“After receiving the cancer diagnoses of both my husband (Leukemia) and then 16-year-old son (Stage 4 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma) six months apart, I became acutely aware of the mind-numbing pain that happens when a life-threatening health crisis knocks at your door. However, I also experienced the awe-inspiring help of family, friends, acquaintances, coworkers and the community at large. It was nothing short of miraculous! Even so, organizing those who came alongside me to help including church, school, family, friends and coworkers was a monumental task! To make matters worse, my son was in one hospital, City of Hope, and my husband was being treated at UCLA. Schedules did not always match up. Add to that the dietary restrictions of my son who is a Celiac and during treatment could not eat fresh fruits or vegetables, it is not a pretty picture for anyone attempting to help.
“I thought I had all the details of my family’s health crises covered, only to find out that I did not… There were so many services I could have availed myself of but I was too overwhelmed to even look. I found these services later when I could no longer access them. I also felt, with all the help offered, I was good to go! I did not realize the effort it took to coordinate that help, even when you have friends and family offering to do this! What I found was, six months into the journey, many people had already gone on with their own lives and assumed I had it all under control. It was then that I was most exhausted and needed the help, which had now dwindled to a small group that I did not feel comfortable always calling upon…
“I conceived of Here to Serve to bring together, not only the community of volunteers who wish to help, but also the many support services that often go untapped because you either are not aware of them or do not have the energy to seek them out. Our Family Care Coordinators and website services help mobilize, inspire, encourage, intercede, navigate, collaborate, facilitate and bring together communities of people and service organizations to assist caregivers and their loved ones during times of medical crisis throughout the ENTIRE journey, not just early on.
“Here to Serve is dedicated to my husband Silvio Quintas, my son Bryan Quintas, founding board member Dr. Philip Carlson, and Paul Alindog-Bouvier who exhibited unimaginable courage, faith, and dignity in their life-and-death cancer battles. Because of these valiant warriors, Here to Serve strives to make a difference in the lives of individuals, families, and their caregivers in medical crisis.”
Silvio C. Quintas
After multiple regimens of antibiotics to fight an infection that would not go away, I was given blood tests to check my white cell counts. The white counts were high even after the antibiotics were finished. My primary care physician sent me to an oncologist to have more tests. I found out I had leukemia.
Still Feeling Blessed!
There are many forms of leukemia, some more deadly than others. I was fortunate to have a highly treatable form of leukemia…but only because of recent advances in research and treatment. Just a few short years ago this leukemia would have been much harder to battle. I was feeling blessed…Read More
Bryan M. Quintas
Silvio and Bryan Quintas at a UCLA vs. USC game just prior to Sil’s passing
It was early March of my sophomore year of high school. I was experiencing knee pain that seemed to be getting worse by the day. As an athlete, you have many aches and pains in your body. So when I started to feel pain in my knees I thought it was soreness from playing water polo or golf. I was hesitant to make a big deal out of it because, at the time, my dad was dealing with both leukemia and Parkinson’s disease. However, my parents did get an MRI on my knees that March. The results were handed over to City of Hope where after multiple weeks of tests, it was confirmed that I had Stage 4 Large B-Cell Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma!
I saw shock, fear, dread, panic, and fright in the eyes of my parents…Read More
Dr. Philip Carlson
Dr. Philip Carlson was both a medical doctor and Pastor. When Katie Quintas first considered the idea of a nonprofit to help families in medical crisis who do not qualify for government assistance, she shared her idea with her husband Silvio and Phil her pastor. Both were absolutely convicted that Here to Serve should come into existence. Phil, as a pastor and medical doctor, felt so strongly about Here to Serve he offered to be our first board member to encourage Katie and Sil to move forward with their vision! Quite a commitment from a man who had a church he was pastoring, a newly-formed medical practice, and…Read More
Paul M. Alindog-Bouvier
“One of the things that constantly runs through my mind is this question: What would our lives be like if you were still around?” Paul’s friend EJ ponders. “I’m thinking you would be taking over Southern California with your charisma, your singing voice, and your never-ending hunger for success. I’ll bet that among all of us in the ol’ high school group, you would be the most successful! Man, I’ve always admired your sense of dedication and passion for anything that you do! You didn’t let…Read More