Zack Attacks Cancer came into being in the spring of 2016, the culmination of the dreams and life experiences of Zack Nere. Zack, who by age 25 has already accumulated the personal life exposure and education to become a provider of alternative care to cancer patients, decided to start his own business to be able to help cancer patients in search of alternative approaches to treatment.
Zack’s initial interest in health care began when he was quite young. His mother was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus when he was three, Rheumatoid Arthritis when he was 5, and Degenerative Spine Disease when he was fifteen. As soon as he realized that these were incurable and/or chronic illnesses, his fascination with alternative treatments was spiked for the first time and became a lifelong pursuit. He became acutely aware of the role movement and nutrition played in his mother’s functioning. In addition, while understanding that his mother needs the numerous prescription medications she takes, he became concerned about their side effects and searched for natural alternatives.
While in high school, Zack’s desire to help others was piqued by his involvement in “Best Buddies” and other direct work with Intellectually Disabled teens and young adults. The roles of nutrition and exercise in dealing with health challenges were reinforced during these experiences as well as when he volunteered for the Special Olympics. Wanting more exposure to healthcare issues, Zack became an Emergency Medical Technician after high school. All the while, he continued to research alternative healing interventions to illness/disease. He might still be an EMT if it wasn’t for a significant occurrence at age 22.
In January 2014, Zack received a diagnosis of mid-stage cancer which had already metastasized to his lymph nodes. After initially planning traditional treatment, he changed his mind. Instead, he pursued alternative treatments, an area of care which he had continued to study throughout the years. He met with professionals in varying disciplines, such as nutrition, exercise, stress reduction, chiropractic and naturopathic oncology, throughout Connecticut as well as in Oregon and Michigan. In his numerous trips to Oregon and Michigan he directly learned about medical cannabis, its healing powers and the various forms of medicating with cannabis.
Using the skills he applied to his own cancer, Zack began to help others who wanted to try alternative cancer treatments and were looking for someone knowledgeable about the medical cannabis option of care. Throughout 2015 and 2016, by word of mouth alone, Zack was actively helping close to 50 individuals and if needed, their caregivers. His approach to care integrated education, support and helping to offset the stressful financial realities a cancer patient encounters. Recognizing the need for his type of service, he decided to add formal medical cannabis education to his existing knowledge base. He attended Northeastern Institute of Cannabis, receiving a certificate to work in the medical cannabis field.
Initially driven by the desire of a loving son to help his mother and embellished by years of observation, personal experience and hands on work, Zack Attacks Cancer reflects Zack’s commitment to providing affordable access to health care, as well as support and education, for those dealing with cancer. Zack’s passion to conduct an all-out assault on cancer, one which combines what works traditionally with alternative options, is embodied in the work of Zack Attacks Cancer.