Pairing ‘angels’ with cancer patients

Christophe Quancard

Just two weeks after his wedding, Christophe Quancard was diagnosed with glioblastoma, one of the deadliest types of brain tumors.

He was only 35 years old. The news was devastating.

“In our age group, no one is ready for the diagnosis, (or) the possibility,” Quancard said. “I mean, we know it’s out there, but you didn’t think it would happen when you were still young and had so many other things that you were thinking about.”

Quancard’s team of doctors encouraged him to get in touch with a group called Imerman Angels. The nonprofit matches cancer patients with cancer survivors so they can receive support from someone who has been down a similar path.

Within a few days, Quancard was talking to Greg Cantwell, a 38-year-old survivor of late-stage brain cancer.

Cantwell was diagnosed eight years ago, when his son was 1, and had hoped to live until his son was at least 5.

The boy is now 9. Cantwell is living proof that cancer is not a death sentence. And his experience has given Quancard much-needed help — and hope — during a difficult time.

“You don’t know what’s really going to hit you emotionally or what kind of therapies you may not have thought of, how to get help, how to make the best use of the resources you have,” said Quancard, 36. “You really need someone who’s been through this to help you. … Somehow it makes it so much easier, even in the very hard parts that are coming.”

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