A Childhood Cancer Survivor Blogging about the World of Childhood Cancer

Posts tagged ‘book endorsements’

What I Know About Lance Armstrong

Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery


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.”

—Lance Armstrong

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.

Me too…

LIVESTRONG Leader Assembly March 2012

Thank you LIVESTRONG, for 15 years of serving the cancer community!

Thank you Dr. Anna Meadows

Grace: A Child's Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery

Rolling along on the same subject of survivorship, I want to tell you about Dr. Anna Meadows. In 1962, at the age of 31, she wrote to the dean of Harvard and told him of her desire to become a doctor. The response she received was to stay home with her three children. Fortunately, for many childhood cancer survivors, Dr. Meadows did not take this advice. She achieved her dream.


Dr. Meadows will be honored at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for her 38 years of distinguished service and contributions to the world of childhood cancer. She is fondly known as the “matriarch of childhood cancer survivorship.” I hope she has inspired many others to follow her lead in recognizing the importance of studying and lessening late effects from childhood cancer treatments.

And now, a personal story about Dr. Meadows. A year ago, I was doing a lot of research about childhood cancer. From all of this research, I chose people and organizations that I wanted to ask to look at my book for a possible endorsement. Well, when I found Dr. Meadows and saw all that she has done—she really stood out! My mom picked up the phone and called her.

Guess who answered?

Dr. Anna Meadows herself.

What a lovely woman she is! Her schedule did not allow her time to take a look at my book, but my mom truly enjoyed her conversation with Dr. Meadows. This is going to sound really weird, but I will admit I was truly happy she didn’t have time.

This meant she was taking care of the children!

Thank you Dr. Meadows… is there some way we might clone you before you retire?


*Jade’s surgery went well. Thank you for your prayers…

Jade Waiting for Surgery

Facebook/ Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery


Revealing the Identity of Someone #2

It seems like many moons have passed since I quizzed you on who you think might be Someone #1… and then I compounded the puzzle by adding Someone #2.

Don’t you love guessing games?

Here come the clues:

Someone #2 is a best-selling author, television host extraordinaire, founder of Cassidy’s Place, Cody’s House and Association to Benefit Children, and someone who cares deeply about children. I am deeply honored, and more grateful than my words can say, to tell you that I received a beautiful endorsement from Kathie Lee Gifford for Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery.

I imagine that Ms. Gifford has a schedule that keeps her flying swiftly about her life.  Then, someone like me comes along who requests her time and attention. Just knowing that she took the time to look at my book makes me so happy. It lets me know that there are people who truly care about changing lives for the better… even people who are very successful.

It seems to me that being successful means greater responsibility. Success is a blessing. We then have the responsibility to use what we have to help others. Yes, we need to be excellent stewards.  Life is short. We have so much we can give, and nothing feels better than giving.

Thank you Someone #2!  Miss Kathie Lee Gifford, you touch my heart with your gift to me and other cancer survivors. You motivate me to be generous, and you have given me a master lesson in stewardship.

Lance Armstrong and Grace

Yesterday, I told you I was speechless, and today, I have still not recovered.  I can’t help but think back to a year ago when I was battling for my life.  I think of all of the struggles, and I think of how people came along to lift me up… physically, mentally, and spiritually.  Can you imagine life without someone who cares enough about you to stand by you when you are completely incapacitated?  I am blessed.

Also, I think back to two years ago yesterday.  Exactly two years to  the day after I danced in my recital (the light at the end of my treatment tunnel) and celebrated with an amazing End of Treatment Party, Lance Armstrong sends me his book endorsement for Grace!

I admire Lance Armstrong very much for his dedication to helping others with cancer.  He could just “ride off into the sunset,” but instead, he puts enormous time and effort into making a difference for others, now and in the future.  That he has reached out to help children with cancer means the world to me.  I feel strongly, like Lance does, that I cannot just stand by on the sidelines and think, “Oh boy, I’m healed… whooptie-doo!”  I plan on using whatever I have, and all that I am, to work for a change for the better.  A change for healing, and a change for comfort, and a change for a bunch more love in this world.  And Lance has just come “under my wings” to help me soar toward my goal of helping suffering children.  This is a treasure to me. 

Can you guess whose quote will be on the cover of Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery?   I think there will have to be at least three.  I will post the new cover very soon:)

And ARCs have been sent to press… I am so excited that it won’t be long before I can share!

My Sincere Gratitude to Lance Armstrong

I know that I have toyed and played with my readers… teasing you about my fervent desire to have Mr. Lance Armstrong take a look at my book.  Today, yes today, I found out that he has read what I sent.  And oh my gosh… oh my gosh… oh my gosh…

Lance Armstrong gave me a thoughtful, caring, and amazing endorsement for Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will admit that I am glad that I am writing right now, because I am honestly still speechless.  Words have left my mouth, and I am here shaking my head, feeling all of those words rattling around with no place to exit.  

I love that Lance took the time to pay attention to what I wrote.  I love that Lance knows my words will help people.  I love that Lance has used his words to work to help find a cure for cancer, and I love how he has used his words to help me help others.

This makes me happy.  This makes me very happy.  I want my words to help others.

