Thursday, May 21, 2009
A few years ago my husband Rick was interviewed for a book by a young woman named Kairol Rosenthal. Kairol, diagnosed with cancer herself, was attempting to document the truths of dealing with cancer as a young adult by telling her own story and talking to others in positions much like her own. The result of her efforts landed on our doorstep just a couple of weeks before Rick passed away- "Everything Changes: The Insider's Guide to Cancer in Your 20's and 30's".
Tonight I found it fitting to talk about this book, as I should be at a party to celebrate its publication, but decided it best to keep my germ-ridden self at home. I feel really fortunate that I have had the chance to befriend Kairol, albeit through unfortunate circumstance. In the days after Rick's passing I attempted to contact people via his email account, to inform them of what had happened, and Kairol was among them. It just so happened that she was going to be in Pittsburgh the same weekend as the benefit show our friends had planned in honor of Rick, and we made plans to meet.
I cant really find the words to express how powerful it was to hear Kairol speak at that show. She read from the interview she conducted with Rick a few years earlier, in which RIck speaks about dying. To have Rick's voice present in that room, that full, quiet room of his friends, to hear his own thoughts (and resolve) about his death. What an amazing gift Kairol was able to give to us.
Although only pieces of Rick's interview appear in the book, its full of other stories not so different from his own, yet each unique in its content. Its a reminder that the needs of young adults with cancer are varied, real and often unmet. Its a must read for the young adult cancer patient, their friends, their family, healthcare providers and survivors of young adult cancer.
Kairol works every day to bring awareness to YA cancer, and is an all around awesome and impressive lady. To learn more about Kairol and "Everything Changes...", visit her blog here: