WINNING THE FIGHT OF YOUR LIFE!
Providing one-on-one brain tumor support
"It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we inform you of the passing of a phenomenal man, Jack Menier. On 5/19/16, at 1:22am, Jack took his last breath and lost his fight against brain cancer. This journey would have been even more difficult without the support and prayers from all of you, so for that, we thank-you tremendously! We will post funeral arrangements as soon as they are available. In lieu of flowers, we ask that you make a donation to: www.gregsmission.org It is through this organization, and it's president Greg Cantwell, that we were finally able to find a doctor that was ready to help us fight this cancer head on! Because of this, many more precious days were added to Jack's life, and many more memories were created. For that, we will be forever grateful! Thank-you again, Shannon O'Neill, Nancy Britton, & Bob Menier"
I first reached out to Greg in August of 2012 after googling a glioblastoma that my brother was diagnosed with at the age of 39. I emailed Greg and he called me immediately. I couldn’t believe this man who didn’t even know me took the time to give me all the information about a glio and advice he could. He talked to me for over an hour. He gave me hope and so much encouragement after that phone call. I couldn’t wait to tell my family about it. His website was the most informative and the most helpful information I could find. He suggested to me word for word what we could tell the doctors etc. He was so personable and I felt very comfortable talking with him so openly about my brother’s condition. He told me I could call him at anytime, day or night. Again I was amazed. I felt that he acted better than the doctors we had dealt with over the course of the last 4 years. After Mark’s 2nd relapse with the glio I reached out again. Then after his 3rd I did as well. Greg was a God sent and I appreciate all of his guidance and support these last 4 years. He is such an inspiration and I pray God blesses him always.
Amanda Perlyn Jackson
I hope you are well! We have never met in person but we spoke over a year ago when my brother in law (Roger Jackson) was diagnosed with GBM. While he has been treated at UCLA unfortunately the cancer has deeply progressed and even the avastin and carboplatin are not working well. He was not a candidate for some of the trials because of the location of the cancer in a few spots.
I do want to thank you for your support and encouragement. We spoke a few times but unfortunately Roger never came around to wanting to talk to others/survivors about what he was going through. I wish things could have turned out differently for my family and my goal now is simply to support them as the next few months become increasingly hard for Roger. I pray he is as comfortable as he can be until the end.
Thanks again and I know you are continuing to make an impact with so many people around the world.
Thank you for all you to bless and support others with your story of encouragement! Truly God is not done with you yet, Greg!!! And Lisa is amazing too!! We are so thankful for how you support our family, especially through Steve's challenge. God bless you in all you do and may He increase you and this mission to fulfill His purposes in your lives!
Greg has provided critical knowledge and support as my father's Glioblastoma recurred. He got back to me right away whenever I had a question and this provided additional direct support for me when I needed it and had no one else to turn to. He also let me know what to expect as the cancer progressed and provided resources for second opinions. This is critically invaluable information for the family whether the patient is interested in aggressively fighting the cancer or not.
My son,was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma, in 2011. Since that time, he has had two surgeries and up until the last 8 months lived and worked with the cancer as only a true trooper could. During the journey I have personally contacted Greg with concerns and honestly, in need of reassurance from him. In true form, he has gotten back to me and contacted my son with reassurance and prayers for my son and his family. I can only say with true conviction, that Greg has always stepped up to the plate for me and I'm amazed at how so many thousands of people have turned to Greg's Mission for help and guidance. I thank God for Greg and the people who have worked behind the scenes to make his mission a "dream come true" for me and countless others. God Bless you Greg.
Greg, Thank you so much for reaching out and talking to me (us) today. It is wonderful to know that you are there as a resource to help us navigate through this. And thank you for the questions and treatment information. I can already see that it will be helpful from a quick glance.
All the best to you…
We will talk again soon.
Thank you Greg, from the bottom of my heart! Your phone call to Chet & I meant so much. You are truly an inspiration and we pray to meet you someday soon. Taking time out of your busy schedule to cheer us in was just what we needed to reboot ourselves and get back on track. As newly diagnosed with grade 4 GBM my husband has been in the fight of his life, we believe wholeheartingly that we will overcome this especially with you by our side. God Bless you and your family for all you do for so many.
