It’s the Wine I Drink with my Friends

Stamatis Moraitis

In 1976, 65-year-old Stamatis Moraitis was diagnosed with lung cancer and given less than a year to live.

After several doctors confirmed the diagnosis, Moraitis refused treatment and moved back to the Greek Island where he was raised to be buried with his ancestors.

He reconnected with his faith walking to a tiny chapel near his home. His childhood friends began visiting and they talked for hours, sharing a bottle or two of wine.

Moraitis planted vegetables in a small garden even though he thought he wouldn’t be around to harvest them. In the evening, he walked to the local tavern to play dominoes with his friends.

Decades later, on a trip to visit his children in the U.S., he tried to return to his doctors to see why he was still alive. “My doctors were all dead,” he said. Moraitis passed away at the age of 102, 36 years after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.

Stamatis Moraitis working on his vegetale garden in Greece (Photo:
Stamatis Moraitis working on his vegetale garden in Greece (Photo:

According to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, people who ate apples regularly had a 60 percent lower risk of lung cancer compared to those who did not consume the flavonoid-rich fruit.

Other foods linked to lung cancer prevention include cruciferous vegetables such as kale, cabbage and broccoli.

Olive oil, a large part of a Mediterranean diet, has also been shown to reduce the risk of cancers ranging from colon cancers to breast cancer. Consumption of extra-virgin olive oil daily can essentially deactivate cancer cells that try to survive and destroy the body. It’s been shown effective in keeping a range of cancers at bay, from breast cancers to stomach cancers.

Stamatis Moraitis
Stamatis Moraitis