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Greek-American Angie Giallourakis shares her son's battle for cancer

Greek-American Angie Giallourakis shares her son's battle for cancer

CLEVELAND, OH – Angie Giallourakis, Physician and Steven G Chairman of AYA Cancer Analysis Fund, wrote eloquently about his son's battle for cancer on the four-square-foot Beats Childhood Cancer website at "One Boy and Two Cancer: Travel, Lesson, Mission." With Herald to boost awareness of the cancer and wish of young and young adults to be born in the bone marrow register. nonetheless enjoying in my ears, ”Giallourakis wrote about his son's analysis seven years earlier than

” Steven was 15 years previous at the time of his first analysis. with an osteosarcoma, and… ”no grownup might survive such a choke.” He had radiation shrinking into the tumor and two backbone cuts take away the tumor and thaw his spine. Steven's osteosarcoma was in the spine within the lumbar spine space. In addition, the osteosarcoma was metastatic to its lungs, so the term Stage Four Cancer.

”After ten months of remedy, Steven was declared free of cancer!

So this was the top of the journey? Steven Giallourakis in Montana, the place he climbed the glacier together with his buddies. Photograph: Angie Giallourakis courtesy

”After remedy for osteosarcoma, Steve grew taller and more healthy. He returned to highschool and graduated together with his friends. He started his school and continued his participation in intermurial sports activities and Greek people dances. He seemed handsome like never before. Life was good

”And then the bottom descended: Every week after Thanksgiving, we have been advised in a blood check that we have been informed that secondary acute myelogenous leukemia had developed in our son's physique. We have been advised that the survival price was very poor. We have been informed that there were two choices; Don't do something or you could have a risky Bone Marrow Transplant. We needed to research to assist make a smart move, but they have been advised that little info and analysis is on the market for Steven's age group. Think about your son is nineteen years previous, preventing for cancer for the second time and there’s little info.

”Steven boldly commented to the doctor:“ So it's actually a shit to shoot!

Our son's situation, our marvelous pediatric staff gave us an motion plan: (1) to return to the hospital (Rainbow, Infants & Youngsters's Hospital, Cleveland) as soon as potential; (2) put together for rigorous chemotherapy to eradicate cancer and put him in remission, which also meant the destruction of his immune system; and (three) find a stem cell donor. Our whole family and group gathered around us. Christmas, New Yr and Valentine's Day was spent within the hospital

”In the course of the remedy, Steve was treated in a big hospital room particularly for transplant sufferers. He introduced a playground, a flat display TV (that he went out and purchased the day he discovered about his analysis). Bringing a folding table for family dinners and occasional pots (I needed to bake my residence to help me maintain my mind). Our hospital fridge was filled with foods that Steve was capable of tolerate as well as gadgets that were not obtainable in the hospital café. We adorned his room with posters from house and family and buddies. Our favorite poster, cheated above, was Mohammed Ali, who stood over Sonny Liston after he had dropped him out! Speak about a motivational photograph!
Steven Giallourakis in traditional Evzone costume with associates at a Greek pageant during cancer remedy. Photograph: Angie Giallourakis courtesy
”Three months of Steven was treated with chemotherapy. With surviving instincts and the blessing of God, he survived very strict remedies. In truth, the nutritionist was amazed at his means to continue to eat despite the medicines he acquired. He requested for salty peanuts. Your complete medical employees was pleased (and a bit jealous) of his excessive calorie choice. We simply couldn't consider how much of the planted peanuts he consumed!

”At a time when chemotherapy was doing its job of destroying Steven's immune system and leukemia, we discovered that Boys Phil and Nick weren’t in the match. Then we started organizing Bone Marrow Drives. Again, our group took our effort and absolutely understood the significance of registration as a potential donor. (Whenever you read this blog, I hope you are a member of the bone marrow register.) Apparently, our donors did not come from our "community" but from the surface; Good stranger. God sent this younger man (33 years previous) to save lots of our son.

“And, as we have now ready for this chapter in our son's life, we needed to attain our religious self and pray. With the permission and help of our medical group, we visited the Greek Orthodox Monastery in Arizona, the place we prayed for the religious priest recognized by his spirituality. It was a very touching time in our lives. We felt everyone's prayers and love.