Greg, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the positive messages you gave to TJ, he loved you and considered you a great friend. I think he always felt he could beat the monster as you did. He was not so lucky.
Greg, if you and your wife are ever in this area, please call me. Would love to spend some time with you again.
“A very close friend of mine, Justin Baker, was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma back in April 2011. Justin is 25 years old and neither one of us had a clue what exactly this was or what it meant. Sure, the doctors were able to explain what it was, cancer, and they more or less gave him a death sentence. Knowing Justin for as long as I have, I knew he wasn’t going to just let some doctor who he’s never met before or who see’s cancer patients daily tell him he was going to die and there’s nothing they can do for him.
Immediately after the diagnosis, Justin and his friends began numerous hours of research. My sister, Ellen Sullivan, reached out to a gentlemen through Facebook, Greg Cantwell (Glioblastoma Survivor). After all the research we did, everything we read said the chances of beating this terrible illness were slim to none. Obviously the odds were against us. After Ellen reached out to Greg for support she forwarded his name to Justin and his friends. We all had access to his Facebook page and his website with his story. His story is truly a miracle and left people with no hope such as ourselves with hope. The first thing Greg told me was to stop looking at the stats, that’s exactly what they are and they don’t mean anything. This was hard to accept but after talking with Greg, I know realized that it’s true, they are just stats and they don’t mean anything. Justin is as tough as they come so of course, he was going to battle this just as Greg did.
Since day one, Greg has had daily contact with Justin and his support group. Greg has made himself available 24 hours a day to answer our many questions. Obviously, Justin needed a plan and Greg helped Justin make this plan. Justin was able to look at Greg’s story and had to put himself in Greg’s shoes. Since the moment Justin contacted Greg and read his story, Justin was all in. Justin now had something to look forward too. If Greg can beat this illness then Justin Baker was going to do it too!
April 15th, Justin was diagnosed with Glioblastoma and on April 26th Justin had a surgery to remove the tumor. This was the same thing that Greg had done as well. In Justin’s case, the doctor was able to remove about 85% of the tumor and the rest would be removed by chemo and radiation, That was the plan. After surgery, Greg continued to have contact with Justin and his friends, always remaining positive and leaving us with all kinds of hope and one message, “don’t give up, remain strong and you will beat this”. How can we argue this? A man who is very similar to Justin in age is talking to us over the phone or through text messages has survived this.
About a month after Justin’s major surgery, he developed some complications and ended up back in the hospital. He took a turn for the worse and we had all lost hope, once again. Doctors told us Justin had almost no chance at making it through the night, let alone the week. Again, I reached out to Greg, not only for Justin but for my own sanity. My best friend was unconscious laying in a hospital bed for days, looked like a worn down man getting ready to throw the towel in. Greg immediately asked what he can do for me and Justin. I didn’t have an answer, I didn’t know what to say.
The next day, Greg drove to Cedar Rapids to finally meet us in person and to finally meet Justin. Again, Greg’s message was firm. “Do not give up, don’t give up. Remain positive, if not for yourself, for Justin”. Again, how do I argue this? I was know looking at a survivor of this illness, obvious from his scar on his head to the tattoos on his arms and his bracelets on his wrist. Greg Cantwell survived this cancer, and damn-it, Justin Baker can to. Greg then made it a priority of his to make it up to Cedar Rapids several times a week which he continues to do to this day. After a few days, Justin did in fact come around again. He is awake, much more alert, off the fluids and eating on his own. Greg was finally able to talk to Justin in person and give him support that he so desperately needed. The days that Greg was not able to come up, he made it a priority to call us or text us. This type of generosity is unheard of these days and I cannot begin to tell you how appreciative I am and Justin’s other supporters are of Greg and his positive attitude.
After meeting with Greg, I can honestly say that he has changed my life and others around me. I will know longer look at things in a negative way, but rather a positive way. Greg Cantwell has earned my respect since the day I first talked to him and there is not a bigger fan of him then me. I wish Greg nothing but the best in the future and I hope after Justin beats this illness just as Greg has and that the three of us will be able to remain in contact. Greg Cantwell, thank you for all you have done, not only for me personally and Justin, but for all the people you help and provide support too around the world. You Greg, are truly an amazing person and you are the true definition of a great person.
