Future Here to Serve CEO Katie Quintas discovered her son, Bryan, was also diagnosed with cancer. This diagnosis came a few months after she found a doctor to treat the highly survivable leukemia found in her husband, Silvio.
While trying to diagnose a pain in his knees at City of Hope, the oncologist told him
He should pray for cancer, because the alternative was even worse. Ultimately, after several weeks of testing, the diagnosis was a stage 4 large B-cell non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
For a year, Bryan’s treatment at City of Hope was under the supervision of Dr. Judith Sato (now on the Advisory Board of Here to Serve) — but it was a very long year. Complications at the time included nausea, a collapsed lung, fever, fatigue, throat and mouth sores as well as changes in his personality. A blood-borne infection, or sepsis, nearly killed him. There was also the possibility the chemotherapy would take his life.
All the while, Katie cared for Bryan and her husband Silvio as well, despite the two of them being treated in separate hospitals on opposite ends of Los Angeles — while holding her household together and working full time.
Bryan and Silvio pulled through. However, Bryan’s friend, Paul, died and his grandmother (Katie’s mother) also passed from cancer during this time.
While most people would have been left drained in every sense of the word, the experience of suddenly finding herself thrust into the role of caregiver inspired Katie to form Here to Serve.