”Simply earlier than the transfer, Steven's blood group changed to stop donor antibodies from invading their bloodstream. Thus, with a big moveable machine that confirmed one thing to dialysis, Steven's blood group was converted from A-negative to O-positive.

”On the day of transplantation, our families and clergymen prayed over Steven when he ready a medical group. Steven needed to calm right down to avoid the danger of an allergic response. Steven slept, prayed and shouted once we seemed at the stem cells passing by way of the tube and through our son getting one among his harbors. Stem cells have been contained in a “zip lock” sort sandwich-sized plastic bag. It's fun how a tank that appeared so small and seemingly meaningless might maintain something so essential. Steven Giallourakis dances in a standard Evzone go well with throughout cancer remedy. Photograph: Angie Giallourakis Wellbeing

”After about thirty days, Steven was allowed to go residence with numerous immune suppression laws and anti-fungal and antibacterial medicine to protect the immune system of infants. Steven's weight-reduction plan was limited to home-made and cooked meals in probably the most sanitary amenities. The masked markings (1) included the masks in public, (2) did not eat within the restaurant, especially the buffet, (three) take all the medicines, (3) eat and drink the cooked healthy foods, and (4) name us on the first sign of all well being issues. We have been warned to look for GVHD expressions (graft versus host illness), a standard aspect effect of BMT (bone marrow transplant).

GVHD can happen on the skin (in and out), intestines, liver, lungs, eyes … in other phrases in virtually any human physique or human physique. So it is extremely essential that the affected person contact their physician immediately with another signal. Preventive can lead to the event of a life-threatening situation.

”The recipient of transplantation needs a" small "GVHD, but not an excessive amount of. It will be significant that the physique adapts to the "new one" with some minor medical occasions (ie little GVHD), but not so much that it is life-threatening. Thankfully, Steven had only two medically scary and life-threatening conditions that required emergency remedy. For the sake of shortness, I don't go into detail. Suffice it to say that GVHD introduced itself in probably the most uncommon and scary means. Actually, during the last four years, well being issues have brought about Steven to enter the hospital, dropped his school twice, modified profession objectives, re-valued life and took on the fact that double cancer and bone marrow transplant Giallourakis brothers, Nick, Phillip and Steven, Elder Brother Philip wedding ceremony. Photograph: Angie Giallourakis courtesy

”Continual well being issues intrude with on a regular basis life. Individuals like Steve go to the doctor extra typically, continue their immune system inhibitors, antibacterial and antifungal brokers, and psychotropic medicine for nervousness and pain. This is the truth of being a younger cancer pension!

”On the age of 22, he is a college scholar at Cleveland State College. He believes he has found his market. The Future Appears Better

“The survival of younger adults means raising and shifting life. Nothing is self-evident. Family and friends are appreciated. The widespread term "one day at a time" has a totally new which means.

Steven encounters the precise state of affairs of YA (young adults) and the BMT recipient relating to regular follow-up visits, infectious infections, and heart or lung issues. Which means she all the time wants good well being care when she is not entitled to a medical plan. Giallourakis Brothers to Santorini in 2005, eight months before Steven's analysis. Photograph: Angie Giallourakis courtesy

”The journey is totally different from Steven's. As mother and father we are blessed with three nice sons, an exquisite family and a supportive group. We also take it daily as it is. It is the small issues of life that we value and luxuriate in.

“We dislike having friends who have lost their children (young and old) to cancer. We are angry that no cure is available. We are frustrated knowing that the current cancer treatments cause harm to our children, resulting in secondary cancer or other health problems. ”

Giallourakis emphasized the need to find a remedy and the necessity for extra analysis to save lots of lives. He stated: “The motto of Steven G AYA Cancer Research Fund is this: We don't rest until there is a cure! Fight! Conquer! Cure !!! ”

Since 2007, the organization has raised more than $ 300,000 to AYA cancer analysis. Giallourakis stated, “With the help of his friends, Steven made it to the top of the Montana glacier one year after he was transplanted.”

More info is accessible online at

Giallourakis brothers, Phil Steven and Nick in 2006, shortly after Steven was recognized with cancer. Photograph: Angie Giallourakis courtesy