Why I Started Curos
Have you ever had a coach that changed your life? The kind that teaches you through what they know and what they don’t know, while also being humble enough to teach you by the mistakes they have made? Fortunately for me, I was and I have the privilege of calling him dad.
By discipline my dad is a tennis coach, having used the game he loves to inspire hundreds of young people to live with the core values he believes in; hard work, commitment, competitive spirit, teamwork and a ‘never quit’ attitude. By practice, I consider my dad a coach at life. He is not perfect, not by a long shot, but he is aware enough of his own faults, mistakes and misgivings to be able to help others. My three brothers and I grew up hearing often that his only goal in life was to raise children who are better than he is.
Needless to say, not unlike many children, when my dad was diagnosed at a young, healthy 60 years old, with Grade IV Glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer, my life changed forever. The only difference, believe it or not, I consider his diagnosis as one of the greatest blessings I have ever had in my life.
The blessing was the stark reminder of how precious life is, how little time we get on this earth to accomplish the things we desire, be with those we love and actually be ALIVE! The great irony for me, is that this is what my dad has preached all along.
In August of 2016, while looking over one of the most beautiful sights in the Western Hemisphere, I got a call from my dad, Gregg, that he had been rushed to the emergency room in France while on vacation. Due to rapidly progressing paralysis on the right side of his body, his girlfriend (and highest order of angels – to whom I could never express my most sincere appreciation and gratitude) Dr. Lydia Parker, had him rushed to a hospital for an MRI. An action that I believe saved his life. The results of the contrast MRI showed a very sizable tumor in the left hemisphere of his brain, applying increasing pressure to his motor cortex causing the near paralysis on his right side. When I heard the news and saw the MRI image, I was scared, sad, angry and filled with empathy for what my dad must have been going through. We didn’t know what would happen. We didn’t know anything, other than we had to do everything possible to help him feel better.
Fortunately, we were able to get him a significant dose of steroids and fly him safely back to Cleveland, OH where he was immediately admitted to the famed Cleveland Clinic for a brain biopsy.
I returned from Guatemala to find my Dad in bad shape, sitting in an intensive care area for brain tumor patients inside of the Cleveland Clinic. Unfortunately, I have seen sick people before, but this was the first time I can remember feeling actual mortality. Not necessarily his mortality, but my own. I don’t remember a time that my dad wasn’t fighting, for good, for bad, didn’t matter, he just fought. This was different. This was very, very real. In this state, with the ambient noise of an intensive care center and visuals of bandages, tubes all over his body and exhaustion on his face I felt like he was considering throwing in the towel. It felt hopeless, I felt powerless.
He spent the next two nights in the hospital under close observation of the remarkable team at the Cleveland Clinic. As he was there, I did what I could to get my three brothers who were spread across the world back to Cleveland as soon as possible. Day-by-day, with as much expediency possible we all came together, showing our dad what he had to live for. More importantly, to show him what he had to fight for.
Over the coming days and weeks, we had laughs (lots of laughs), tears, honesty and an open door to ask our dad anything we wanted. He is the kind of guy who wears his heart on his sleeve, he wanted to make sure we didn’t leave any questions unasked – he was holding back nothing. We talked about everything, from the first time he remembers falling in love, to what it was like when he lost his mom at age 14, being overcome in her battle with breast cancer. I will never forget sitting outside on a beautiful mid-west late summer afternoon just looking at him, seeing him not as the larger-than-life figure he had always been to me, but rather just as a guy who wasn’t sure how many days he had left. We caught eyes, and immediately we both began to well up, he said to me calmly “everything will be okay.” I remember thinking, “no, no it wont, I’m not done with you yet. I still need you.”
Seven, long, excruciating days later we went in for the prognosis sessions, learning that dad had Grade IV Glioblastoma. As one of the more prevalent and aggressive forms of Brain Cancer, Glioblastoma is notoriously horrific. Western medicine does not track survival rates over three years.
The standard of care for Western Treatment consists of extraction (surgery to remove tumorous cells – if possible), chemotherapy and targeted radiation. While I was confident that the doctors at the Cleveland Clinic would do everything they could to help my dad, I felt like there had to be more we could do to help support how he felt every moment of every day. The most frustrating part for me was the duality related to information. On one hand, the lack of information and the other, the overwhelming amount of information. From a lack of information perspective, I would ask his doctors the radiologist, neurosurgeon, oncologist, internists, EVERYONE, “What else can we do to support my dad’s health? What about diet? What about exercise? What about supplements? What about meditation? What about essential oil therapy? What about anything?!?” The general response was ‘nothing really, just try and stay positive.’ The final straw for me was when a well intentioned doctor (I wont name who) suggested that treatment would lead to his lack of appetite, and that he should eat anything he wants because calories are all that mattered. The exact words etched in my brain, “Gregg, you can eat a quart of ice cream, bags of candy, anything just eat.” Between us, I looked at my dad in that moment and said “This is a bunch of BS, under no circumstances are you eating ice cream and candy.”
I wasn’t an expert then, but I knew intuitively this was beyond wrong. I would come to learn later exactly how terrible sugar is and how it’s often referred to as ‘jet-fuel for cancer cells.’
Over the course of many conversations, I told my dad that I was unsure if holistic approaches would be able to add days to his life, but I was damn confident supporting his treatment with a healthy lifestyle would add life to his days. We talked at length about ‘quality of life.’ My hope was that we could help build a program for him that would help make the good days come a little more often and the bad days a little less intense.
I went on a mission to discover, learn and interpret everything I could about what the holistic world had to offer for people diagnosed with Glioblastoma. As someone who has 10 years consumer-life experience living healthy, I thought this would be a quick, manageable task.
Quickly, I learned three things:
1. The overwhelming amount of information and misinformation: Holistic care information is hard to find, hard to understand and often contradictory. This seems to be even more so when dealing with chronic illnesses.
2. Who to trust: It is difficult, if not impossible to know who and what to trust in the holistic universe.
3.What should you actually take, what form, what brand, how much and where do you get it from easily: If you can actually figure out #1 and #2, getting the products your need, let alone the actual ‘good’ ones, is a full time job.
I will share more about my experience, but ultimately this is what set me on my path to building Curos. It has never been about making money, it has always been about helping people live healthier, happier, longer lives so they can enjoy more days doing the things they love with the people they love.
My mission is for Curos to make what was nearly an impossible task for me, easy for you.
Over the next few months Curos will make it easy for you to confidently buy Integrative care protocols for yourself and those you love. We source the world over to make sure you are only getting the finest possible products and work hard to package them in a way that actually makes it easy for you to use.
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Thank you for listening, I cannot wait to build a better future together!