That same year, the long-awaited Fourth Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was released. After reading it, my sense of indignation was joined by a profound fear for the future of my children.
Soon after that, I experienced a cascade of personal tragedies.
In 2010, my mother passed away suddenly from a heart attack. No one believed in me more than this extraordinary woman, who remains the hardest-working person I have ever known.
Five months later, my eldest sister Maria was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer. She suffered intensely from the disease and, despite numerous surgeries and extensive chemotherapy, passed away nine months later.
Nine months after that, my last surviving grandparent (after whom I am named) passed away in Greece. I felt I had lost my kindred spirit. Then, in 2014, my Aunt Tina passed away. While my father and I were driving to her funeral, he suffered a heart attack in my car, and died before I could reach a hospital.
Losing all of these beloved family members in just four years left a permanent imprint on me. I became conscious of the fragility of life, and was inspired to devote my remaining years to living meaningfully.