The last thing I want to say is another thing that Greg told me. He said “make sure that the doctors and nurses treat the patient and not the diagnosis” he couldn’t be more right and I wrote it on the board in Justin’s room.
Thank you for all you do and continue to do.”
“I also want to thank God for Greg Cantwell a Stage IV Glioblastoma Survivor and Caregiver, Greg has been kind enough to lend himself to our family for hope, help, support and encouragement. He has a wonderful testimony, If you know anyone with brain cancer I encourage you to look him up at, http://www.survivorandcaregiver.com/”
Hi Greg, just wanted to keep you posted. My dad’s surgery went very well today. The doctor said he thinks he was able to remove the majority of the tumor! We’ll take any good news we can get, and will know more when he gets another scan in two days. Thankfully, he has all of his mobility and was cracking jokes as soon as he woke up. To be completely honest, I only continued to pursue the idea of surgery after you encouraged me not to accept inoperable as a valid answer. This could change the course of his prognosis and give him a real chance. I am so grateful for all of your advice thus far. Do not underestimate the good you are doing. We know we still have a lot of fighting to do, but today was day 1 towards victory.”
“To those who have been or plan to get in touch with Greg, consider it a positive step toward your recovery.
My name is Ronn. I was diagnosed three days before my 51st birthday with a tumor on my right temporal lobe, in July of 2010. I was rushed to the emergency room after suffering a seizure. The type of tumor I have is called a glioma. These types of tumors cannot be completely removed in most cases and I was no exception. The patheological report indicated that the tumor was malignant and that I had what is called astrocytoma (grade 3). I have to say that I didn’t feel sorry for myself and say “why me”, but I was angry. I have an awesome wife, and a beautiful and smart 15 year-old daughter. I have three wonderful sisters and three outstanding nieces. Nothing was going to stop me from being a part of “my girls” lives.
As time moved on, and I fell into my routine of medications and doctor visits, I have to admit that even with all the support of family and friends, I felt the need to speak with someone that could fully understand what I was going through. It’s not always easy to keep a positive attitude. I was hungry for “first-hand” information from someone who understood. Fortunately, I found Greg. He’s been a true inspiration and has become not only a good source of information, but a friend. There’s something special about people who can turn tragedy into triumph…that triumph being the help he gives to others who are fighting the same battle as he.
I’ve kept my outlook positive despite some limitations I now have and despite the side affects of all my medicatons, but I find myself in need of a “pick-me-up” every now and then, from a survivor. Greg has been that person.”
“When I came home from the hospital after surgery in June, my family was very supportive, but they couldn’t really understand exactly what I was going through. Now that I have been connected with Greg, I am extremely happy knowing that someone who understands what I’m going through and can give me the kind of specific support that my family cannot provide, Greg is just a phone call or email away. I haven’t been very active talking about my situation, but just knowing he’s there, comforts me.”
“This is David’s son. I wanted to thank you for all your support. He really loved your motivational words and it gave him so much extra energy and drive. Unfortunately, he longer has a fight. I am attaching his final update. I just wanted to thank you and say that you need to keep what you are doing. It helped my dad in so many ways so I am sure you have done wonders to so many others. Keep your fight going and keep motivating folks.”
“Greg, Thank God for you and all your doing! My husband is living with a gbm for about 1 year now. He had surgery,radiation,chemo,gamma knife and continues with temador treatment monthly. He is doing wonderful. His tumor is showing signs of shrinkage on every mri. He like you is very active and has a very positive outlook. This is the fight of our lives and I know he can beat this. Your inspiring site gives hope to all of us living with cancer. God bless you!”
