We are Gina and John Gallivan.
Cancer survivor and patient advocate.
Forever changed from the experience.
Devoted to making a difference.
In 2005, I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. I was newly married, a high school teacher and tennis coach, a healthy and active member of my community. I will always be grateful for the caring doctors, nurses and support staff at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. After chemotherapy and radiation, the ultimate gift of a bone marrow donor led to my recovery.
Fifteen years later, this time a mother, teacher, Girl Scout troop leader, and cancer survivor, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and radiation at the Helen and Harry Gray Cancer Center have brought me to the bright side of recovery.
Out of challenge comes fortitude, out of grief comes hope. What helped my family and me through my treatment was the kindness and generosity of others. While John and I focused on daily appointments and extended hospital stays, loved ones cooked meals, knit blankets, prayed, and shared their time to sustain us through my recovery.
Filled with gratitude and faith, we are inspired to help others who are diagnosed with cancer. After my stem cell transplant, John and I worked with state legislators and advocates to pass CT House Bill No. 5032, An Act Requiring Health Insurance Coverage for Bone Marrow Testing.
The TIDE Cancer Foundation is the next chapter of our mission to help cancer patients. Our organization’s name is inspired by the healing power of the ocean. The sights and sounds of the sea provide comfort and serenity. Sitting on the sands of Cape Cod while watching and listening to the soothing sounds of the tide offered me great healing throughout my cancer journey. The ebb and flow of the tide reminds us that renewal and rejuvenation are part of the cycle of life, and that each of us is part of something magnificent and wonderful, something life-giving and purposeful.
Desiring to pay forward the generosity bestowed on us, we now desire to offer women with cancer the same support and sense of community that uplifted us.