Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Childhood Cancer Survivors Share Stories of Perseverance

We received a copy of the new inspirational nonfiction, Perserverance, by Carolyn Rubenstein, to review.

When she was 14, Carolyn Rubenstein spent a summer volunteering at Camp Sunshine, which provides a fun getaway for children with cancer. Profoundly affected by the kids she met there, she created a non-profit organization called Carolyn's Compassionate Children (CCC) that connected children with cancer to "regular" kids as pen pals. As Carolyn grew up-along with her friends with cancer-CCC's mission evolved as well. Today, the organization awards scholarships to children with cancer to help them pay for college.

Now age 24, Carolyn presents the new book "Perseverance: How Young People Turn Fear into Hope-and How They Can Teach Us to Do the Same"(Forge Books; September 2009; Hardcover), a collection of experiences from 20 college students who have survived the challenges of childhood cancer. The lessons their stories contain-about accentuating the positive in life, educating yourself about obstacles you come across, and "paying it forward," just to name a few, are incredibly inspirational and moving.

Among the individuals highlighted in "Perseverance":

--Zac York, who, after 17 surgeries for brain cancer, used modified crutches to climb Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in the contiguous United States

--Henry Choi, who had to visit three hospitals in his native Korea before being properly diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma

--Katie Zawadzki, most of whose friends drifted away from her when she underwent treatment for ovarian cancer at age 19

--Dana Smith, whose participation in the basketball program Hoop Dreams eradicated the depression caused by her brain cancer diagnosis and treatment

Over the past five years, Carolyn's charity has awarded 80 college scholarships to childhood cancer survivors. As an undergraduate at Duke University, she majored in psychology and conducted research that examined the quality of life for adolescent survivors of childhood cancer. A Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude graduate, Carolyn began a doctoral program in clinical psychology at Harvard University in the fall of 2008.

WOW! This is an incredible must read book! It will definitely make you cry and help you to appreciate your many blessings in life that are way too often taken for granted. It's a gentle reminder that every moment is precious and we should cherish them. We highly recommend this book as it would be a source of great hope to those battling an illness! This beautiful and inspiring book totally touched my heart and I am sure it will yours as well.

Get your copy HERE!


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