The story of ASCEND begins with Anne Scandalios, an energetic and vivacious personality who always displayed a true “joy of life,” personal strength and courageous spirit. She was very successful as an award-winning realtor and a dedicated mother
In June of 1998, Annie, as she was known to her friends and her devoted husband Nick, welcomed the arrival of their long-awaited child, daughter Anna. A year earlier, Annie and Nick had finished building their dream home and then with Anna completing their family, everything had fallen into a place seemingly perfect. Just a few months after Anna’s birth, Annie noticed a “nodule” which, at first, was presumed by medical personnel to be “normal breast changes” that occur with breast-feeding. Three months later Annie and Nick heard those dreaded words: “Its cancer.” A remarkably aggressive cancer – it was Stage IV.
The next two years Annie and Nick would travel to leading Comprehensive Cancer Treatments across the United States and out of the country in search for a way to beat the disease.
One thing that became quickly and abundantly clear was that this was not just Annie’s disease it was Annie’s, Nick, and Anna’s together. Nick spent thousands of hours researching, traveling to see doctors and working on their whole foods diet. Through their research, they learned that nearly 600,000 American lives are taken by cancer each year. That is the equivalent of six 747 commercial airplanes crashing, killing everyone on board, every day of every year.
Annie battled, perhaps not so coincidentally, for 747 consecutive days. It was Annie’s full intention to reach out to people across America to inform them of the true and devastating effects of cancer. Just one week before Annie died, while struggling with every breath, asked her husband Nick to carry out her mission of educating people and empowering people to prevent and eradicate cancer once and for all.