“I just wanted to let you know that my mom passed away last week. Apparently,she had an infection/pneumonia and they could not get her white blood cells or platelets up, even after numerous blood transfusions and shots. It’s hard for me to talk about right now, everything just happened so fast. One day we had a great MRI and the next day she was in the hospital on oxygen and unable to breath. The doctor said it was all from the tumor, I don’t know…there are so many unanswered questions. One of the doctors said the Decadron (steroid) may have caused the infection. I have a lot of work to do to find out what went wrong, and why my mom’s blood was perfectly normal one week, and depleted the next. They had her on such a high dosage of everything. I need answers from the doctors, and it is my mission to get them. I want to talk to you more about this, and I promise to be in touch with you once I can wrap my hands around this. In the meantime, I want you to know that I would not have been able to get through these past few months without you. You were our positive force, that’s for sure. I only wish mom could have actually met you herself. The one thing about my mom is that she did NOT want to live with cancer. She was too much of an independent woman to ever let doctors tell her what to do, meds to take, etc. etc. As much as I wanted my mom to beat this, and knew that she could, I also knew she didn’t want to live her life being sick and bound to all of the treatments. It was wiping her out.
Thank you again for everything I promise to call you soon.”
“I made initial contact with Greg in early July 2012 after being diagnosed with GBM in the first week of April 2012. Greg immediately provided the support I needed, and was even able to accompany me to my physician appointment at a pivotal time in my decision making around treatment options.
Greg has been able to adapt his tremendous support to suit my needs as they continue to evolve. One of his greatest gifts is to provide the exact type of support that meets my needs as they change from moment to moment. His experience, expertise and personal attributes enable him to provide facts and information AND ongoing emotional support… such an unbelievable combination of resourses for us GBM’ers.
I am grateful to have been introduced to someone who has lived the GBM experience, survived it, and has committed his life to helping others do the same. Put simply, Greg Cantwell has made my experience a better, more understandable, more tolerable, and more hopeful one.”
Linda died 6 months after finding out about the inoperable glioblastoma. I know her daughters spoke with Greg several times and were grateful for his help.
Have you ever met/heard of Greg? He came with us when we had our first oncology appointment after we first found out dad had a Glioblastoma. He's an amazing man with a great story and even bigger heart!
Hi Greg. We have chatted off and on for the past couple years. My hubby is a GBM survivor. He recently had his last dose of chemo last week. Thank you so much for talking to people about this and reaching out. You have supported me so that I could support him and that means so much.
I cannot thank you enough! I am so thankful that I found your name and reached out to you! I will continue to reach out to you and am going to lift you up in prayer as you work tirelessly to touch the lives of those walking the path you had to walk. I pray for your family and ask God to continue to bless you all in your journey.
Greg, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the positive messages you gave to TJ, he loved you and considered you a great friend. I think he always felt he could beat the monster as you did. He was not so lucky.
"After my Husband Glioblastoma Diagnosis, We were left with the aftermath of 2 surgery's, Medications, and the crushing realization of the reality that we could not charge. Many doctors where involved with his care, however, The mental support department was lacking. Resources that were available were not feasible or not helpful. It is hard for anyone to realize what he was going through, and be of assistance. That's when I began reaching out to find help for him. A wonderful nurse Stacey at 4thAngel.org introduced us to Greg. Immediately he stepped in to be the friend to him that he so desperately needed. Greg is able to identify with his day to day trials of what is happening to him, Offer support and expertise, and just be there when he needs a friend to talk to. We are over a year into this and Greg has been an indispensable asset in this battle. He really has been Enddie's 4th Angel."
“Greg I am so glad you are helping people unstopped. I will never forget the tremendous support you gave to my dearest son Dan, with the one year of battling this monster! God bless you!!!”
Susan Kuegler Cherry
“Greg, I can never thank you enough for all your time, compassion and all the information that you gave our family on Glioblastoma. You are amazing! The wheels are turning in my mind of how we can do an event for GBM. Thank you so much for meeting with us.”
“Thanks everyone for your compassion.. It was horrible and gut wrenching to watch.. Greg is the real deal… We in the GBM community need to help this man any way we can… What an honor to know him and meet him.. He’s everything and more in person… Just a sensational human being.”
“Thank you so much for your time, and I will be passing this info on to my brother. It is always such a pleasure to speak to someone who is living life and not looking back even when the odds don’t dictate such. I appreciate it and we will be in touch as we journey into the next chapter here with radiation and chemo.”
“You certainly made an impression on TJ. He was so happy after talking to you. I just thought you were so-so…..kidding!! We’re both super thankful for having the opportunity to meet you and share this crazy journey.”