Alexa Nawrocki Pediatric Cancer Foundation

I have to tell you about an incredibly lovely lady I met on the path of my book endorsement requests.  Her name is Joann, and she lost her two year old daughter, Alexa, to cancer in 2004.  What a beautiful thing she did with her grief.  She created the Alexa Nawrocki Pediatric Cancer Foundation to help other children suffering with cancer and their families.  This inspires me.  This inspires me greatly. 

It seems that none of us escape this world without being battered and bruised along the way.  When someone, like Joann, take their wounds and scars and create a better place for us all to live in, it is remarkable!  This is exactly what I aspire to do.  Joann sees that through all of her efforts, her precious daughter’s light shines so brightly. 

Just think if we all took our life’s “rotten apples” and turned them into a brilliant, fruitful tree of life… wow… what a world we could make!

Thank you Joann.  And Alexa… I love those beautiful angel wings of yours.

Finalizing Endorsements and ARCs Soon

For all of you seasoned authors out there, you guys have this all down…  I am still recovering from the startling fact that a book needs to be raised after you are finished writing it.  But, believe it or not, I have emerged unscathed and actually quite perky from the endorsement phase of book raising.  I am very, very happy that we were able to finalize the paperwork for “The Cheese!” and this endorsement will be on the cover of the ARC for Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery, along with Jeff Foxworthy’s very kind and thoughtful quote. 

I appreciate the doctors who took the time to read what I sent, the cancer foundations who responded with positive encouragement, the celebrities who surprised me with their warmth, and each and every person who supported my project with an endorsement!  It was such a successful endorsement campaign that I have been forewarned of “Endorsement Fatigue.”  I guess that this refers to readers inability to cope with reading endorsement after endorsement.  My thought is that it is better to gather too many and pick the ones we like best.  Promise I won’t “fatigue you!”

There are a few more “floaters” out there that I would love to bring in.  Hmmm… calling all floating endorsements!  Front and center, please !

And then come ARCs!  The end of May… the end of May. 

This is fun.  Yes, this is really fun!

“The Cheese” Endorsement, Relay for Life, and Johnny Tan

Hi!!!!!  Have you wondered where the heck I have been?  Guess where?  The first ten guesses don’t count!  This may surprise you, but I have been dancing and dancing and dancing… jamming my homework in between rehearsals and performances. 

Today, a very exciting email arrived from the kind manager of “The Cheese.”  He asked me to call him, and he told me that he has “The Cheese’s” quote for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Unfortunately, when I returned his call after school, he had already gone home for the day– New York time.  I guess I have something to look forward to tomorrow!

Last week, Deb Jeffers from the American Cancer Society called to ask if my mom and I would speak at the Luminary Ceremony at Nipomo’s Relay for Life on May 1.  Mom had plans to go out of town that weekend, to meet up with some high school friends, but we both feel the strong desire to give thanks for my life… and what better way than sharing hope with others who have suffered through cancer, or who have helped loved ones through treatment and recovery.  We will be speaking at 8:00, on May 1st, at the Nipomo Relay for Life.

Over the weekend, I received an email reply  from Johnny Tan.  He has had an amazing life, and I can’t to read his book, From My Mama’s Kitchen.  From what I know, his book is about his mothers (8 of them I believe,) and how they each influenced his life.  He has a talk radio show, FMMK, and I will be joining him for an interview on June 29th, at 10:00 am, Central time.  After learning about him on his website www.frommymamaskitchen.com, I told him that I am going to begin working on getting my very own radio show– so I can interview Johnny!  Lance too!

Nobel Prize!

Does anyone happen to know who Dr. Lee Hartwell is?  If your brain is clicking, you might be guessing he has something to do with the title of my post.  Yes, Dr. Lee Hartwell is a 2001 Nobel Laureate in medicine.  He has done some amazing cancer research, and I am beyond excited when I read about what his research interests are, and the medical advances he has contributed.  With people like Dr. Hartwell working to end cancer, cancer better run and hide somewhere in a deep, dark hole. 

Are you wondering why I am telling you about Dr. Hartwell?  Dear, kind Dr. Hartwell sent me a beautiful endorsement today for Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery!  I am very grateful that he would took the time to look at what I sent to him, and that he responded in such a thoughtful way.  I am so motivated to follow in his footsteps, and I know I will have to “apply myself!”  (This is what I always say to my brother, Dean, when he leaves for college… “Dean, I want you to apply yourself!” )

Crackin’ those books…

Cover Design and Endorsements!

My friends, I am one excited person.  We finalized the cover design for Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery today… I am in love with my book cover!  My mom and I were joking, as I spurted my excitement about this, that I am going to have to change my “relationship status” on my Facebook Page from “single.”  We even took it a step further, imagining changing from “single” to “in a relationship” to “engaged” as my love for my cover grows!  It won’t be long before I reveal the book cover mystery:) for all to see.

I am very, very happy that endorsements are coming in each day from places where cancer patients can receive support.  Some of these organizations have even been so kind that they forward my information to other people, and foundations that they think will be interested in my story!  Now how nice is that?! 

So, even though my trip to the doctor’s yesterday revealed that I have a sinus infection and a touch of pneumonia, I have a big smile on my face, and a huge dose of gratitude growing in my heart.  I am grateful for the blessings of today!

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