Monday, April 13, 2009

Determination and Positive Attitude Make a Difference in Fighting Cancer

Every cancer survivor story offers points of inspiration and reminds all of us that determination and a positive attitude can go a long way in healing our bodies. High-profile celebrities, due to their fan base and their access to the media, can play a magnified role in educating people about the early signs of cancer and what we can do to improve our chances of staying healthy. Who can forget when Katie Couric had her colon examined on live television after the death of her husband? The number of such tests done in doctors’ offices across the country skyrocketed. Celebrities such as Christina Applegate, Elizabeth Edwards, and Sheryl Crow have used their own battles with breast cancer to advocate the need for early exams. And, speaking of Sheryl Crow, her former fiancĂ© also provides a great testament to the power to overcome cancer.

As a fan of sports and the impressive stature of professional athletes, I am amazed at Lance Armstrong’s life story. Just after celebrating his twenty-fifth birthday, Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer that had spread to his abdomen, lungs, and brain. Even after drastic surgeries and treatments to remove parts of his organs, doctors gave Armstrong less than a fifty percent chance of survival. Obviously, he did make a full recovery and went on to win the Tour de France for a record-breaking seven consecutive years, from 1999 to 2005. A broken collarbone may have provided his most recent setback, but I am confident he will be back on the winner’s podium soon.

In my novel Finish Line, main character Curt Schroeder is diagnosed with cancer while in the prime of his life. Despite this devastating news, he forges ahead with the same unparalleled work ethic and confident attitude that he has always brought to his work managing the Prairie Winds Golf Course. Along the way, he inspires two teenage boys who have been put under his charge both to work off a debt and perhaps grow up a little along the way. While Curt Schroeder may not have the notoriety of Lance Armstrong, he certainly makes a difference to those who know him.

I hope you will read Finish Line and let me know what you think, particularly if you are a cancer survivor. I am sure your personal story is inspiring as well!

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