‘Praying for a miracle’: Utah parishioners mourn cancer diagnosis for Greek Orthodox priest of 35 years
The Salt Lake Tribune – July 5, 2016
After doctors eliminated the cancer-ridden connective tissue in Jim Aerakis’ leg, his Greek Orthodox priest joined him to celebrate.
The Rev. Matthew Gilbert and his 42-year-old parishioner toasted their health two weeks ago in the last of the prayer-and-coffee meetings that became ritual after Aerakis’ November diagnosis.
They were unaware that the same disease also had swiftly and aggressively targeted Gilbert, 58, who would be diagnosed with late-stage bone cancer on June 28 after a week of searing stomach pain and doctor visits.
“Three weeks ago, he was completely normal,” said Denise Gilbert, his wife. “It’s beyond anything we could have imagined.” Gilbert was too weak to speak, she said. Read more