Having cancer can be a very personal ordeal. But for Greg Vrettos, his willingness to share his story with the world has impacted countless people—and given them hope.
In 2004, Greg was diagnosed with inoperable stage IV lung cancer. He became the very first participant in a phase I clinical trial using an oral targeted therapy as a first line of treatment to combat his non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). He also agreed to have his blood regularly sampled as part of the Mass General Cancer Center’s circulating tumor cell research – then in its infancy.
Brian Williams and the NBC News crew profiled Greg and his family during the first Stand Up To Cancer, as part of a feature about this groundbreaking research endeavor. This helped inspire Greg to share his story with others. Since then, he has given back countless times with various other media interviews, and appeared in a commercial for the Mass General Cancer Center. By relating what he has been through, by being honest and open about his good days and his bad days, Greg has given patients and their families hope. What’s more, he’s also provided researchers with valuable clinical information to move the bar forward into the new frontier of personalized medicine. In addition, he had the opportunity to meet with the genetic cell research group at Mass General to help put a face to the many patients they have helped.
As a musician, Greg also volunteers his time in a band that plays at fundraisers. Tireless advocates, Greg and his wife Janet have given back many hours. Almost thirteen years after his initial diagnosis, he is a true survivor who believes in the power of hope.