“Go Greg Go! I talked to Greg on the phone while Kevin was sick. What an awesome man who has helped and touched so many people. God Bless you Greg and all the work you do. Please watch and support Brain Cancer Awareness.”
“We connected with Greg and he had us visit his Dr at Abbott in the Cities! He is an inspiration to all the fighters out there and their families at a time when not much looks up!!! God bless Greg for all he does!!!”
“I can attest to this! Greg was our first line of information and support when Chris was diagnosed. They became great friends and had long conversations about staying strong, keeping positive, and their mutual love for the Red Sox! Keep up the great work, Glioblastoma Survivor! Greg’s Mission.”
“Greg I just cant tell you how much inspiration you gave to my husband when it talked with you last year in I believe July. We just got the news Monday that they believe his tumor is coming back. The initial suggestion was to switch to CCNU with Avastin. However they have us consulting with the surgeon tomorrow and the result going before the board on Friday. But I have to tell you we were on the way hone from the doctor Monday night and Dean said just like Gregg said this cancer usually comes back and I will kick its ass again. I am just not sure if you realize what a lasting impression you leave or what an inspiration you are to all of us that are fighting.”
I really don’t know what Joe or I would have done without Gregs friendship and the information and support he shared. He called to check on Joe several times a week they became great friends and I felt I could call him with any question and he would help me find answers. He is doing great things to help others with this terrible cancer. It is comforting to know someone else with the same diagnosis. He was a great source of information and comfort.”
“I just wanted to reach out to tell you that I think what you are doing to support people is awesome. My mom was diagnosed with a glioblastoma in June and it has been completely devastating to us. It made it especially hard that it felt like no one else could really understand what we were going through. It felt so hopeless. It felt like even people or family members of people with other cancers were in a completely different boat. With other cancers at least they give you a fighting chance to beat it. Not so with GBM. Not to mention the cognitive and functional changes we’ve had to deal with along the way. That’s a different ball game too. It would have meant a lot during those really dark first weeks to have someone to talk to that really understood what a diagnosis like this means.
My mom is fortunate that we have a really close family that has been able to support her and each other, but I know that is not the case with everyone. I have said many times I don’t know how people without family support get through it. I was also fortunate to find an amazing support group on Facebook (there was a link to your site posted today on there) that has been there for me through some really low times. It means so much to know you’re not alone in this and there is someone out there who really understands the fear and devastation that the diagnosis and its aftermath create. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I think what you’re doing is great and I definitely think there is a need for it, along with more awareness of GBM. Thank you!”
“I just want to finally take the time to thank you for your support when my dad was diagnosed with GBM. I remember being so afraid (well I still am) but more so then and when I called I didn’t really expect Greg to pick up, but he did and then patiently listened to my thousand fears and answered my questions. It really does help me to have a more positive attitude about fighting this battle when you see someone live and in the flesh that is winning the fight.
Greg also offered to go with us to dad’s first oncology appointment and we gladly took him up on it. How comforting it was to have him there with us and to have someone that knew what questions to ask, things that we hadn’t even thought of. My dad was very impressed with Greg and he drew great courage from being able to see how great Greg was doing.
Greg is selfless and really cares about people. It is evident in him talking and visiting with people he has never met before and has nothing to gain from doing so other than the satisfaction of helping someone that is in a situation that he had to go through largely alone.”
“I found Greg Cantwell in November of 2011 when I was diagnosed with a Stage 4 Glioblastoma in the thalamus region of my brain. I am now 4 months into my journey and let me tell you, Greg has been a wonderful role model, advice giver and go-to guy in what has become the toughest thing I have ever had to deal with. He always takes time for my call and has provided outstanding information and emotional support during this difficult time. The best thing about Greg is that he has survived this very illness, and can relate first hand to what I am going through. Thank God there are people like Greg Cantwell out there…it is very helpful when you are trying to navigate your way through a very stressful illness.”
Thanks to you Greg. You have been an absolute life-saver with your guidance through all this. We appreciate you so much.”
“I just wanted to thank you so much for calling my sister-in-law the other night. It was just the lift she needed. My brother’s biggest hurdle was to get her in the game and have a winning attitude and it was not happening. I came across your site and had forwarded it to my brother because all they had heard was doom and gloom. You are so inspiring and when George, my brother told me you had called, tears came to my eyes and I thanked God for you reaching out to them. I just could not believe you called them the same day they emailed you. WOW! I am not looking for a response, I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart because you make a difference in the course people choose to follow. One of victory or of defeat. It is obvious that the negative attitude fades and the positive takes over after people connect with you. And of course with prayer and God’s will, amazing things happen. Thank you so much Greg.”
Kristi Marie Joyce
“I simply want to say Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet my daughter Vanessa. You are truly a blessing to many and especially to her. She just met you yesterday, however, she has not stopped talking about you. She was truly inspired by your conversation with her and now has a new outlook on what her dad is going through.
When she got home yesterday I did not have to ask her how her meeting with you went. She told me it was good. She handed me your card and told me I could look at it but it was hers. She then went to her computer and checked out your website. She read your story and searched for the pictures of you, her and her dad. She made sure she showed everyone! She also told everyone who you were and that you were her new friend.
She copied the picture of you on her website and made it her background picture for her school laptop. I asked her why she did this and her response to me was so that she could see you everyday and know that there is hope for her dad to be here for a long time. I could do nothing at this point except cry! You truly touched a place in her heart that no one else could! Thank you so very much!
She had even asked if you could come to her school and talk about cancer. She said everyone needs to know! I explained to you that may not be possible but she was welcome to contact you any time! She seemed O.K. with that. I was then informed this morning by her teacher that she made a point of showing your picture to her and telling her who you were!
I cannot say thank you enough for the inspriation you have given to my daughter!”
“We started looking up glioblastoma, all the wind went from our sails about the surgery going so well. Seemed it didn’t matter much if they got it all out (still the best case scenerio) but that it most likely be back. So for weeks after getting home all me and my wife did is cry as we surfed the web for any good news about this diagnosis. We didn’t find much in the way good outcomes for people with glioblastoma (life expectancy 14 months from diagnosis).
Then, a silver lining..Greg Cantwell! One of my new best friends and positive attitude mentor. I still am not smoking and my wife has changed all of our food to organics. Me and Greg talk on the phone daily, and he is helping me to receive further treatment that I was never offered at either Rockford or U.W…so now, with Gregs help, I have an appointment at the hospital he did his treatments at 7 years ago. He still hasn’t had a reoccurance. Maybe I will be mentoring a young man in my position 7 years from now..thanks to Greg’s help. Right now, today, I feel great! And I cant wait to be a part of Greg’s team geared toward helping people in our situation..Greg says..we are not stats! We are Greg and Joe, and we will beat this awful cancer! With positive attitude and a dedication to survive. Greg..I can’t thank you enough for everything you have done for me and my family..I love you! I will beat this!”
I just wanted to let you know that my uncle in Germany started Avastin. A couple of days ago he was taken to the hospital because he had red bruising all over his body and he wasn't feeling too well. Today, he was discharged after his neuro-oncologist and another colleague of his reviewed my uncles new blood work and MRI results. I am shocked and stoked to say that not only has he not developed any new tumours, but that the biggest and most dangerous one that he had is now shrinking!
I just wanted to say that you are an angel from God to us, and we all thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all of the information you provided us. I know we were not easy to deal with as we constantly emailed and asked questions that were beyond your expertise, and we probably tested your patience on many levels. But at the end of the day, you were the one that told us about this drug and now he is on a positive path, to hopefully recovery and remission.
I can't even begin to express how grateful we all are! I pray that you continue on your path of good health, and I thank you for your generosity in putting your time and energy to help others. You're not only helping the patients with your information, but you're helping and saving their families. You're helping more than one person with your knowledge and generosity!
You are an amazing human being, and I truly believe that you're an angel! You're not an ordinary person. You are an angel!
Thank you again, and God bless you and everyone you love! Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!
I just wanted to tell you know how thankful I am to you for everything that you did for my family and all the families that you help daily. Seeing my brother at the game promoting your cause hit a strong emotional response in me. My dad's death almost killed me, but knowing that there are people like you in this world that truly care about their fellow man helps.
Comments or questions are welcome