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Don’s Thoughts: The Man without a Face

Have you read this week’s Featured Story, The Man without a Face? Andy Axtell was a teenage boy facing a horrible disease: Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Cancer had already taken many of those milestones of youth such as prom and football from Andy’s life, and he was sure it would eventually take everything he had. Amidst the difficulty of intense cancer treatment, Andy saw another man’s battle with cancer in his same hospital ward, and he realized how much he really did have to live for.

Cancer has taken too many lives. Many around the world are mourning the loss of Steve Jobs. I’ve been thinking about some of his incredible accomplishments lately myself. One quote of his from a Stanford commencement address really stands out: “Sometimes life is going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.” Isn’t that the truth? I’ve been sharing and hearing lemonade stories for quite a long time, and the difficulties never get any easier. It’s easy to lose faith and forget what we have going for us when times get tough.

This September, everyone on staff at Lemonade Books was shocked when our editor, and my friend, Steffany Woolsey, was diagnosed with stage IV glioblastoma multiforme in her brain. Watching her walk into the unknown of radiation and chemotherapy has been painful for all of us, but also inspirational as she continues to live with hope.

On her Facebook page, Steffy recently quoted a pastor who also endured brain cancer: “Everyone is mortal, but we’re not really aware of it (most of the time, anyway). The gift God has given me is that I get to be aware of it.” She followed the quote with, “This realization, as it falls upon me, really is a gift!”

I’m amazed at Steffy’s strength and hope, and find myself so encouraged by stories about people like her and Andy. Perhaps you or people you know are battling cancer. Take heart.

Later this week, I hope you’ll stop by again for another inspiring true story.

 

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