to remove a 4th cancer. He is now a fourtime cancer survivor at the age of 30.
Being a father, I now understand more of how my parents feel with
Steven over the past 15 years.
Being a father, I now understand that hopeless feeling of wanting to do
everything for your child, but there is absolutely nothing you can do to
take the pain away... to take the sickness away... to take the fear away.
Then, in 2020, enter the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests. The
shooting of Ahmaud Arbery in broad daylight jogging near his home
at only 25 years old. The death of George Floyd being killed by a police
officer's knee on his neck while handcuffed face down on the pavement.
Both were horrific, both were raw, and both were real.
Being a new father and a white man in America, the death of Ahmaud
Arbery is one that will forever be seared into my brain. I sat there thinking to myself, " How can a 25-year-old young man just be jogging down
a street near his home at 1pm, be killed in broad daylight? " I then sat
there thinking to myself, " What is going through his mother's head? "
But this is not the first young Black citizen to be killed near their
home for no reason... and Ahmaud was not the last.
I then asked myself what can I do? How can I help change systemic
racism?
Over the past few months I have listened to Black friends, talked with
Black friends and made new friends over the past few months to understand more and more of how important BLM is and where Elephants
and Tea and I can make a difference.
Being a part of the adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer community, we already knew that there are significant problems with racial
disparities when it comes to healthcare. But we are not allowed to be
ignorant or oblivious anymore about these statistics that we choose to

look the other way on. Some people might say George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery's deaths are not related, but in fact they are.
The AYA cancer community continues to look the other way on racial
issues, and we cannot do that anymore. As leaders in our communities,
we need to have the tough, awkward conversations internally and externally to make a change. Only by having conversations will we have a
chance at not being oblivious and ignorant white people anymore. We
need to be antiracist in everything we do, or there will always be racist
thoughts and actions within us.
In case you need some of the racial disparity statistics within just the
AYA cancer community, here are just a few:
The cancer death rate among AYAs was 8.9 deaths per 100,000 standard
population and was highest among Black AYAs (11.4 deaths per 100,000)*
Death rates from breast cancer among Black AYAs (3.9 deaths per
100,000) were nearly twice as high compared with white AYAs (2.0
deaths per 100,000)**
Non-Hispanic Black women have a 7% lower risk of cancer diagnosis
than non-Hispanic white women, but 13% higher risk of cancer death.***
Black or African American individuals in the US still have the highest death rate and lowest survival rate of any racial or ethnic group
for most cancers. About 202,260 new cancer cases and 73,030 cancer
deaths are expected among the Black or African American population
in the US in 2019.****
These numbers are inexcusable. We must do better; we need to do
better.
As an organization that is a media company for the AYA cancer
community, I pledge that we will include all races and gender in what
we do. We will create a sense of relatability for all going through cancer,
and we need to include all and not exclude anyone. All voices and faces
must be heard and seen!
We need to admit where we have done racist acts, acknowledge them,
learn from them and continue to strive to live in an antiracist world. I
know I am not perfect - and I personally have more to learn - but I
know how important BLM is to my Black brothers and sisters. We will
continue to learn, listen, and act.
In conclusion, 2020 has changed me. I am now a father and with that
brings new responsibilities. To be better. To be the best I possibly can.
Being a father, I cannot imagine a world where my daughter is looked
at and treated differently because of her skin.
Being a father, I cannot image what it is like if my daughter is diagnosed with cancer and has less of a chance to live than a white person.
Being a father, I must love and treat people as if they were my own.
2020 has changed me for the better. l

RESOURCES

*https://acsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/cncr.32802
**https://acsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/cncr.32802
***https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/cancer-facts-and-figures-for-african-americans/cancer-facts-and-figures-for-african-americans-2019-2021.pdf
****https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/gap-in-cancer-death-rates-between-blacks-and-whites-narrows.htm

ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM
DECEMBER 2020

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https://acsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/cncr.32802 https://acsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/cncr.32802 https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/cancer-facts-and-figures-for-african-americans/cancer-facts-and-figures-for-african-americans-2019-2021.pdf https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/cancer-facts-and-figures-for-african-americans/cancer-facts-and-figures-for-african-americans-2019-2021.pdf http://www.elephantsandtea.com https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/gap-in-cancer-death-rates-between-blacks-and-whites-narrows.html

Elephants And Tea - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Elephants And Tea - December 2020

Contents
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - Cover1
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - Cover2
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - 1
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - Contents
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - 3
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