Angie and Steven Giallourakis and the Steven G. AYA Cancer Research Fund

Two-time cancer survivor Steven Giallourakis joins us with his mother Angie to share their experience which inspired the Steven G. AYA Cancer Research Fund in Avon Lake, Ohio. Angie Giallourakis is President of the organization which has programs in wellness, education, research and advocacy for young people with cancer.

"AYA" is an anacronym for "Adolescents-Young Adults", a patient population faced with unique challenges including inadequate research funding, poor prognosis rates, and lingering medical issues for survivors.

Angie's work has developed strongly into an exploration of healing and holistic living and wellness practices for patients and their families, while Steven and his advocacy for young people with cancer remains the inspiration and driving force of their organization.  Steven lives with the same challenges facing many other survivors; his experience speaks to the importance of the STAR Act and other similar pieces of legislation needing greater public awareness and support in Congress.   Candidly, Steven shares with us some of his own personal experiences with loss which inspire him on a daily basis to fight for other young people with cancer.

 

 

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About Janet


Blessed with varied interests and an artistic and musical upbringing, Janet had health challenges throughout her young adult life. Despite these she graduated Cum Laude from Wellesley College with an award of distinction for acting, and had also been a champion equestrian. She began a family with her husband Barry later in life, and had finally found happiness with daughter Sophie-Marie (3/12/06) and then baby (Jack 8/30/08). Five weeks after his birth, the family escaped a wildfire in which all worldly possessions were lost. The family relocated in December of 2008 to Agua Dulce CA where they currently reside.

Jack began to have unsettling symptoms at the age of 3; he was taken to Children's Hospital Los Angeles and was diagnosed with DIPG, or diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, on Friday Oct. 28, 2011, indisputably the darkest experience of Janet's life. The outrage of it made her determined to find the good in the situation, and she asked God to "Put me to work!" After Jack's death, she remained determined to start working to find solutions to DIPG and incorporated Jack's Angels at the end of 2012; the Foundation began its work in 2013. Despite the fact that DIPG is responsible for the majority of brain tumor deaths in children, she had been told there were no solutions for Jack because "the numbers aren't great enough for investors." This remains the primary motivation in her advocacy work, to prioritize children's lives in our medical system in the United States.


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