For the Grace of Grance
I've met a lot of great people in my life; ones who have changed my life in some sort of way. 15 years ago, a young man named Daniel Grance walked into my restaurant in search of a position as a bartender. What I didn't know on that day was that he was going to change my life, and did he ever.
As his employer, I watched Daniel show up every day, giving his ALL to my company. A "kid" thirsty for knowledge, a rare loyalty that isn't found often in my industry, and a heart that grew on me quickly. Of course, there were hiccups along the way and whenever constructive criticism came his way, he faced it with integrity. By my side, Daniel grew my business with me in a decade that had signs of a budding depression. At the time, I thought maybe his business strength and partnership were the reasons this man walked into my life. And over the course of Daniel’s employment, we established more than a friendship…we were family. Not only did Daniel and I work together, but we celebrated milestones, holidays, and even traveled together.
One of my proudest moments of this son-like friend of mine was the day he told me that his soon to be wife, Mary, was expecting! I watched him marry the love of his life and soon they were receiving God's greatest blessing, a child.
Daniel and I decided to part ways as a business team and he moved on to the big, dream job of managing a restaurant for one of the biggest Chicago restaurant groups, Lettuce Entertain You. It was the right move for his soon to be growing family and off to the bright city of Chicago they moved. Life had truly come together for this much-deserving man.
I finally understood it, the purpose of Daniel in my life wasn't for business and wasn't even for our friendship. Daniel and Mary gave me the greatest gift and honor when I was asked to baptize their son. As his Godfather, I 100% committed to guiding, protecting, and loving this child every day of my life.
Meet my Godson, Elliott Daniel Grance.
Elliott is a two year old, fun, happy, handsome boy with the most beautiful smile. He is one of the greatest joys brought to my life and everyone who's met him. My commitment to Elliott had been easy because of the great energy and light he shines everywhere he goes. With pleasure, I have had more responsibilitly helping to care for Elliott than I originally expected when I committed to being his Godfather.
And then I got the worst news any family could here and quickly, I felt helpless for my Godson.
It saddens me to say that sweet young Elliott was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor called Glioblastoma on December 7th. A cancer so rare and aggressive that many neurologists will never see in their lifetime. This terrible news completely shook our worlds. Anyone would agree, the worst agony in the world is seeing their child, or any child, in pain.
Since Elliott's recent diagnosis, he's already undergone two brain surgeries in Chicago. Although the medical community in Chicago rallied around my precious Godson, they could not offer Elliott much hope. Daniel and Mary took it upon themselves to research every facility and treatment, nationally and internationally, that may offer the tools necessary to fight and win this battle. Low and behold, the team at St. Jude’s in Memphis, TN (one of the top pediatric cancer hospitals in the world) offered them a treatment plan.
God willing, the long road to recovery will include a chemotherapy schedule that will last 24 weeks long. This emotional toll Daniel and Mary will continue to experience to get their son back to health is going to consume all of their time and all of their resources. Their focus must, exclusively, be on Elliott’s well-being during this crucial time.
I have come to the conclusion that the best way for us to give any sort of comfort to their family right now is to alleviate the financial stress that they're about to embark upon.
With that said, in partnership with the God-sent team at Lettuce Entertain You, we have organized two benefits from which all proceeds will go "For the Grace of Grance". Thank you, RJ and Jerrod (Lettuce Entertain You), for organizing the February 4th event at Studio Paris and for all of your support for the Grance family.
My family will sponsor another benefit at Austin’s Saloon and Eatery on February 14th. Please click the link below for information on the event and to purchase tickets.
If you are unable to attend either of the fundraisers, we have also established a GoFundMe page where you can donate money that will be provided in full to the Grance family.
I am truly honored and humbled to know so many people who have prayed for Elliott and have offered help. You are so greatly appreciated. If there was ever a favor that I could ask of you, here it is. Help me, help my Godson who changed my life the day I met him. I look forward to the day that we will be celebrating Elliott's victory against cancer so that any of you who haven't had the joy to meet him can and we can show our thanks to you.
If you would like to just make a donation please click on the gofundme logo.