The lights of our loved ones shine forth—through their physical presence and through the legacies they leave, on earth and in heaven. Elena Giordano’s story of perseverance, grief, and hope will help any parent who has lost a child (or loved one) to feel less alone as they walk “through the valley of the shadow of death.” Giordano’s vulnerability inspires readers to fight for those they love, to move through grief with emotional honesty, and to become more aware of how the Light might be shining in the darkness.
About the Author
Elena Giordano lives in the San Diego area. She is married to Frank Giordano and together they are raising two children, Grace and Gabriel.
After meeting Frank and falling in love, they married in 1999 and were settling into married life when Elena found out they were expecting. A son, Luca Joseph Giordano, was born February 5, 2001, and they were over the moon.
Just before Luca turned two, however, he couldn’t keep any food down. He vomited continuously and couldn’t keep weight on. Doctors ordered a series of tests, including a CAT scan for tumors. When the results came back, Frank and Elena heard devastating news: Luca had a large mass on his brain.
That discovery set their son on a long journey of chemotherapy, radiation, and other debilitating treatments to save his life. The radiation, however, did a number on the boy’s developing brain. Luca could only speak in one- or two-word sentences, walked with an uncoordinated gait, and required assistance to dress and bathe himself.
At the age of four, his prognosis was grim until Frank did his own Internet research and discovered a British doctor who had success treating pediatric patients with recurrent medulloblastoma when they were given high-dose, platinum-based chemotherapy followed up by a stem cell transplant.
The treatment saved Luca’s life, and for the next eleven years, he entered into a period of remission. When he was fifteen years old, however, another tumor appeared in the brain, which set the stage for the final eight months of his life. On June 21, 2017, he passed away in his mother’s arms, surrounded by family.
With the publication of Luca’s Light, Elena hopes to raise awareness about pediatric brain cancer and inspire readers with the miracles that happened after Luca died.
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