In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.
~ Robert Frost
Thank you, Mr. Frost. Sadly, this applies to cancer as well. “It goes on.”
Two and a half years ago, when I was beginning the publishing process for my book, I began sending out requests for endorsements. I found it fascinating that this was one of the very first steps; I found it fascinating that authors receive their endorsements from sending out the first couple of chapters before it is even edited, before the book is even complete. I soon learned reasons why this is so. People have very busy lives, and reading an entire book is beyond what most will invest for an endorsement request. Secondly, it takes a very long time to retrieve the endorsements from the requests before an author can compile their advanced praise for their work.
What I learned about human nature was one of the most valuable gifts that I received from being involved in the book endorsement process. Responses were nearly all genuine and caring, even when people were “too busy” to take a look. Each time that Grace would receive an email with an endorsement, I would be thrilled.
I remember the day clearly when an email arrived– not just any email– an endorsement for Grace from Lance Armstrong! What this meant to me, and what this still means to me, is something beyond our worldly vocabulary. I had read Lance’s book, It’s Not About the Bike, during my cancer treatment and received strength from it for my fight. I had admired and respected his compassion and dedication to create LIVESTRONG. Personally, I knew many survivors who had been helped tremendously through LIVESTRONG’s navigation services. I knew of, and was grateful for, LIVESTRONG’s programs that teach children in schools about cancer. Reality called and I also realized that Lance Armstrong was a “celebrity,” which meant the chances of him ever looking at anything that Little Ol’ Childhood Cancer Patient Melinda wrote were slim to none.
Was I ever wrong about that last one!
“In her book, Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery, Melinda Marchiano offers an honest and inspiring portrayal of her cancer experience through the eyes of a teenager and proves there is medicinal value in love and laughter. Melinda and I share a common bond. We are survivors. And we believe in the importance of empowering fellow survivors to live life on their own terms. By sharing her story, Melinda is giving a voice to this global epidemic that needs immediate attention. I am grateful to Melinda for having the courage to speak up and for her generosity in helping others fighting cancer.”
It is true that Lance and I share a common bond. As survivors, we share an understanding. As survivors, we share a passion to help others through the nightmare that is cancer. As survivors, we work to continue to “empower fellow survivors to live life on their own terms.” As survivors, we step up to the challenge of “giving a voice to this global epidemic that needs immediate attention.”
What I do know about Lance Armstrong is that he is passionate about helping cancer patients— even young cancer patients who write books with the hope of helping others.
What Lance Armstrong has created through LIVESTRONG is nothing short of a treasure of services for people who want to survive. For some, these services mean the difference between life and death. LIVESTRONG services are vital.
This is undoubtedly a difficult time for everyone at LIVESTRONG. I want to send my sincere thanks to you for your outstanding work, and to encourage you to continue ahead with pride for all that LIVESTRONG provides and all that LIVESTRONG accomplishes. You have my continued support.
What I also know now about Lance Armstrong is that he wants LIVESTRONG to LIVE ON. Lance chooses to save lives.
Thank you LIVESTRONG, for 15 years of serving the cancer community!