Archive for November, 2011
“This awe-inspiring and gut-wrenching story of Ian’s battle with testicular cancer is a must read for anyone with a young man in their life. Readers will gain a personal understanding of cancer and its treatments and find it unimaginable that information on testicular cancer isn’t required education.”
I included this quote because it was the endorsement I wrote just after I finished reading the manuscript. Friend and author Karen McWhirt gave me the honor of reading her manuscript before the book was published.
Reading the book prior to publication was a huge responsibility and who knows what I would have done had the book not been an incredible creation. I know you can’t exactly tell a friend that you don’t like their book but as a mother who lost her son to testicular cancer I knew that Karen could handle the truth if I didn’t like it. Fortunately, the book was so incredible that all I could do was spew accolades Karen’s way. She was even kind enough to publish a copy of a personal email I sent her inside the book. Her relationship with her son, Ian Drazick, reminded me at times of mine with my own mother.
Ian was diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer at the age of 19 and after a short 4 month battle he died at the age of 20. Karen was his mom and his caregiver the entire time. Before he died, Ian asked his mom to write his story, “…so other guys will know, and they won’t have to go through what I’ve been through…” he said. Karen told Ian she would share his story with others and fighting through the bad days and painful memories she kept her promise.
Written in Ian’s voice, Together We Will Win, captures the true experience of what it is like to battle advanced testicular cancer, face intensive chemotherapy and endure exhaustive radiation treatments. Based on the journals Karen kept, you will experience from the early stages of diagnosis trough the last days of life what testicular cancer can do to a young man’s life.
Ian dreamed of a time that testicular cancer was talked about as much as other cancers so that other young men wouldn’t be diagnosed at late stages like him. Dreams are very powerful things and while Ian can no longer do it on his own his dreams can still come true. Read Together We Will Win and encourage the young men in your life to do the same. What happens when we don’t talk about testicular cancer shouldn’t happen to any more young men.
In the interest of testicular cancer awareness Karen has generously created a book donation program to offer a copy of Together We Will Win to libraries around the world. The program also offers the ability for you to donate a copy in your name or in the honor of a loved one to your local library.
On a more personal side, I met Karen in February 2008. I had been trading emails with a mother in the UK that had lost her son to testicular cancer. This mother was doing a lot of education in schools about testicular cancer and I wanted to learn from her because for some reason it is very difficult to get into high schools to talk about testicular cancer in the U.S. She told me that there was a lady in Kansas that was trying to do the same thing and that perhaps I should contact her. I fired off an introduction email to Karen and the rest was history. Karen has been a personal mentor to me countless times and her strength as a mother is simply amazing. Ian’s story and Karen’s strength have greatly impacted my life. I can’t explain how a young man I never met and a mother I have yet to meet face-to-face can influence my life so much. All I can say is that it has happened.
This summer, to celebrate my 5 year Cancerversary, I traveled to Wales to do a memorial trek up Mt. Snowdon to honor those young men that have died too early from testicular cancer. On that trip I felt it was my duty to honor Ian and Karen by taking a banner with Ian’s name on it to the top of Mt. Snowdon. I also wanted to do it to show Ian that his dream is still alive and that other guys will know and other guys won’t have to go through what you did Ian.
Together We Will Win
Thanks for Reading,