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 61 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, and with all credit to his incredible team at the Cleveland Clinic, 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. I have unfortunately seen sick people before, but this was the first time I can remember feeling the 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 on and in 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, to a 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 (whom I am immensely grateful for) would do everything they could to help my dad, I felt like there had to be more we could do to help support his healthy lifestyle as we began this fight.
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 with Integrative care, I thought this would be a quick, manageable task.
Quickly I learned three things:
- 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.
- It is difficult, if not impossible to know who and what to trust at first glance.
- 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 set out to build Curos to make what was nearly an impossible task for me, easy for you. By working with top, industry leading doctors Curos uses a research first approach at building Integrative care protocols to support the healthiest functions of ALL human bodies.
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.
Our goal is to help people feel better. In addition to that, we want to save you time, money and guess-work.
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Thank you for listening, I cannot wait to build a better future together!